APA President-Elect Proclaims “Our Time is Now”

Kermit Cole
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As demonstrators outside the Moscone Center in San Francisco protested the invalidity of the just-released DSM-5, and the harm they assert has been done in its name, the APA’s incoming president proclaimed psychiatry’s imminent legitimacy as a medical specialty, saying (paraphrasing John F. Kennedy), “‘On this day let the word go forth from this time and place,’ to consumers to clinicians, to policymakers and providers, to advocates and stakeholders, and to all the members of the APA, that for the field of psychiatry and for the patients that we serve, ‘our time has come.'”

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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]

17 COMMENTS

  1. In an odd and desperate move, Leiberman plays the stigma card.
    “Throughout my career I’ve been acutely sensitive to the stigma associated with mental illness, the disparities that we’ve suffered in mental health care, and the lack of respect toward psychiatrists about their specialty,” Lieberman said. Now, I suppose there might have been a time when psychiatry wasn’t as scientifically-based as it should have been, but that was then and now is now, and for such attitudes and practices to persist in the Twenty-first Century is nothing short of discriminatory and prejudicial.”

    • Rossa,

      Your comments about Leiberman’s constant whining about stigma against psychiatry when they are the greatest stigmatizers of the world, destroying countless lives in the process, show how utterly ludicrous it is for him to make such an absurd claim that only rubs the salt in the wounds of the many they have gravely harmed with their bogus DSM stigmas to push the latest lethal drugs on patent in bed with BIG PHARMA. Obviously, Leiberman is one of the poster boys of advocating for BIG PHARMA rather than his clients like most in this “INVALID” and invalidating field.

      Despite the many devastating critques and studies done by those like Dr. Paula Caplan that demonstrate the huge harm of psychiatry’s fraudulent “biological” stigmas that are known to cause far worse social stigma and rejection/ostracism, Leiberman has the unmitigated nerve to play the victim while totally ignoring the enormous betrayal of psychiatry’s many victims often destroyed by the millions of stigmas they routinely dole out after a 10 minute meeting to push their useless, lethal drugs.

  2. What a lot of meaningless words! The Revolution is on for sure! They are feeling our power, and they don’t like it because they are losing their grip and their livelihoods are at stake. Well, we have the experience and the passion and the will, and we are marching on. Thanks to all who spoke up in San Francisco yesterday!

  3. Characteristic symptoms: Two or more of the following, each present for much of the time during a one-month period (or less, if symptoms remitted with treatment).

    Delusions
    Hallucinations
    Disorganized speech, which is a manifestation of formal thought disorder
    Grossly disorganized behavior (e.g. dressing inappropriately, crying frequently) or catatonic behavior
    Negative symptoms: Blunted affect (lack or decline in emotional response), alogia (lack or decline in speech), or avolition (lack or decline in motivation)

    If the delusions are judged to be bizarre, or hallucinations consist of hearing one voice participating in a running commentary of the patient’s actions or of hearing two or more voices conversing with each other, only that symptom is required above. The speech disorganization criterion is only met if it is severe enough to substantially impair communication.

    Social or occupational dysfunction: For a significant portion of the time since the onset of the disturbance, one or more major areas of functioning such as work, interpersonal relations, or self-care, are markedly below the level achieved prior to the onset.
    Significant duration: Continuous signs of the disturbance persist for at least six months. This six-month period must include at least one month of symptoms (or less, if symptoms remitted with treatment).

  4. Jeffrey A. Lieberman,

    welcome to the Schizophrenia Test and Early Psychosis Indicator (STEPI, Version 2011.1) for Prodromal Syndromes and Psychosis

    This screening test consists of 17 questions about experiences that you may have in your daily life. For the most accurate results, you must be entirely honest in your response to all 17 questions in this test.

    1. I have trouble speaking the words I want to say, or I am able to speak but other people have told me that what I say is incoherent.

    2. I see or hear things that other people cannot see or hear.

    4. I sometimes have trouble distinguishing whether something I experience or perceive may be real or may only be part of my imagination or my dreams.

    8. I believe that someone may be planning to cause me harm, or may be about to cause me harm in the near future.

    9. I believe I have special or supernatural gifts beyond my natural talents.

    10. I sometimes feel completely unresponsive emotionally, as if I don’t feel anything.

    13. I think I may be able to predict what will happen in the future.

  5. Everything this guy said was all hogwash, plain and simple. Where is all the science in psychiatry that he refers to? He essentially got up and stated that the Emperor does too have a beautiful new suit of clothes and we need to stop screaming that he’s naked! “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! I am the great and powerful Oz!”

  6. It’s their same-old tactic that allows community program leaders everywhere to diagnose people who express that there’s problems as disordered. If you don’t treat leaders like they’re doing what’s right, you must be the problem. The DSM encapsulates that prejudice among community leaders who claim the power to quickly determine who’s the source of disharmony, rather than acknowledging it’s often harmful situations, rather than those who honestly express unhappiness so the harm can be understood and solved.

    I may have criticized Lieberman’s statement fairly roundly on MIA’s facebook page. But he is right in that their best chance now is to embrace the change that has already been spawned by technological innovations outside the standard psychiatric approach. I guess it’s like — if you can’t beat ‘em (or ignore ‘em), join ‘em (and claim ‘em as your own)!

  7. It would be prejudging, or assessing too hastily, to presume to understand the whole life experiences of these psychiatrists who haven’t pursued healthier treatments sooner. Why haven’t they done more to best protect their patients, rather than their career positions in the APA? But it’s not prejudiced to notice that psychiatry should best serve patients. That’s been the self-evident goal of medicine, traditionally, just about as far back as one can go. It’s not a sudden, hasty assessment or judgment to say medicine should best benefit health.

    Whitaker also gathered lots of information — much more than such psychiatrists generally give their patients or the public. People read it, and lots of other information, before coming to the assessment that psychiatry can do better. That’s not a prejudgment made before gathering all those facts. If a false accusation of prejudice isn’t criminal, at least his mind may need to become more ordered so he can appraise the caring work of his critics more respectfully… and truthfully.

  8. “The patients we serve?” ?

    The term ‘Serve’ is used when a stallion is rented out to stud.

    Psychiatry’s time will come when Psychiatry starts doing time.

    http://psychroaches.blogspot.com/search?q=18C95

    “the harm they assert has been done in its name”

    There’s nothing to be asserted. It’s already codified.

    http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C13.txt

    Sec 241 & 242

    http://psychroaches.blogspot.com/search/label/California%20Diversion%20Programs

    (there’s 7 of them)

    “Amendment 14, US Constitution 1868
    Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    5th Amendment 1791

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.[1]”