RECOVERY THROUGH VOICE
AND DIALOGUE

 


In an effort to uncover the biochemical basis of mental illness, Daniel Fisher obtained a PhD and carried out neurochemical research at NIMH.  He writes: “I uncovered the mechanisms of dopamine and serotonin biosynthesis. However, during that research, the reductionist approach to life it was based upon caused me great despair. As a result, at the age of 25, I withdrew into my own world.  I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized on 3 occasions. During the next 5 years, I recovered from what is described as schizophrenia, and dreamt of humanizing the mental health system. To fulfill that dream, I earned a MD, and completed psychiatric training at Harvard Medical School. I have practiced as a board-certified, community psychiatrist for 30 years.”

His passion has been to bring the hope to all who suffer that they can recover a life and become experts by experience.  To transform national mental health policies from fear to hope, Judi Chamberlin, Pat Deegan, Laurie Ahern, and he co-founded the National Empowerment Center. He was a member of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (2002-03) and through that position was able to bring hope and recovery to national awareness.  Then he helped organize the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, to make recovery a reality.

Recently, he has been promoting peer-run crisis respite alternatives to hospitalization.He haas also helped develop emotionalCPR, a program for teaching community members how to help each other through an emotional crisis.

Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. We are Whole People, Not Broken Brains

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February 24, 2013

Many of us in the consumer/survivor movement have begun to worry that recovery is being co-opted. That it is being used too easily, and has lost its meaning. I think we live in bubble. Outside our world, the larger society has not even heard that recovery is possible. In fact, society hears a constant litany, through major media, that emotional distress is due to chemical imbalance. Today young people are told they will never recover, and should accept that they have a life long illness.
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For

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December 4, 2012

Those of us with lived experience, here in the US and now around the world have discovered that most mental health professionals have little understanding of what extreme mental states are like. They think those states are a sign of illness. They think that hearing voices and having vivid dreams are symptoms of those illnesses. We who have been through our own recovery know that we are all basically healthy people who have experienced a variety of traumas.
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. A New Understanding of “Psychosis”

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August 3, 2012

When I first entered a state of altered reality (called psychosis) at the age of 25, I was exhilarated. Then, when I could not return to consensual reality, I was terrified. I have been trying to understand ever since why …
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. Community Dialogues for Recovery and Wellness

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July 25, 2012

The National Empowerment Center is promoting a new initiative called “Community Dialogues for Recovery and Wellness.” These dialogues are designed to bring together people from diverse backgrounds, who share a common interest in building a loving society. The initial purpose …
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. Are We Not Human Beings with the Rights to be Treated as Human?

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June 10, 2012

(Speech delivered by Daniel Fisher at the rally in front of the Boston State House, June 2,2012) How can residents of Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) continue to be tortured in the name of treatment in this United States, the only …
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. Dialogical Recovery of our Minds

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May 28, 2012

I think that our mind and our capacity to use it to think clearly depends on our inner and outer dialogue. When we become too narrow in our thinking, which can be intensified by emotional disconnection from others and ourselves, …
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. Recovery through Learning Creatura, a Language of Life

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May 7, 2012

There is a language underneath our familiar verbal language. Ordinarily it is called nonverbal communication. It is also called body language. I came to intimately know this language during each of my excursions into altered states, which resulted in my …
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. Dialogical Recovery of Life

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March 28, 2012

During a recent dialogue training, Dr. Peter Rober, from Belgium, said, “listening deeply, going beyond categories, creates dialogical space in which life can come… into this space will come life and super reality.” It seemed with those few words Peter …
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. Empowerment is Vital to Dialogical Recovery

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March 9, 2012

In my previous blog, I used a new term, Dialogical Recovery to describe the importance of dialogue to recovery. I and others in the recovery movement have been asking ourselves recently, “What is it about Open Dialogue that resonates with …
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Daniel Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. Dialogical Recovery from Monological Medicine

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February 8, 2012

Open Dialogue* has created a great stir since its public introduction to the United States two years ago through Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic, and Dan Mackler’s film, “Open Dialogue.” This enthusiasm has been particularly marked in Massachusetts. …
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