Psychological War Wounds

soldiers making baskets outside of a hospital in France

Shell-shocked soldiers making baskets outside of a hospital in France. Source: Library of Congress.

 

The concept of psychological war wounds was new at the time, and doctors scrambled to find effective treatments for their charges. Major Arthur Hurst pioneered a regimen for sufferers of shellshock at Netley Hospital that boasted a 90 percent success rate. A major aspect of his treatment was occupational therapy, and his charges worked on a farm, wrote for a magazine, and made baskets.

This video demonstrates successful treatment of one private suffering from shellshock. Near the end, you can see him teaching basket-weaving to other recovering soldiers.

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