Gnosis Retreat Center | Inspired by the legacy of R.D. Laing
Suppose you come to the end of your tether, can no longer cope, have a break-down, fall apart, go to pieces. To whom would you turn? Where would you go?
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Community Resources


Free Association

Michael Guy Thompson, Ph.D.

Windhorse Colorado

Austen Riggs Center Massachusetts

Soteria Vermont

Inner Fire Vermont



Articles & Links


“The Enigma of Happiness and Why It Is So Elusive” by Michael Guy Thompson, PhD.

R.D. Laing in the 21st Century Annual Symposium held at Esalen Institute.

“The Heart of the Matter: Eros and Agape,” Michael Guy Thompson, PhD, R.D. Laing in the 21st Century Symposium, Esalen, Big Sur, July 23, 2018.

“On Falling in Love,” Michael Guy Thompson, PhD, invited address, R.D. Laing in the 21st Century Symposium, Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, CA, July 17, 2017.

“On Sympathy: The Role of Love in the Therapeutic Encounter,” M. Guy Thompson, PhD, an earlier version of this paper was given at R.D. Laing Symposium, Esalen, August 8, 2016.

“Sanity and Friendship,” Michael Guy Thompson, PhD, an earlier version of this paper was presented at R.D. Laing Symposium, Esalen, July 15, 2015.

“Living in One of R.D. Laing’s Post Kingsley Hall Households” by Michael Guy Thompson, blog posted on November 17, 2013 at Palace Gate Counselling Service:

“Authenticity and R.D. Laing” by Michael Guy Thompson, blog posted on December 5, 2011 at Northern Existential Group.

Information about the 2013 R.D. Laing Symposium held at Wagner University, Staten Island, New York. View conference topics, speakers and more details.




“The Enigma of Happiness and Why It Is So Elusive,” a live video discussion with Michael Guy Thompson with Fernando Castrillon as discussant, co-sponsored by Gnosis Retreat Center at California Institute of Integral Studies, April 16, 2019. Drawing on Nietzsche, Freud, and Plato, Michael Guy Thompson, philosopher and psychoanalyst, explores the most fundamental questions and misconceptions about the nature of happiness, why it is so elusive, and how to obtain it. Michael’s presentation is followed by a discussion with Fernando Castrillon.

“Legacy of R.D. Laing,” Michael Guy Thompson, on Madness Radio. Is psychosis a journey and a breakthrough to somewhere more authentic? Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing was a fierce critic of the mental health system, and saw madness as a rational adaptation to irrational family and social constraints. How are Laing’s provocative insights about politics and culture still relevant today? First aired on April 12, 2018.

“Falling in Love as an Altered State” a public lecture by Michael Guy Thompson given at the California Institute for Integral Studies, San Francisco, March 30, 2017.

An interview with Michael Guy Thompson on The Dr. Peter Breggin Hour, reveals an incredible and enlightening story of working for four years with pioneer psychiatrist and philosopher R.D. Laing in one of his therapeutic houses. Recorded on October 2, 2013.

“You Can’t Teach Therapists How to Connect…,” Peter Brensinger interview, R.D. Laing 2013 Symposium, October 2013:


Special Collection


The University of Glasgow holds an R.D. Laing collection including Laing’s personal papers and library, acquired from his estate, plus the unedited footage of his 1972 US tour, presented by director Peter Robinson’s son, Kenneth. (Click on the text to visit the website.)


Relevant Articles on R.D. Laing


“Human, all too human: The Life and Work of R.D. Laing,” featuring interview with R.D. Laing by Douglas Kirsner, Ph.D.

“Shamanism, Healing and R.D. Laing” by Francis Huxley.

“Sparks of Light: Faith, Hope and R.D. Laing” by Daniel Burston.

“A Road Less Traveled: The Dark Side of R.D. Laing’s Conception of Authenticity” by Michael Guy Thompson, Ph.D. Psychotherapy in Australia, Vol. 18, No. 2: February 2012.

“R. D. Laing’s Legacy to the Psychotherapy Experience” by M. Guy Thompson, Ph.D. The Psychotherapist (a publication of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy [UKCP]). Issue 43, 2009.

“Remembering Ronnie” (with Steven Gans), Janus Head: The Legacy of R.D. Laing (special issue), 2000.

“The Fidelity to Experience in R. D. Laing’s Treatment Philosophy” by M. Guy Thompson, Ph.D. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Volume 33, No. 4:595-614, 1997.

“Deception, Mystification, Trauma: Laing and Freud” by M. Guy Thompson, Ph.D. The Psychoanalytic Review, Volume 83, No. 6:827-847, 1996.


Other Publications


The Death of Desire: An Existential Study of Sanity and Madness (2nd Edition) by M. Guy Thompson, Ph.D. Read more about the book here. New York and London. Routledge, 2016. Order the book from Amazon here.

The Legacy of R.D. Laing: An Appraisal of His Contemporary Relevance. (Ed.) M. Guy Thompson, Editor. Read more about the book here.  New York and London: Routledge, 2015. Order the book from Amazon here.

Review by Alex Miller Tate of The Legacy of R.D. Laing: An Appraisal of His Contemporary Relevance, M. Guy Thompson, Editor.