Saturday, December 3, 2022

Comments by GeneCombs

Showing 7 of 7 comments.

  • There’s so much overlap in what Dr. Layton is saying and what those of us who practice Narrative Therapy in the White/Epston tradition believe, yet she seems totally oblivious to the existence of this vibrant body of theory and practice. When she says, “I think outside of the psychodynamic, psychoanalytic world, it’s not received at all.” she reveals the hermetic nature of that world. When she says, “Neoliberalism also creates a two-tier mental health system. Short-term work in clinics for people who can’t afford it, and maybe psychodynamic, four or 5-day a week analytic work for people who can.” she seems to be caught up in some of the elitism that we narrative folk find distasteful in our perception of the psychoanalytic community. This is an ongoing frustration for me. I don’t want to be, even in these coments, fomenting further “othering” and divisiveness among people who are working toward a more just and egalitarian world. Yet it stings when people in places of power (like Harvard) ignore work that shares many of the same intentions, and aims to be less elitist and more affordable. Anyone who reads this and wants to know more about neoliberalism from a narrative therapy point of view might want to check out this article:

  • Neoliberalism is directly involved in the contamination and degradation of psychiatry. Neoliberal values in the University system have put publish or perish on steroids, and the competitiveness and individualism there has turned nearly all science into scientism. To survive, each individual professor needs to generate money and publish lots of articles. Quantity, of product and of money, is all that counts. Quality be damned. The capture of psychiatry by Big Pharma is directly the result of unbridled lust for profit above all else, and the way Big Pharma and the academy have become fused leaves little breathing room for collaboration, compassion, and caring. And DSM, with its quantifying and individualizing, and the insurance industry—-talk about “intersectionality”, this is toxic intersectionality.
    And we can resist it. We can call it out. We can support each other in not cooperating with it.

  • I’m loving this serialization. Dr. Timimi writes so clearly, with such wide-ranging knowledge, and so bravely about issues that I, a 74-year-old psychiatrist and family therapist, have cared deeply about through my whole career.

    Readers here might be interested in my recent publication with Jill Freedman) on neoliberalism and narrative therapy:

  • As a psychiatrist for the last 45 years—one who has considered himself a subversive agent when he was employed within the system—I can testify that most psychiatrists are so caught up in the trance that they actually believe it. To survive medical school, internship and residency you almost have to become a fact memorizing, authority-trusting, algorithm-following robot. You are then, unless you are incredibly willful, and surrounded by supportive others, you are hired by a huge corporation to be essentially an assembly line worker; moving product through the system. Long hours, perpetually on call; any time for reflection is stolen time. Neoliberalism and the DSM project hit just as I finished my training in the mid-seventies. It’s been going to Hell ever since.

  • Thank you MIA, and thank you Sami Timimi, for saying so clearly and boldly the things I, as a human being trying to be useful to others after being credentialed as a psychiatrist, have been foaming at the mouth about for the last 40 years. I look forward to reading your forthcoming chapters.
    This looks like it just might be the book I have been wishing I had the disciplined scholarship and artistic flair to write. Now someone is doing it. I can’t say that anything about this fraught territory makes me happy, but I’m grateful for the help in spreading the word and focusing my rage.

  • As a psychiatrist who has been railing against the wrongheadedness of American Psychiatry for the 45 years that I have been practicing, I am soooooooo excited, thrilled, impressed by the scholarship this interview documents.

    I have ordered the book. (From my local bookseller.)

    I have contacted my favorite American Studies scholar and hyped the book to her.

    This sheds so much new, different, and much-needed light on issues that have vexed me, and tortured the people I have tried to serve, throughout my career.

    Huge thanks and congratulations to Mab Segrest, to Leah for such an excellent interview, (a precis of the book, it seems), and to MIA for making work such as this possible and spreading the news.