See the dark and bright spots of history of psychology at the first mental asylum of Belgium. Thankfully, mental health is getting the attention it really needs at this museum that gives you plenty of food for thought.
Museum Dr. Guislain tells you all about the history of psychiatry. That’s the study of mental illness like anxiety and depression. This psychology museum actually was the first mental asylum in Belgium. Discover how mental health patients were treated throughout history.
People were locked up in madhouses. Doctors thought their patients were possessed by demons. Psychiatrists used poor “treatments” like threpination. That’s where they drill a hole into the patient’s head to let out the spirit the doctor’s think is possessing the patient. As you can imagine, this does nothing to help anyone. See the equipment for this tragic and (thankfully) no longer used procedures at the museum.
Mental health treatment has gotten so much better. For that we can all be grateful!
The museum is named after Dr Guislain, who was a visionary psychiatrist of the 1800s for introducing better and humane treatments to his patients in Ghent. He was pretty popular locally (there’s a statue of him on the Begijnhoflaan).
Tu to F, 9:00 to 17:00. Sa to Su, 13:00 to 17:00
Adult 10€, Kids free, special discount rates available. Guided tour (max group 15 people) 70€
Open; national COVID measures apply. We recommend booking a ticket ahead of time as the number of visitors is limited.