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Pat Bracken, MD

Pat is Clinical Director of the Mental Health Service in West Cork, Ireland, and a founder of the UK Critical Psychiatry Network. He tries to bring philosophical insights to bear on some of the problems faced in the area of mental health. He is author of Trauma: Culture, Meaning and Philosophy and...

“Psychiatric Power: A Personal View” by Pat Bracken

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Psychiatrist Pat Bracken, “a friend of Mad Pride Ireland,” writes about the current state of psychiatry in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine. As a review of the 2001 Irish Mental Health Act approaches, Dr. Bracken states that “the decision-making powers that are...

Pat Bracken on the Crisis in Psychiatry at the Forum for Existential Psychology and...

Psychiatrist Pat Bracken speaks on the current “crisis of legitimacy in psychiatry,” and the growth of the international “service user” movement at the Forum for Existential Psychology and Therapy this past June. The root cause of the crisis is not attributable to...

I Am Also Mad

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...try’s need to develop a new paradigm. This talk was based upon the article, “Psychiatry Beyond the Current Paradigm” written by Dr. Bracken and colleagues and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Bracken is critical of the field’s focus on what he calls a...

Psychiatry Beyond the Current Paradigm, and DSM-5

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...ut every now and again the inconvenient truths of real world human suffering and its vagaries break through. Allen Frances and many of the authors of Bracken et al are experienced practitioners and investigators who know this well. It is always good when truth pierces the gloom of prejudice and...

Book Review: Psychiatry in Context: Experience, Meaning & Communities, by Phil Thomas

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...h services that, if implemented, could truly be approached with hope and reassurance rather than uncertainty, stigma, and fear. * * * * * References: Bracken, P. & Thomas, P. (2005). Postpsychiatry: Mental health in a postmodern world. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bracken, P., Timimi, S.,...

Western Psychiatry in Crisis: UK Psychiatry Re-Positions Itself

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...depicted in the film. Perhaps Burns has undergone a dramatic conversion recently, in line with the call for change issued by critical psychiatrists (Bracken et al., 2012). If so, a public apology to John Baptist is merited in view of the apparent injustice done to him in 1995. In his radio...

Towards a Hermeneutic Shift in Psychiatry

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...oot cause lies deep in the dominant paradigm; a “modernist” agenda to frame all human problems in scientific and technological terms. Dr. Bracken supports a post-modernist view; an understanding of the limitations and dangers of such an approach, and accepting that some human problems...

Vatican to Hear Debate About Psychotropic Meds for Children

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...laimed Harvard psychologist Irving Kirsch (The Emperor’s New Drugs), and renowned psychiatrists Sami Timimi, Giovanni Fava, Joanna Moncrieff, and Pat Bracken will examine and debate the controversy about the safety and effectiveness of psychotropics and other treatments, and conclude that based on...

Something Rotten in the State of British Psychiatry?

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...ct of interest (none declared in his recent article) here? It’s very difficult to see him acting in this capacity by offering the authorship of Bracken et al (2012) the right of response through an editorial in the journal, but it would be gratifying to be proved wrong on this. Oh, and...

What is Critical Psychiatry?

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...harmaceutical industry’s agenda and further weakening local support systems. Support for this view comes from a paper that Pat Bracken & I wrote (Bracken & Thomas, 2001), which argues that scientific accounts of distress exemplified by the DSM are rooted in the view that human suffering...

Critical Psychiatry as Narrative

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...case of anything goes, but a way of foregrounding what Pat Bracken and I have referred to as ‘ethics before evidence’ in Postpsychiatry (Bracken & Thomas, 2001) This cultural aspect is important. The experiences of the great majority of people identified as suffering from ‘madness’...

“Talking Back to Madness”

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...can help by covering such treatments, even though they are more expensive in the long run than drugs, say Arenella and others. They are worth trying, Bracken says. “I have a lot of patients whom I would say recovered from psychosis. I see people who move on with their lives, get their quality...

From Psychiatry and Psychotherapy’s Grand Delusion Toward Constructions of a Post-Therapeutic State

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...011). How Language Shapes Thought. The languages we speak affect our perceptions of the world. http://psych.stanford.edu/~lera/papers/sci-am-2011.pdf Bracken, P. & Van Nuys, D. (2010). An Interview with Pat Bracken, MD, Ph.D. on Post-Modern Psychiatry and the Social Context of Trauma....

Pinball Wizards and the Doomed Project of Psychiatric Diagnosis

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...scartes in the seventeenth century. Why he found it necessary to make this distinction isn’t relevant here (if you want, you can find more details in Bracken and Thomas, 2005), but Descartes located his solution to the problem of brain-mind interaction in the pineal gland. He believed this was the...

Madness in Civilisation: A Cultural History of Insanity

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...ucault’s work, especially the view of the ambiguous and polar nature of power in shaping our subjectivities that emerged in his later work. Pat Bracken and I16 drew less inspiration from Museums of Madness and Madness and Civilization, (a book I struggled with until I read Jonathan Murphy and...

INTAR India 2016: Reflections

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...ble policy levels. Mad in America has educated and advocated against the harm and injury caused by psychiatry over the years. A recent article by Pat Bracken, Philip Thomas and other psychiatrists in the British Journal of Psychiatry bespeaks of the great churning within psychiatry2. The number of...

“Western Psychiatry Could Possibly Do More Harm Than Good”

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The Irish Times interviews psychiatrist Pat Bracken, calling him one of those who “push the boundaries of their profession to embrace change.” In the article Bracken speaks of his time working with victims of torture in Uganda: “I became aware that these rural communities in...

101 Uses for a Dead Journal

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...a greying of the landscape. The British Journal of Psychiatry has become exceedingly grey – although its current edition has an opinion piece by Pat Bracken and colleagues. Twenty-five years ago friends from North America thought Britain was in decline. They remarked how the country couldn’t even...

“The Doctor/Patient Relationship Comes First, Last, and Always”

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...from Philippe Pinel in the early 19th century, through his own recent conversation with Eleanor Longden. He notes the help Longden received from Pat Bracken, a founder of the Critical Psychiatry Network, and invites Bracken’s comment, “The mind is not simply another organ of the body....

Boycott The DSM-5: Anachronistic Before Its Time

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...ish Journal of Psychiatry and co-authored by twenty-nine mental health practitioners in the U.K’s National Health Service. The lead author is Dr. Pat Bracken, a psychiatrist working in County Cork, Ireland. The authors begin by acknowledging that they are responding to a series of editorials in The...

Regarding Representative Tim Murphy’s Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act

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...s for which they would like help, when this distress is framed within the context of stressful and traumatic life circumstances (e.g., Bassman, 2001; Bracken et al., 2012; Cohen, 2005; Dillon, 2012). HIPPA and FERPA Caregivers Citing families’ concerns that health care providers deny them access to...

Appealing to our Elected Representatives

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...Contemporary use and practice of electroconvulsive therapy worldwide. Brain and Behavior, 2, 283-345. READ, J. BENTALL, R., JOHNSTONE, L., FOSSE, R., BRACKEN, P. (2013). Electroconvulsive therapy. In J Read, J Dillon (eds.) Models of madness: Psychological, social and biological approaches to...

“Psychiatry Beyond the Current Paradigm”

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An article by Pat Bracken, Philip Thomas, Sami Timimi and others (including Duncan Double, Hugh Middleton, and Joanna Moncrieff), published in this month’s British Journal of Psychiatry, argues that “psychiatry needs to move beyond the dominance of the current, technological paradigm....

Doing Their Best

...But on the title page you had written When spring wakens the hearts Of the young children to sing, what song shall be theirs?   Reproduced from Bracken and Thomas, Postpsychiatry, pp. 23-6 © 2005, Oxford University Press, with permission. I am also grateful to Orion for their permission to...

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