Gail A. Hornstein

Professor of Psychology and Education


  • B.S., University of Pittsburgh
  • M.A., Clark University
  • Ph.D., Clark University

Courses Taught

  • Personality Theory 
  • Psychology of Women
  • Research Methods
  • First Person Narratives of Madness
  • Laboratory in Qualitative Research
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Understanding Mental Health
  • Psychology and the Media
  • Controversies in Psychology


My research broadly focuses on the history of 20th-century psychology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis, and I have published articles and books on a variety of topics in personality and social psychology. My biography, To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World: The Life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, tells the story of a pioneering psychiatrist who dedicated her life to treating very disturbed patients with intensive psychotherapy. My recent book Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness, shows how the insights of those diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar illness, personality disorder, and paranoia can help us reconceive fundamental assumptions about madness, treatment, and mental life. For more than 15 years, I have been compiling a Bibliography of First-Person Narratives of Madness in English which is now in its 5th edition with more than 1,000 titles. I connect my research to issues in the broader community, by organizing and co-facilitating one of the USA’s first hearing voices peer support groups (in Holyoke, MA), speaking widely about mental health issues across the USA, UK, and Europe, and running training workshops to foster the development of alternatives to standard treatments for psychosis.

Recent Publications

Hornstein, G.A. (forthcoming). Anatomy is frozen physiology, Or how I learned to see the process that is everywhere. In G. Bowker, A.E. Clarke, S. Timmermanns & E. Balka (Eds.). Boundary objects and beyond: Working with Leigh Star. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hornstein, G.A. (2015). Review of Life Writing and Schizophrenia: Encounters at the Edge of Meaning by Mary Elene Wood, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 89, 334-336.

Dillon, J. and G.A. Hornstein (2013). Hearing voices peer support groups: A powerful alternative for people in distress. Special issue of Psychosis, 5, 286-295.

Hornstein, G.A. (2013). Whose account matters? A challenge to feminist psychologists.  Special issue of Feminism & Psychology, DSM-5 and Beyond: A critical feminist dialogue, 23, 29-40.

Hornstein, G.A. (2013). Review of The Madness of Women: Myth and experience by Jane Ussher. Feminist Theory, 14, 237-238.

Hornstein, G.A. (2012).  Bibliography of first-person narratives of madness in English (5th ed.). Available at

Hornstein, G.A. (2011). Review of Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me by Bobby Baker (with Dora Whittuck), Women’s Review of Books, 28 (3), 5-6.

Hornstein, G.A. (2010). Impossible puzzle: Revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Mental Health Practice, 13, 11.

Hornstein, G.A. (2009). Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness.  Rodale Books; Audio book, Gildan Media, 2009; Dutch translation: Stemmen in je hoofd: De geheime code van waanzin. Amsterdam: Sijthoff, 2009; UK edition (with a new introduction), PCCS Books, 2012.

Hornstein, G.A. (2009). Prune that prose: Learning to write for readers beyond academe. The Chronicle Review, September 7, 2009 issue, pp. B11-12.

Hornstein, G.A. (2009).  Who owns the mind?  Openmind (cover story, May/June issue), 157, 6-8.

Hornstein, G.A. (2006).  Frieda Fromm-Reichmann:  Pioneer in the psychotherapy of psychosis.  In D.A. Dewsbury, L.T. Benjamin and M. Wertheimer (Eds.), Portraits of pioneers in psychology, Volume 6.  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 85-100.

Adame, A.L. and Hornstein, G.A. (2006). Representing madness: How are subjective experiences of emotional distress presented in first-person accounts? The Humanistic Psychologist, 34, 135-158.

Hornstein, G.A. (2000). To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World: The Life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann.  New York: Free Press/Simon & Schuster; Spanish translation: Salvar a una persona es salvar al mundo.  Barcelona: Editorial Andres Bello, 2001.  Paperback, New York: Other Press, 2005. Adapted for play “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” (premiere, Golden, Colorado, 2004).

News Links

"The Case of Norway's Anders Behring Breivik: Where Lies Madness?" The Huffington Post, May 23, 2012

"Finding Purpose After Living With Delusion," The New York Times, November 25, 2011

"Hearing Voices May Just Be That," Radio Boston, October 31, 2011

"Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Award for Scholarship," Office of Communications, February 22, 2011

"Hornstein Channels People Who Hear Voices," WAMC The Academic Minute, December 30, 2010

"Mental Health Activists to Speak November 18 at MHC," Office of Communications, November 16, 2010

"Gail Hornstein & "Agnes's Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness," KBOO Madness Radio, November 1, 2010

"MHC's Hornstein Interviews with BBC," BBC Radio, October 10, 2010

"Best of 2009 and A New Look At Ayn Rand," Writers Voice Radio, January 4, 2010

"Experts seek to learn from madness," Washington Times, November 11, 2009

"Learning to write for readers beyond academe," The Chronicle, September 7, 2009

"MHC's Hornstein on "Heeding Plans of Violence," Hartford Courant, August 17, 2009

"Looking beyond medicine to treat mental illness: A conversation with psychology professor Gail A. Hornstein," Office of Communications, May 22, 2009

"Hornstein’s New Book Attracts Media Attention," Office of Communications, May 22, 2009

"MHC's Hornstein Discusses New Book on WFCR", WFCR, April 15, 2009

"Hornstein Publishes New Book on Mental Illness", Office of Communications, March 16, 2009

"Brainstorms: A Different Way of Thinking," MHC Alumnae Quarterly, Fall 2008

"MHC's Hornstein on Too Much Happiness," Vancouver Sun and, February 14, 2008

"MHC's Hornstein on Too Much Happiness,", February 10, 2008

"Gail Hornstein on Bipolar Disorder in Children," Office of Communications,September 24, 2007

"Pardoning WWI's "Shell-shock" Sufferers," Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2006

"Terror and Cowardice," Newsday, October 22, 2006

"Hornstein at Broadside Bookshop," Office of Communications, August 10, 2006

"Film Series Offers New Perspective on Mental Illness," College Street Journal, December 12, 2003

"Narratives of Madness, as Told from Within," The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 2002 Note: This link requires a paid subscription.

"Bibliography of First-Person Narratives of Madness"

"Hornstein to Read from New Biography November 30," College Street Journal, November 17, 2000

"Psychologist Hornstein Urges Therapists and Lay People to Listen to the Mentally Ill," College Street Journal, March 7, 1997