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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 19 (1977) 3, 187 - 196

Short report

The Asklepieion at Pergamon

H. Pomerantz

The Asclepieion at Pergamon was a famous 'therapeutic community' in the antiquity, directed on man in his totality: attention given to body culture, bathing, music, theatre and 'psychotherapy'.
This milieu became recognized by its 'erotic' character. In 'Eros and Civilization' Marcuse put Prometheus, the culture hero of repression, trouble, production and performance, against Orpheus and Narcissus, the culture heroes of beauty, fantasy and sensuality. Modern psychiatrie clinics adheres too much to the influence of the Prometheus principle.
Yet the present gestalt-therapies refer yoga, non-verbal forms of communication and the cultural therapies to Orpheus and Narcissus. The 'erotic participation', the 'enjoyment' is atrofied with many sufferers from the institutionalization-syndrome. Many possibilities for a libidinal realistic principle lie in an more authentic human living and sparetime's milieu for psychiatric patients. A greater balance between the Prometheus and Orpheus principles is necessary in psychiatric institutions. so that the patient could, as a human being, fully unfurl himself.