Rethinking Psychiatry in Asheville, North Carolina


“Asheville psychiatrist Daniel Johnson didn’t set out to transform his profession,” says an article in North Carolina’s Mountain Xpress, “But he’s now part of a growing movement, both locally and nationally, that’s challenging the most fundamental assumptions about mental illness.” Since starting his practice in 2010, Johnson has come to believe that “unfortunately, and sadly, more often than not, medications do more harm than good … I had a lot of soul searching and reckoning to do on a personal level.”

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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. Bob mentioned in the sidebar!

    “Two of those books proved particularly influential for Johnson. Both Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness by journalist Robert Whitaker and The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth by psychologist Irving Kirsch reject the theory that chemical imbalances in the brain cause mental illness, challenging the usefulness of the drugs routinely prescribed to treat such problems.”

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  2. A psychiatrist who is willing to walk the walk! I’ve worked around doctors for almost twenty years and have heard only one doctor apologize for anything so it’s pretty phenomenal that this man went and apologized to the people he treated with the toxic drugs.

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