Leonard Roy Frank:
Activist and Pioneer

Kermit Cole

Leonard Roy Frank, early pioneer of the Psychiatric Survivor movement, discusses his lived experience, including forced insulin shock treatment, ECT, and the relationship between non-conformity and psychiatric diagnosis.

Since 1959 Mr. Frank has resided in San Francisco, where he managed an art gallery that played host to early meetings for the Psychiatric Survivor movement. Starting in 1972 he was staff at Madness Network News, and in 1973 Frank and Wade Hudson founded Network Against Psychiatric Assault (NAPA), a patients’ and survivors’ advocacy group. Peter Lehmann called Leonard Roy Frank ‘one of the most important people who helped to develop the theory and practice of humanistic antipsychiatry.’

Join Mr. Frank and other featured speakers at the upcoming Occupy Psychiatry protest of the American Psychiatric Association’s 2013 annual conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on Sunday, May 19th. The Open Paradigm Project will be live streaming the protest on MadinAmerica.com – stay tuned for upcoming details.

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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]

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  1. Dear Leonard, this is a perfect interview. As always, you are so articulate about the political reasons for so many of us having been (and currently are) locked away. I am so proud to know you and to be a fellow comrade and insulin/ECT survivor. I hope so much to see you when I will be out in San Francisco in November.
    Love, Dorothy