While =SAO= may not have the emotional impact of Laing's =The Politics of Experience=, =Knots=, or (especially) =Sanity, Madness & the Family=, it's right there with his "classics" insofar as conceptual revelation is concerned. The author's explorations of Bateson's and Watzlawick's "double binds" and "paradoxical injunctions" alone are worth the discerning reader's time.
Usually classified as an existentialist (and sometimes as "anti-psychoanalytic"), Laing is now credited by some as at least supporting, if not leading, the charge towards the cognitivistic views of contemporaries like Albert Ellis. He certainly saw -- as much later cognitive behavioralists like Stephen Hayes and Victoria Follette have more definitively stated -- the problems with language as mere representations of reality rather than reality itself, and what such mis-representationalim leads to.
As one of the previous reviewers here noted, Laing "shows how Cartesian Dualism fails to address the real underlying problems at hand in interpersonal relationships." In that, Laing is also a forerunner of current-day thinking, especially among the dualism-cracking, dialectical behaviorist crowd. His grasp of ambiguity and irresolvable confusion (at the common cultural level) between evidently conflicting demands and contradictory behavioral impulses is right down on the ground with DBT types like Thomas Marra.
But the thing I like most about this and other books by Laing (and others like Laing, such as his contemporaries, Jules Henry, Jay Haley and Don Jackson) is how effectively they identify the family systems mystifications our parents and grandparents were stuck in that lead to the general screwiness of the consumption-as-emotional-salve-obsessed, baby boomer generation.
Though not for the typical 12 Stepper, Laing's work makes the downhill road to alcoholism, eating disorders, codependence, workaholism and sexual obsession =much= easier to understand and forgive oneself for. Alan Marlatt didn't come up with the "abstinence violation effect" until several decades later, but one can see the precise fundaments of the "AVE" in Laing's work... and utilize Laing's many anecdotes to help obsessive-compulsives who get stuck =in= it get =out= of it.