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a type of milieu therapy used in the 19th century, emphasizing religious doctrine and benevolent guidance in activities of daily living; as such it was a form of psychotherapy as opposed to somatic treatments such as bloodletting and purging.
moral treatmentA therapeutic and preventive philosophy for managing mental disorders, which was popular in the early 19th century, based on William Tuke’s retreat model. Treatment consisted of removing the afflicted from their homes and placing them in a surrogate “family” of 250 members or less, often under the guidance of a physician. It emphasised religious morals, benevolence and "clean living", in contrast to the somatic therapies of the day (such as bloodletting or purging). Physical restraints were removed from the patients, they were accorded humane and kindly care, and were required to perform useful tasks in the hospital.
An approach to treating mental illness in the 19th century influenced by humanistic philosophy and a belief that a rational, caring approach would enable patients to normalize their thoughts and actions.