Professor Johann Christian Reil of Halle, Germany, first introduced the term ‘psychiatry’ in 1808. He argued that mental illness should be treated by physicians and that psychiatry required the very best medical practitioners. He stressed the important relationships between physical and mental factors in illness and the role of psychotherapy as one of the main treatment approaches in medicine. He was a strong advocate of humane treatment and reduction of stigma. Many of his ideas remain important today.
- © 2008 Royal College of Psychiatrists