Monday, March 20, 2023


Essays by a diverse group of writers, in the United States and abroad, engaged in rethinking psychiatry. (The directory of personal stories can be found here, and initiatives here).

A photograph of an archery target with three arrows in it. None have hit the bullseye.

From the Health Minister Down, Nobody Is Seriously Interested in the Quality Control of...

The ultimate metric is whether psychological treatment makes a real-world difference to client’s lives. But the data cannot answer this key question.
A kaleidoscopic photograph depicting a busy street, reflected multiple times

The Problem of High Functioning Anxiety

We have accepted that the busier we keep ourselves, the happier we can expect our lives to be. "Acceptable behavior" is defined by increased productivity across all aspects of life.
open dialogue

Re-humanising Mental Health Systems: A Discussion with Jaakko Seikkula on the Open Dialogue Approach

Clinical psychologist, researcher, and professor Jaakko Seikkula, along with Markku Sutela, created the Open Dialogue approach to acute crises in Finland.
A photograph of a bust of Cicero

A New-Old Way of Coping with Grief

"How to Grieve" is a Renaissance recreation of a lost text from ancient Rome by Cicero, and it’s meant for a wide audience. It's packed with talk-therapy strategies for coping with grief.
Perplexed, confused scientists looking at lab results. White background.

The Spravato Controversy: A Row Over the Drug’s Efficacy Compels a Reassessment of...

The UK's drug regulator rejected Janssen's esketamine nasal spray. Why did the US FDA approve it?
An illustration depicting a man opening a door in his chest, light spilling out

The Answers Are in Our Weak Spots

When looking at your own weak spots as a therapist, it would be a safe bet to first consider how you can improve your skills in developing a stronger alliance.
A woman in a suit with a skirt holds a lantern while standing on a desert landscape below a night sky full of stars

Grief, Intense Feelings, and Pathologization: Can We Conceive a Different Approach?

We still try to shove every kind of emotion into a neatly organized box, give it a label, maybe even an accompanying medicine to make it neat and predictable.

Mental Health & Our Schools, Part 2

Schools are rolling out programs and services intended to safeguard students’ emotional well-being. They are full of potential—and pitfalls.
Seated among others at a town hall meeting, an older adult white woman raises her hand

20 Concrete Steps to Achieving System Change

I offer the following 20 suggestions for advocates who want to get something done and not just vent their quite justifiable criticisms of the mental health system.
Black and white illustration of a flying origami bird with a giant realistic bird for a shadow

An Illness, or Risky Experimentation?

Questioning is what I did, but once I started questioning so much of what I had learned and of what my identity had been, it wasn’t obvious to me where I should stop.
Illustration of a naked person's back with a blue butterfly perched on their shoulder

A Return to Dignity from Psychiatric and Childhood Abuse

Homebirth was a reflection of how the mental health system should work: Informed person-centered care while respecting your agency.
Illustration depicting a keyhole in a person's shirt/chest. They are holding an old-fashioned skeleton key near it.

Why We Urgently Need New Approaches to Mental Health

Emotions function like a guidepost to what we need. But if we are not aware this, we cannot understand what they are trying to convey.
teen boy playing video game intensely

What Video Games Can Teach Us About Effective Parenting

There is a secret to the programming of these games that seems to stir children to a level of greatness. Fortunately, that magic is completely transposable to our interactions with them.
Photo of a man in a white button-down and tie, sitting at a desk in an office, with one hand on a computer keyboard and the other holding a red toy airplane

Meaningless Distractibility, or Meaningful Mind-Wandering?

What do we lose when we view boredom and curiosity as "symptoms" of ADHD? It can rob us of intuitions that crucial life changes desperately need to be made.
Vector drawing of pills and a box labeled "Placebo"

The Psychiatrist’s Dilemma: In Defense of Placebo Psychiatry

Telling stories they know are or may be untrue has become standard practice in psychiatry. It is a small step to set aside the need to provide truly informed consent.
Photo of a padlock chaining a set of document binders

“Beware, Scientology Related”: How ADHD Experts Silence Criticism

We do not belong to the scientology movement, but this false accusation triggered an email correspondence that exposed the problematic happenings usually behind closed academic curtains.

#RestoreTheirRights: An Update on Guardianship Action

It’s time to change the conversation around guardianship. The question is not “When do we remove someone’s rights?” but “How can we best support them?”
Man with glasses and scarf looks at a small red pill. Behind him is a pattern of money symbols.

The Culture Is the Poison: Why Psychedelics Are Dangerous Medicine in a Neoliberal Society

Extraction of psychedelics from the ritual process has dissociated them from community, connectedness, and responsibility, which used to define psychedelic drug use.
A teenage girl writing

A Developmental Response to Trauma and Trauma Language

Understanding life events (and/or our responses to them) as trauma has transformed how we suffer and how we relate to pain.

Call for Teen Art in All Media!

MIA's Family Resources and Arts sections are co-sponsoring an online teen multimedia art exhibition with the theme “Beyond Labels and Meds: What It Feels Like to Be Me.”
DNA particles and diffused glowing lines, 3d rendering

Major Depression: The “Chemical Imbalance” Pillar Is Crumbling—Is the Genetics Pillar Next?

A more detailed critical evaluation of molecular genetic studies, which have failed to discover genes shown to cause depression.
A hand chained in a chain holds pills

Behavior Therapy Helped My Patients Through Antidepressant Withdrawal

In behavior therapy, enduring psychological discomfort is an essential aspect of therapy leading to recovery. This may have implications for withdrawal experiences.
A black man stands with fingers in his ears as if pretending not to hear

The Phobic Avoidance of Attending to Real World Mental Health Outcomes

The avoidance of real-world outcome measures in research seems almost phobic. Yet this type of outcome should be considered the most important.
Stock photo of unhappy little girl; adult woman is trying to make her do worksheets

A Therapist Tried to Explain CBT When I Was 11 Years Old, Ineffectively

As a therapist, I feel that CBT is offered best on a voluntary basis. The therapist must move away from CBT-like interventions when it is not helpful.

The Mad in the World Network: A Global Voice for Change

Mad in Ireland is the newest Mad in America affiliate. The network of affiliate sites is becoming a global voice for change.