Showing 100 of 531 comments.
You are very welcome, Eric.
yes, indeed, it is both human rights deprivation and pseudoscience that we need to fight–both together
In the 80s, I was chair of a group in Canada called Resistance Against Psychiatry. Don Weitz was in the group also. Among other things, we declared allegiance with all prisoners and on Prisoner Justice Day, we demonstrated at both psychiatric prisons and “regular prisons”. Ontario Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault also took this stand. One difficulty we ran into, however, was prejudice from both constituencies against the other. Some psychiatric inmates were uneasy about being identified with “regular” prisoners, for they were worried that these were “bad people” and association with them would hurt the reputations of psychiatric survivors. Correspondingly, some prisoners in the justice system were worried about what would happen to their reputation being allied with people they saw as “crazy”. Herein, as I see it, is part of the struggle and the education that we need to do. That said, I do think it is time to again seek unity between the two movements– prison abolition and psychiatry abolition, the human rights re prisons and the human rights for re psych institutions (which when you come down to it, are prisons themselves)
well,put, Steve. Yes, as Szasz put long ago, we are dealing with a religion, and an enormously harmful one for it assumes the guise of science
There is a presumptuousness in therapy that is for sure highly problematic.And many have been hurt by people who call themselves therapists–just as you say, not just you but all sorts of others. That said, Julie, how do you account for the radical therapists who operate enormously differently than what you suggest? What is important to take in is that while psychiatry is baseless in the first place, and while individual school of therapy may have questionable claims, therapy over all is making no claims beyond the significance of engagement with another and self-reflection.
As for the bit about money, what this leave out are the four or five decades of feminist therapists who, beyond the fact that they located problems in the social, not the individual, consistently used a sliding scale, in many cases agreeing to see people for just over minimum wage
That said, I surely do get why people who have been harmed by presumptuous, unaware, and self-entitled therapists–and indeed, that is very common indeed, and across the whole spectrum of therapy –think of therapy as a scam.
pretty damned close!
That said, your asking about this, Oldhead, has gotten me thinking. When people put “social” and “therapy” together, they are usually in some way designating a mode of “therapy” which includes the social, thereby leading us to believe that it is more astute, less psychologistic. It might be worth looking at the the various phenomena thusly named more closely , however, to try to ascertain whether or not going in the direction tends to open the door to greater intrusion.
sorry about what happened to you.
No connection. It is a commonly used expression
Yes, thanks, Oldhead.
I am reminded hear, Steve, that the oldest active psych survivor in CAPA (Don Weitz) has written to me saying that he was to put on the agenda of the September meeting of CAPA holding a demonstration against the of solitary in both the psych system and the prison system
Julie, a box does not come up when I go to answer your last question (its a complication of their web system). That said, to answer your question, no, making imprisonment fake medicine cannot be traced to any one person. Nor does this description itself exactly square with the history. Moving a certain segment of the prison population from prisons to hospital was the work of many centuries, with eventually the mad doctors (originally called “alienists” ) in charge. A reminder in this respect that in the western scene, doctors were since the middle ages were one the groups in competition over what might be called “the madness turf”.
thanks, Steve. That said, it is the courage of the 31 men who brought a law suit who deserve the credit for this victory. Yes, I absolutely agree with you this verdict can surely be used to support the challenge to solitary confinement in prison–and I look forward to that happening. So yes, I am cheering also.
Re the archived photos, yes, the public has access but the authorities made their selection carefully so as to make it look like very different, in fact good and caring work was happening with the men additionslly duly empowered.. Try this link to get an idea what I mean: https://historyexhibit.waypointcentre.ca/exhibits/show/treatment/or-program
Yes, of course we do. That is part of what I argue for. That said, it is important to take in that people seen as mad were locked up centuries before the medical folk take over. The oppression of locking up, in other words, greatly precedes psychiatry. What they added was “treating” and making it all look medical
Your thoughts are interesting, but I cannot really respond as for the most part, I do not see any special relevance to what I am writing. Nor do I in any way believe that “gestalt” can undo psychiatry. I am far more a materialist than that. That said, good luck with your work.
thanks, Slaying_ the _Dragon_of_Psychiatry. Let me just suggest here that the fact that all these area are problem and while indeed, law intrinsically underpins psychiatry, does not mean that these other systems cannot be also leveraged to get at psychiatry–something that we need to do a whole lot better at.
That said, The _cat, for sure the taxpayer for sure will foot the bill for the defendant “the government of Ontario,” but I doubt that they us taxpayer will foot any part of the bill for either of the two psychiatrists.
I understand your sentiment. Rather than comment on it, let me just say, that wasn’t the nature of the suit they lodged. The survivors who launched the suit did not launch a criminal suit. They launched a civil suit.
As for punishing the tax payers, legally speaking, tax payers are not held responsible for the actions of officials, though governments are–hence one of the defendants in this suit was the government of Ontario, which likewise was found guilty.
absolutely, Frank. What makes this ruling special, though, is the wording that goes with it, opening the door to “standard practice” to be considered torture, and as such, “actionable”.
Absolutely, Julie, we must report. At the same time, reporting what is not known about is just the tip of the iceberg–these practices were not just known about, the were world famous and lauded, just like ECT today is world famous and lauded! We now have a verdict we can use. Part of the attrition model of psychiatry abolition to focus on what will erode the system and surely successful law suits against “standard practice” are optimal. I think we have just be handed a weapon. We should be suing the asses off professional who engage in standard practice that court might judge to be torture–and have been given the go-ahead to do so. Please note here the justice explicitly ruled that torture is torture irrespective of whether or not it is accepted “mental health practices”
For whatever the reasons (and I am well aware that some of those reasons may be racist) thank God that children of POC are as it were, winning out of by being spared what euphemistically goes by the name of “standard care”.
It is good that you are vocally against the use of ECT. So congratulations on that. And yes not giving it is important but not remotely enough. I think that the problem is far more extensive them not having other tools. What my research reveals about the average psychiatrist is that they actually don’t use ECT themselves, have some sense of the harm it causes, but unlike you, do not have the honesty to actually critique ECT. Indeed, about 6 months ago, a Toronto psychiatrist was consulted by one of his patients about ECT because here niece had decided to have ECT herself and the “treatment” was scheduled to begin in one day’s time. The psychiatrist in a panic called me up and asked if I could speak with the family–because she had asked him his opinion on ECT–and he didn’t dare give it. While it is good that he reached out, imagine not answering your patient because you are worried about being penalized by the profession for doing to. If you will excuse my saying so, speaking of gutlessness! This guy was past retirement age and at this point had little to lose–and nonetheless, he ducked the question. Yes I know that there is a price to pay for going against the profession by saying ECT is harmful, but if every psychiatrist who knows that it is highly problematic and arguably unacceptable would only admit to what they know, we might have gotten rid of this appalling “treatment” decades ago! As for interns, as Breggin and I have been both wrote, moreover, they are made to get their hands dirty early on by being forced to give ECT, thereby rendering them complicit.
Ah, the problem is that most of the organizations that think of themselves as vanguard are not remotely vanguard, but indeed remain attached to the system and as such perpetuate the system.
Whenever we pull back from the conclusions that our own analysis shows is warranted,we in the long run endanger everything for which we are fighting, whatever great strides we appear to be making along the way. .
You have to know the context in which that person thinks what they think. When you understand the context, you understand what they are up against, what they mean by what they say. Calling something either a brain disorder (which it is not) or a mental illness (which is nonsensical) eliminates the context that will help you understand what what the person is dealing with and instead substitutes an arbitrary label that you apply which is mistakenly called treated as causal.
That’s correct, but they’ve managed it now for over 100 years and have had a huge resurgence every time it looked like we had them beat–so we need to have our wits about us
registered, I am not sure why you are saying these things. It is not that you are not correct about how the majority of people have or will respond. You most certainly are. However, to not speak truth because the majority of people will begin by dismissing what you say and because you know how they will dismiss you has never been the way that progress is made on huge issues. There is a process here, and the process involves speaking the truth and speaking it relentlessly irrespective of how people respond. to quote Gandhi on this one, “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you –and then you win.”
I realize that it looks this way, Oldhead, and so I very much see why you ask what you did My own sloppiness here. No, I don’t agree that the attrition model is not longer “realistic or possible”. I think it is as vital as it ever was–and incidentally it is a model which came into being only about ten years ago and in part precisely because of the developments which Richard suggests. What I agree with rather is the concluding paragraph. That said, I should add, as a leftist and as someone with an intersectional analysis which very much includes class, I also agree that ignoring the monied interests involved would be a serious mistake. As such, correspondingly, when I write at length about the attrition model in book chapters (the only place where I can develop it at length) I prioritize such ways of eroding psychiatry as law suits, hardly something that gets rid of capitalism, but something that uses the leverage within the system in a way that could seriously detract from the huge profits made and in so doing, do its own job in eroding psychiatry.
Thanks for asking for the clarification, Oldhead.
Ted is indeed alive.
Robert, first let me say again how much I appreciate not only your work but your incredible honesty and openness. at the same time, let me suggest that people who call themselves antipsychiatry proceed initially from the very same position as you do–that what history and science has shown is that psychiatry cannot be reformed and it harms people. The only difference is that we call for getting rid of it. If you are convinced at this point that it cannot be reformed and necessarily harms, why would you call for reform (as is the case with critical psychiatry) To put this another way, why would you call for the reform of an institution that you now believe cannot be reformed? Isn’t the strictly critical psychiatry position something that no longer fits your beliefs?
Larger societal changes for sure are necessary.
Nicely put, Richard, And needless to say, I agree.
yes, Robert, I can see what you get from identifying as critical psychiatry rather than antipsychiatry. At the same time, I think that there are things that you lose–the clarity that this is an area that cannot and must not continue, that we are not looking at something that has the chance of being made acceptable,
Organizing and working with others on the basis of the one understanding of antipsychiatry that kept antipsychiatry alive and well and not diluted, that is my democratic right, also my responsibility. If you Oldhead, choose to operate otherwise, that is your choice.
and thank you, Robert, for all your hard work. That said, I have an obvious question. I agree of course that psychiatry cannot be reformed–but why do you go from there to “critical psychiatry” instead of “antipsychiatry”, when critical psychiatry largely rests of the basis that reform is possible?
very nice piece, fellows Keep up the good work
Nicely done, as always, Phil. And yes, the fact that the very existence of psychiatry is based on lies is precisely what cannot be reformed–and why this direction is ultimately a no-starter.
Szasz’s strength–and he was a giant here–was deconstructing the concept of mental illness and attacking the idiotic use of languaage. IN this he was a leader unparalleled. also of course he did not practice psychiatry and taught his deconstruction to others. did he understand other oppresssions and their relationship to psychatry? A bit here and there but in no consistent way, and some of his pronouncements were horrifying. For example, there was a video he made many decades where he quite rightly objected to homeless people being thrown in the psychiatric system–then to my amazement he added, that they shoul be thrown in the prison system instead for they are violating vagrancy laws. So while brilliant and an enormously important leader this area, perhaps even the most important, Szasz was as it were a mixed bag, both exceptionally enlightened and unenlightened at the same time.
Oldhead,my guess is that Richard is addressing this to you because of your dismissal of how essential it is that antipsychiatry be defined in term of abolition of psychiatry–and not just abolition of forced psychiatry. Nor is this just a matter of words
Re the difference between abolish, end, eliminate, while you keep bringing this up as if frank agreed to the committment to “ending” as part of the definition of antipsychiatry, but the point is that he hasn’t, leastwise not in anything which i have read. Hence, this is far more that a semantic issue.
It is not antidemocratic to have a bottom line. It is principled.
I don’t know how to shed light here, but Judi was concerned that if a total antipsychiatry position was taken and was successful, it would leave people in the lurch who were in serious emotional distress. Now I agree with her and always have that antipsychiatry needs to take cognizance of of the difficult straights in which people find themselves and needs for example to make sure that people who have been coping by the use of psychiatric drugs will still have them at their disposal. Judi and I actually had two meetings in toronto not long after she made the statement that Oldhead is referring to. The first was just between the two of us, and it was precisely on who she had in mind when she critiqued antipsychiatry folk and how to understand her disagreement, though we quickly drifted into discussing feminism. The second was a meeting precisely on the paucity of feminist analysis in the movement and on this she met with three of us Toronto antipsychiatry Toronto women On the first issue, which actually, we both saw as a far less urgent issue, we never came to any resolution, though my sense is that the two of us walked away with more mutual understanding, also with increased respect for one another. On the second, the agreement was more or less total, but the feminist initiative that we were hoping would materialize out of the discussion never exactly happened. Would we have gone further on either of these issues had she visited Toronto again? I would like to think so, but that necessarily remains an unknown.
or in fact instead of being a problem, it is precisely what preserved antipsychiatry at a time when the survivor movement, as Lapon wrote, was going liberal.
The issue is not you personally, Oldhead but the compromised definition of antipsychiatry that a few people have and your insistence that they are still antipsychiatry. During the long period when you stopped being involved, antipsychiatry was kept alive precisely by those of us (most in Canada, a few in the US like Chabasinski) insisting on a total abolitionist definition. Most everyone else watered things done, in part in order not to alienate people, in part out of liberal inclinations And before you know it, antipsychiatry was on a serious decline pretty well everywhere except Canada. Those of us who took abolition as a bottom line kept antipsychiatry alive and active over those decades precisely by insisting on the bottom line of abolitionism and never allowing the concept to get watered down. Now of course, people are free to define things as they wish. I am likewise free to only be part of grouping which hold fast to abolitionism and to encourage that understanding of antipsychiatry.
saying that someone who is not for abolishing psychiatry is not antipsychiatry is not being dogmatic. Everyone bands together on the basis in part of definition. There has to be a basis of unity that distinguishes who you band together with tht basis directly related to what your ulltimate goal. By insisting on the goal, Canadian antipschiatry activists kept antipsychiatry alive and active for decadeswith help from Americans like Lapon and Chabasinski in the US a, while it largely collapses in most of the world including most of the US. It collapsed for a a variety of reasons but one of which was a definition that did not define the ultimate goal, one which watered down the meaning. Antipsychiatry was kept alive by people very much keeping to the bottom line that you are recommending being open about. For myself personally, i didn’t do that in the late 80s –and I am not about to do that now. Now correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you had gone on to other issues for most of those decades and just returned in the last several years and so maybe you are not the familiar with these dynamics–but that does not make them an iota less critical. I invite you, Oldhead,to take that seriously and not to just assume that you missed nothing during that time and that people who are taking a different attitude than you are simply being “dogmatic”.
actually Judi was not only talking about people like Laing, though that for sure was her main reference, she was also talking about the Phoenix Rising. Not that we did not see eye-to-eye on all sorts of issues, including the need for greater feminist analysis.
Actually, I have an interesting anecdote about Szasz here. When he was in England, he met with people from Asylum Magazine. they wanted to have his autograph but had no piece of paper to put it on. So they give him a copy of Asylum (which has a nickname “toward a democratic psychiatry.” He took up his pen about to sign, then stopped, saying, “I cannot sign this–it has the word “psychiatry on it!”
Julie, what Szasz set in motion here caused problem from people who are antipsychiatry ever since. That said, one of our most eminent Toronto ECT survivors made it very that if her choice was between Scientology and psychiatry, she would take her chances “with the shrinks”. Not a decision she came to lightly.
Good to have others who know the history
Yes, we are in total agreement on this, Frank.
Again, Judi was not antipsychiatry and indeed largely critiqued antipsychiatry, though we were strongly joined on almost every other matter.
actually, Julie, here is where Szasz went badly astray. Alas, Szasz formed an alliance with Scientology, which is what gave birth to CCHR–an alliance which has been used against antipsychiatry ever since.
Yes, Judi, who without question was otherwise absolutely wonderful, always dismissed antipsychiatry this way, clearly ignoring such vital antipsychiatry warriors as psychiatric survivors Lenny Lapon and Don Weitz as well as the vast majority of people who wrote for leading survivor magazines like Phoenix Rising. Clearly her movement was not antipsychiatry (which is one the reasons that I have carefully distinguished between the survivor movement and the antipsychiatry movement– saying that they interpenetrate but are not the same–and clearly this was not one of her areas of expertise.
Yes, Oldhead, that is indeed what democracy is all about. At the same time part of democracy is that people be allowed to say that they think an argument is going in circles without being accused of being mean, anti-democratic or authoritarian.
It also has to be perfectly acceptable that while making concessions on all sort of matters, some of us have bottom lines. Clearly mine –and I have always been crystal clear about this–is abolition.
Actually everyone is increasingly vulnerable as they advance into old age and everyone becomes a potential victim.
Ron, given the entire profession is based on myths and misrepresentations, we are clearly talking a about a profession here–not bad apples. No doubt in every case of atrocity, there are officials involved who to act more humanely and who deeply regret what their colleagues do –which is great–but that does not change the verdict that we need to make about the profession. Herein lies the difference between a systemic argument and individualization and liberalism.
To be clear, Frank, the attrition model of psychiatry abolition would of course prioritize getting rid of force; the ultimate goal, nonetheless would be psychiatry abolition more generally (and no, not by force). In this regard, you might (or might not) want to look at what I have written about the attrition model elsewhere (see for example,https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/07/attrition-model-psychiatry-abolition/
A question: If an attrition model of psychiatry abolition were adopted, could you live with this as opposed to restricting abolition to what you are calling “consensual psychiatry”?
So it might seem, Frank but when we push on this matter to find out what you mean–and others have done so repeatedly– strange and at least seemingly inapplicable concepts like freedom of speech keep popping up. Which suggest that there is far more to this difference than semantics and it does seem to present an obstacle. In your words–just saying.
Julie, email me at [email protected]
Not foolish at all, Julie. While changes that we fight for often dont materialize in our lifetime, of course we all want them to. Now personally, as someone who is remarkably, unwell, I was expecting to go to my grave with seeing a resurgence in antipsychiatry. Nonetheless, like many others I plowed on, year after year, like earthworm, preparing the ground for change. Then lo and behold, we saw ourselves in the midst of a resurgence–and so you never know!
Hi there, people, I noticed the word “14 years of activism in the area” has crept in. Possibly, a typo that kept being repeated and perhaps even initially of my doing. To stop any confusion, the antipsychiatry work done by abolitionist (activists and survivors) has been going strong at least in Canada since 1979, with a huge boost coming in the early 80s. I myself joined the movement in 1979 but only became extremely active in 1981–then never looked back.
One other thing, since posting this article, a number of people have emailed me indicating that they want to join CAPA. As long as you appreciate that CAPA is an abolitionist group, of course, we are happy to accommodate. Unfortunately the CAPA email is on the blink right now, but I can easily add you to the CAPA email list if you email me asking, which two of you have done in the last few days. You will find my email address listed on the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education website.
Interesting, Fred. Thanks for this.
Oldhead, I agree with you that the fact that we have all these people arguing about the meaning of antipsychiatry is a sign of progress. I would add that in part, this is what 14 years of activism in this area has finally resulted in, as opposed to your describing the product of those years as constituting “zero progress”. That said, we are not simply arguing about words. We are arguing basic principles–bottom lines And while semantics is surely involved here, it is not just a matter of semantics. Also it is hardly just bullshit. It makes a huge difference whether people declare themselves opposed to coercive psychiatry only or whether they declare themselves opposed to psychiatry period. Moreover, people surely have a right to have their own bottom lines and to organize and group together on the basis of these. And clearly psychiatry abolition is a bottom line for a huge number of us.
I wouldnt say we had no victories, Oldhead, just temporary and qualified victories. For example for a long time we got rid of lobotomies–and both a major fight and major achievement it was.
yes, Kindredspirit, it was clear to me that there was a typo here–and I knew what you meant.
Well put, Oldhead
Yes, I would agree with Steve here. Medical substances can sometimes be of assistance to people in emotional distress, and so one would not want to rule out medical people as among those who could be helpful. For this, however, Ron, for we do not need the bogus medical specialty called psychiatry. To credit psychiatry as acceptable because they sometimes provide the help that any good doctor would or should is to totally miss the point.
Let me suggest that there is a difference between vision and strategy that needs to be made. Uprising is absolutely correct that eliminating force is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to eliminate psychiatry. At the same time, I think that eliminating the use of force would go a long long way toward eliminating psychiatry for force in intrinsic to psychiatry. And is even that the whole story? Not really. As Oldhead says, psychiatry is about force. However, it is also about the rise and dominance of medicine.
great. Do email me.
Yes, Oldhead, you are absolutely right. The Wikipedia definition represents the hegemonic definition, in this case the definition by the professionals.
I would agree with Oldhead that what others have to say is irrelevant. As moral people, we should be acting in terms of what is ethical–not in terms of whether or not others disparage yusfor it. At the same time, I do not agree, Oldhead, with saying that abolition is not the bottom line. While the definitions of abolition are not exhaustive (and few definitions of any term are) people who are aboltitionists have pretty well spelt out what they mean by it, including myself in this article, clarifying that stripping psychiatry of the power which it has, cutting the special relationship with the state, and eliminating it as a recognized field of medicine would in itself constitute abolition. Again, others would have some differences with this definititon–and I knew of few words in any language anywhere where you would not find people differing on the definition–my sense is that most abolitionists would largely agree with this definition. Which is the end as good as you can get when you dealing with language. As for the issue of not using the word, of course someone can be a antipsychiatry without using the word “abolition”. If they persistently find themselves uneasy with others using the word and keep on wanting to modify it, on the other hand, then no, I do think they are antipsychiatry, although they may want to be and although they may have an otherwise strong critique.
Oldhead, while I understand your point about the AMA and its like and indeed appreciate you visionary anarchism here, and while I too have a broader critique of medicine ,there are very few people who want to get rid of psychiatry who also want to deregulate medicine, and as such, in any way tying antipsychiatry to such a agenda, let me suggest, would be a profound mistake. My sense here is that an antipsychiatry agenda needs to be cognizant of, relate to, and look for the openings that exists in the here-and-now.
Ron, there are a number of problems with what you are saying. the fact that people use the word “antipsychiatry” as a term of disparagement is epistemologically and ethically irrelevant. Positions should not be determined by how people by whether or not people attack you for them. As for the fact that some psychiatrist sdo good work–yes, that has been acknowledged by me in this article and in others. But the good work they do is not medical in nature and in spite of the fact, not because of the fact that they are psychiatric.
As for what stops me from recognizing the weakness of the abolitionist positions–the simple fact that weaknesses that you refer to are weaknesses in the position of the theorists who reject the abolitionist position–not weaknesses in the abolitionist position itself. IN other words, what stops me is logic.
Not, I realize what you were hoping to hear,
well put, Steve
I am critical of it as well. At the same time, feminists have always used the words differently–being very clear that they are using the word metaphorically and that it is to be understood as a metaphor only .
Which is not to say that I am recommending feminist therapy. Again, the emphasis on professionals seems to me mistaken. Moreover,There are, alas, lots of feminist therapists that have harmed survivors in one way or another. Only that it needs to be thought of differently.
Yes, lies that make you feel that are in trouble if you don’t take some “treatment” or other, added to pressure from others–of course these are subtle forms of coercion. And take away what is legally called coercion only and this will still wreak havoc in people’s lives. To tell ourselves otherwise is to let down all the millions of people profoundly damaged by what is euphemistically called “consensual psychiatry”.
Abolishing forced treatment is a wonderful things to do and should be prioritized, but no, that would not be abolishing psychiatry just the use of blatant forced in administering it.
Frank, if psychiatry does not exist as a medical profession, then for all intents and purposes, you have abolished it. If people want to pay others for a certain type of philosophy or whatever who are not recognized doctors and not pretending to be, but that once would have been seen as psychiatrists, that is s a different question and no one who is calling themselves antipsychiatry is trying to stop that.
that said, while I am not meaning to offend you, I worry about how much time so many of us have spent going around in circles with you on this question, for despite what I see as good intentions on everyone’s part, it does not seem to be productive. Which I have to say worries me.
Julie, the likelihood is that whoever is supposed to be checking that account just isn’t doing it. That keeps happening. No, you don’t have to be a toronto resident,though the meetings are held in Toronto. If you want to Skype in to a meeting, let us know ahead of time (email me at my University of Toronto address) and that will do it. We are off for the summer, but I could surely add you to our email list now. Just go to the Ontario Institute at University of Toronto website http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/oise/Home/index.html
And if you email me now, I can get you on our email list.
and look up my email address at the bottom of the pages where it says gateway to faculty and the email me
There was no discussion of Healey at all. There were three issues really, neither of which would have won the day without the others: 1) academic freedom; 2) the fact that universities don’t like saying no time a free gift of money; and 3) the fact that I am a faculty member. Pushing all of these together and repeatedly is what won the day.
Yes, indeed, Uprising. Of course, we need to define it!
Steve, much thanks for your comments. Re Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault, we haven’t really voted for years. And while we could not accommodate a bunch of people skyping in, now and again, someone who is member wishes to Skype in to attend a meeting lets us know in advanceand one of our Toronto members accommodates. The long and the short is that if you if wanted to join and could make the time to skype into 2 meetings, there is no problem with you joining. Now as if happens, we take the summer off every year rom May or June onward (as in no meetings), and so we are off right now but we will be back to official meetings in September and will be having monthly meetings from then on until May or June of the following year. If you want to join, email me at my University of Toronto address and you will be added to the list; and even now, you could start getting our emails
That makes perfect sense to me. Of course, it is the nature of the person and the quality of the relating. And this a degree simply does not confer
You are an interesting thinker, Duncan
You are very welcome, Richard. And yes, you and I are very much in agreement on how we understand abolition.
I am not “anti-therapy” and do think it can be very useful, On the other hand, I am against therapy that pathologizes, that depoliticizes, that is involuntary, also even kind empathic therapy that turns itself the centre of the person’s existence. The point is that there are all sort of ways for people to deal with their issues–not one. And don’t think we need more therapists in the world but less. Less professionals in general, and more people helping one another. Less professionals and more real community.
Frank, the attrition model of psychiatry abolition does look at first steps that move in the direction of abolition as a way to proceed. Getting rid of force, getting rid of ECT would both be seen as reasonable first steps
I totally agree, KindredSpirit.
I always find it hard to know, Frank, whether the issues between us are just semantical or more than that. Please note that I never defined “abolition” in this article or any where else as meaning “wising it off the face of the earth”. Nor did I suggest that a person could not consult “a shrink” only that the “shrink” would not be given the authority of being a medical person, for psychiatry would be delegitimizes as such and not longer qualify as medical.
good to hear from you, David. A different type of article than that, but you might find it interesting.
Kindred Spirit, much thanks for your thoughts here. Re the issue of being called a “radical”, while people may see it as an insult, I very much accept the term profoundly see myself as a radical. the “roots” of the word radical are mportant here, for it literally means “roots”. To be a “radical”, ergo, is to go the the roots of the matter. And really, what else is worth doing?
Hi there, Julie. Always so good to hear from you. And yes, absolutely, we see thing similarly
Always nice to hear from you, uprising
Ah, but Bradford, it IS something you are “against”.
I agree with your analysis of psychiatry but confused about about what you say about antipsychiatry. We don’t grant psychiatry an iota of legitimacy.