How can we support a loved one experiencing extreme states? How can we engage with them, be present for them, even learn from them?
Such compelling and important questions will be addressed in Mad in America’s new online event, a special panel discussion on “Supporting Extreme States, Psychosis & Dissociation.” It’s several weeks away, but I wanted to get the word out and ask you to save the date: Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern. You can register for it here.
The significance of this event can’t be minimized, as it goes against our prevailing cultural attitudes toward—and psychiatric diagnosis and treatment of—those who hear voices or otherwise navigate unusual states. The aim of the discussion is to bring awareness to an alternate, radically compassionate approach, one that offers engagement and validation instead of judgment and dismissal.
To that end, the panel will showcase a range of perspectives. Scheduled to participate are Cindy Marty Hadge, a trainer in the Hearing Voices Network approach who has her own lived experience with voices and other states; Sam Ruck (his pen name), who has helped his wife navigate her dissociation and has written about their journey together on Mad in America; and MIA board member Olga Runciman, a psychologist who specializes in extreme states and has also personally experienced them. Scheduled to host are board members and therapists Louisa Putnam and Kermit Cole, who also moderate MIA’s US/Canada online parent support group.
The event will also offer resources and include an open audience Q&A (I’ll be behind the scenes, monitoring the chat box).
So as I said: Save the date! Thumb it into your phone and scribble it down in your paper calendar, if you have one. This will be a fascinating and informative conversation, and a critical one in the ongoing quest to challenge the prevailing disease-focused model of mental health. You won’t want to miss it.
—Amy Biancolli, Family Editor
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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
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