Friday, February 28, 2020

To Live and (Almost) Die in L.A.: A Survivor’s Tale

After 25 years of chronic emergency, 22 mental hospitalizations, a stint at a “community mental health center,” 13 years in a "board & care," repeated withdrawals from addictions to legal drugs, and a 12-year marriage, I plan to live every last breath out as a survivor, an advocate, and an artist.

Opening Doors in the Borderlands: An Interview with Liberation Psychologist Mary Watkins

MIA’s Micah Ingle interviews Mary Watkins about reorienting psychology toward liberation and social justice.

Case Study of Liberation Approach to International Mental Health Care

Study in Brazil demonstrates how the exploration of contextual determinants of distress in mental health care can inform therapeutic change.

Building an Intersectional Psychology of Economic Class

Innovative research methods and interventions could address socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement.

School Discipline is Racially Biased and Increases Misbehavior

School discipline that punishes minor misbehavior may increase adolescents’ misconduct and lead to racial inequalities in school discipline.

How to Change Psychology to Address Racial Health Disparities

Psychology can only deal with racial health disparities effectively by incorporating critical race theory and intervening at a structural level.

The Effects of Practicing Psychotherapy on Therapists’ Personal Lives

A new study, published in Psychotherapy Research, explores how having a career in psychotherapy affects therapists’ personal lives.

Hearing Voices Network Launches Family & Friends Support Group

One of the HVN's fundamental principles is that "the person having these experiences is in the best position to decide or discover what they mean" and thus each person must "not try to speak for" another. The challenge for a family group will likely be for members to move past speaking about our loved ones to find or imagine the space where we ourselves are liberated.

Climate Change, Mental Health and Collective Action: An Interview with Jennifer Freeman

In an interview with MIA's Akansha Vaswani, narrative therapist Jennifer Freeman calls for a shift away from individualistic approaches to 'eco-anxiety' and toward responses that connect us all to a counter-tsunami of action for the planet.
Berlin Manifesto launch

Berlin Manifesto for Humane Psychiatry Released

Changing the mental health and psychosocial support system in Germany requires public debate about the ways our society should help and support people in mental crisis and with chronic mental health problems. We believe the driving force behind all help and support should be humanitarianism and respect for inalienable human rights.

Victim Blaming: Childhood Trauma, Mental Illness & Diagnostic Distractions?

Why, despite the fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with a mental illness have suffered from some form of childhood trauma, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why, despite the enormous amount of research about the impact of trauma on the brain and subsequent effect on behaviour, does there seem to be such an extraordinary refusal for the implication of this research to change attitudes towards those who are mentally ill? Why, when our program and others like it have shown people can heal from the effects of trauma, are so many people left with the self-blame and the feeling they will never get better that my colleague writes about below?

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

In a new report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius Pūras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”

New Book Deconstructs Ideology of Cognitive Therapy

CBT forwards a hyper-rational perspective of human suffering that complements a managerialist culture of efficiency and institutionalization in the Western world.

Study Finds Heavy Metal Music Beneficial to Mental Health

A new study highlights the role heavy metal music plays in the mental health of adolescents facing adversity.
suicide silhouette

Deadly Serious: Talking Openly About Suicide

The suicide crisis is real. The pain is real. The deaths are real. None of us can afford to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this isn't happening. But the helplessness and confusion about what to do about it are also real. And that's why peer relationships and peer-developed modalities can be so helpful. Many of us have been there and are still alive to talk about it. We know what ways of relating gave us hope and helped us to continue on.

Study Finds Hearing Voices Groups Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing

Hearing Voices Network self-help groups are an important resource for coping with voice hearing, study finds.

New Study Examines User Experience of Discontinuing Psychiatric Medications

Researchers find that support and self-care were helpful for users during discontinuation, but that mental health professionals were not very helpful.

Where Critical Psychiatry Meets Community Resilience

The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry had the clout to draw a stellar line-up of presenters to its recent conference, including internationally prominent critics like David Healy, Peter Gøtzsche, Robert Whitaker and Allen Frances. There were lots of learnings and even some tense discussions, but one of the most intriguing aspects of the entire conference was the way in which scientific and social issues became deeply intertwined, especially when presenters reached for better pathways forward.

Study Finds Improved Functioning for ‘Schizophrenia’ Without Antipsychotics

Long-term treatment with antipsychotic drugs is currently considered the standard treatment for patients diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia.’ A new study challenges this practice, however. The...

New Findings Suggest Masculinity is a Risk Factor for Suicidal Thinking

Men who report being self-reliant may be at greater risk of suicidal thinking.
fire celebration

Human Connection is the Antidote to a Culture of Isolation

We need to burn through some darkness before we collectively see the light. The light is a palpable shift toward reaching for human connection; toward opening our hearts and our minds and intentionally focusing on the positive future that wants to emerge.

Social Support Improves Antipsychotic Discontinuation, Study Finds

A new study explores how people manage to discontinue antipsychotic medication and examines how social supports may improve outcomes.

Psychologist Debunks Common Misconceptions of Maslow’s Hierarchy

Utilizing Maslow’s published books and essays, psychologist William Compton delineates common myths and attempts to respond to them.

Traditional Healing and Psychosis vs. the Promises of Modern Science

As noted in Anatomy of an Epidemic, the prognosis for someone experiencing psychosis is far better in developing countries than in industrialized countries. Robert Whitaker and others posit that this is due to the treatment models used in the developing world, as well as to debility and chronicity caused by psychiatric drugs themselves. I think it's also important to explore traditional tribal and village based models of helping people experiencing psychosis and examine why they may be effective. Do these traditional societies know something we don't?

Study Shows Success With Reduced Antipsychotic Use

People who reduced antipsychotic use by tapering were doing just as well after five years as those who continued using the drugs.

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