Inquiry into the ‘Schizophrenia’ Label


An inquiry into the ‘Schizophrenia’ label has been launched by a group of organizations and individuals concerned about the meaning and usefulness of ‘schizophrenia’ and similar labels such as ‘psychosis.’  The Inquiry aims to investigate the impact this label has on people’s lives and to collect evidence from people, including mental health service users and carers, those (including professionals) who use these labels to describe mental health problems in other people, and those who have concerns about the use of such labels. (From the press release)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. As always, the word itself speaks.

    “schizophrenia” isn’t only a “label” – it is an actual word that has been created by someone’s mind. The mind that produced the word most likely had an experience or specific education that allowed for the birth of the word.

    “sch” family of words. According to this site, there are 258 of them:

    I haven’t located the meaning of “sch” but if you consider the meaning of “para” (and the Para Family of words), that should allow for a better understanding of “sch” and “schizophrenia”.

    I think it’s a bit of a waste of resources to “investigate the impact” of a word that you KNOW is heavily loaded and packs a deadly punch. The word is ominous, foreboding, cursed and a death sentence. It is a judgment, and a condemnation.

    It is a desperately ugly word, no matter who says it or who hears it.

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