Pat Bracken on the Crisis in Psychiatry at the Forum for Existential Psychology and Therapy

Kermit Cole
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Psychiatrist Pat Bracken speaks on the current “crisis of legitimacy in psychiatry,” and the growth of the international “service user” movement at the Forum for Existential Psychology and Therapy this past June. The root cause of the crisis is not attributable to psychopharmacology or “a few mistakes in the DSM” that more research would get right, he argues; the root cause lies deep in the dominant paradigm; a “modernist” agenda to frame all human problems in scientific and technological terms. Dr. Bracken supports a post-modernist view; an understanding of the limitations and dangers of such an approach, and accepting that some human problems will not be solved by science and technology, and that mental health is such a problem.

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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 kcole@madinamerica.com.

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