Common Ground Between Psychiatry and the Hearing Voices Movement?

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Allen Frances, in what he calls “one of my most important blogs”, attempts to “find common ground between psychiatry and the Hearing Voices Movement.”  The blog arose from a dialogue between Frances and Eleanor Longden that began after her TED Talk. Longden adds “As Allen says, there is considerable overlap in our perspectives, and Intervoice respects and supports his work in highlighting the dangers of over-diagnosis and over-medication.”

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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]

5 COMMENTS

  1. This is just as posturing as the phone call between Obama and Iran’s new president.

    I am not sure that many in the Hearing Voices Movement would agree with Allen Frances’ belief in coercive psychiatry.

    After all, as Eleanor explains, the HVM is all about choice while “coercion” is by definition about imposition. I see very little room for compromise there.

    And while I am at it, coercion is the root of evils in psychiatry. Most survivors of psychiatric abuse couldn’t care less about the ruminations of the psychiatric profession, which is what the DSM reflects, if their lives had not been ruined by the imposition of those ruminations.

  2. You’re right that coercion is the big difference and this is really the unassailable issue.

    This quote form Allen does worry me:
    “We both believe that psychiatry done poorly follows a narrow biomedical reductionism, while psychiatry done well benefits from an inclusive and humanitarian model that integrates biological, psychological, and social factors.”
    I worry that psychiatry tries to absorb it’s opposition but still maintain control. Always psychiatry has room for a model that is inclusive, as long as that model is one that includes the biological. If only taking the pills was a free and informed choice between consenting parties, but it is not.

    • Dr. Frances’ statement is a total farce and he bares major responsibility for helping to betray and sell out the entire mental health profession to Big Pharma with his own corruption with the Texas Algorithm agenda to serve as a sales rep for Johnson & Johnson with the pretense of medical guidelines for toxic neuroleptics. I posted several articles and the shocking report about these criminal actions in the Aljazeera interview between Allen Frances and Robert Whitaker. This guy has no shame, but tons of gall and audacity for sure after paving the way for Biederman’s criminal action with J&J’s toxic neuroleptic drugs with his DSM IV bipolar epidemic for adults that Biederman inflicted on children with similar actions with J&J marketing in the guise of medical guidelines. They all made tons of money and got lots of prestige, which says all one needs to know about the state of psychiatry and medicine in general. As Dr. Nardo of 1boringoldman says, those like Frances never got “full credit” for the shameless criminal activities perpetrated by J&J with Frances and his other KOL cohorts with the Texas Algorithm sham.

      I think Frances is damning the Hearing Voices movement with faint praise as he pushes his typical toxic, life destroying agenda from which even Dr. Insel, Head Of NIMH, has had to back away given all the fraud committed surrounding the DSM and toxic neuroleptics for which Frances paved the way and served as its chief perpetrator. Therefore, Frances has no credibility whatever in continuing to push this lethal agenda from which he made a literal killing by helping to destroy countless lives with the bipolar, ADHD fad frauds as exposed by Dr. Paula Caplan’s books, articles and web sites and many others.

      His pretend mea culpa regarding the so called excesses of DSM V was more about his and Spitzer’s narcissism and big egos than any concern for his many victims whatsoever. Dr. Caplan also exposes this pathetic sham in They Say You’re Crazy and recent exposures of Frances and DSM/drug horrors he oversaw.

  3. You’re right that coercion is the big difference and this is really the unassailable issue.

    This quote form Allen does worry me:
    “We both believe that psychiatry done poorly follows a narrow biomedical reductionism, while psychiatry done well benefits from an inclusive and humanitarian model that integrates biological, psychological, and social factors.”
    I worry that psychiatry tries to absorb its opposition but still maintain control. Always psychiatry has room for a model that is inclusive, as long as that model is one that includes the biological. If only taking the pills was a free and informed choice between consenting parties, but it is not.

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