Madness Radio: Voices And Visions from Outside Mental Health explores 'madness' from beyond conventional perspectives and mainstream treatments, featuring survivors, authors, advocates, professionals, and artists.
Hosted by Will Hall, Madness Radio launched in 2005 on Valley Free Radio and aired more than 150 shows since then. We're heard on KBOO in Oregon, syndicated through Pacifica, and podcasting on iTunes. Check our About page.
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What is reality? Why do people in extreme states feel connected to the universe, and experience uncanny and even supernatural events? Does quantum physics have something to teach us about madness? What if therapists were like indigenous tribal shamans, entering into clients’ “psychotic” worlds as if stepping into a dream?
Arnold Mindell studied with pioneering scientists Richard Feynman and Norbert Wiener and then became a Jungian therapist and founder of Process Oriented Psychology. He discusses his more than 40 years of work with individuals and groups, including people diagnosed with psychosis, and the ancient belief in a purposeful dreaming reality behind everyday events.
How did pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline create “depression” in Japan — and a billion dollar market for its anti-depressant drug Paxil? Why do people diagnosed with schizophrenia recover more in Tanzania than they do in the US? Can western-style psychotherapy help tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka?
Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, discusses how mental disorders are cultural products, defined in the US and then exported around the world.
Can therapy reach people in extreme states of “psychosis” — without using medications? Do we need to give a diagnosis to help someone? Why are counselors afraid to listen to their “mad” clients?
New York psychotherapist and filmmaker Daniel Mackler discusses how be defied social work training in his work with people labeled with schizophrenia and bipolar, and what he learned from recent visits to successful treatment alternatives in Northern Europe. Daniel is the filmmaker of Take These Broken Wings and co-author with Matthew Morrissey of A Way Out of Madness.
Seamstress Agnes Richter was locked away in a mental asylum in the 1890s, and was so determined to have a voice that she embroidered her personal story onto the jacket she wore on the ward. What is the hidden history of people writing their own narratives of going insane? How important is it to listen to the experiences of “mentally ill” people? Is there meaning in madness?
Gail Hornstein, Mt. Holyoke College professor and author of Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness, discusses the work of the Hearing Voices Movement in the UK, peer run support communities including Freedom Center in the US, and why professionals should let patients speak for themselves.
How did the New York underground of punk rock music, squatting, and homeless protest give rise to a thriving and innovative peer-run mental health community? Are there creative gifts to be found in the depths of madness? Does the future of Mad Pride lie in the joining of activism with spirituality?
Icarus Project co-founder Sascha Altman DuBrul discusses his escape into apocalyptic visions and psychiatric hospitals, and how he was inspired to challenge the identity of bipolar disorder.
Is bipolar disorder a disease? Can medications like lithium correct chemical imbalances and stabilize mood? Do psychiatric drugs act completely differently on the brain than recreational drugs?
UK psychiatrist Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, author of The Myth Of The Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment, discusses how seeing psychiatric medications as treatments for disease misleads the public about how they actually work, and obscures their potential for abuse as tools of social control.
How did the definition of schizophrenia change during the civil rights and Black Power era of the 1960s? Why did a disease primarily affecting withdrawn white housewives suddenly become focused on angry and “paranoid” African American men instead?
Psychiatrist and historian Jonathan Metzl, author of The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease, discusses racism and social control in psychiatric diagnosis, and how Black protest was turned into a mental disorder.
Is a ‘psychotic’ crisis inside one person’s mind — or does it happen between people, in their relationship? Can therapy untangle the web of madness by addressing the family, providers, and entire social network?
Smith College social worker and Fulbright scholar Mary Olson discusses the innovative work of Jaakko Seikkula and colleagues’ Open Dialogue Approach in Finland, which has achieved dramatic success helping people through extreme states labeled ‘psychosis’ and ‘schizophrenia’ — while relying much less on medication and hospitalization.
People who hear voices are no more violent than anyone else — but what about the small number of voice hearers that do actually commit violent crimes? Are medications and locked wards the best way to help those who act on their aggressive “command hallucinations?” What is the relationship between trauma, violence, and voices?
Dutch psychiatric social worker and Hearing Voices Movement member Erica van den Akker discusses her innovative counseling work with violent offenders in the Netherlands.
The US incarcerates more people than any country in the world – and 70% are people of color. Do we need better mental health care inside prisons — or do prisons themselves cause trauma and madness?
Psychiatrist and civil lawsuit expert witness Dr.Terry Kupers, author of Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It, discusses overcrowding, racism, sensory deprivation, isolation, and sexual abuse in the disgraceful US prison system.
Can a severe, chronic case of “schizophrenia” ever recover? Is psychotherapy an alternative to medications? What role does trauma play in madness?
Hear the inspiring story of how Catherine Penney, RN, was catatonic and locked in a hospital back ward for years, and then emerged to create a new alternative healing community.
Leah Harris was orphaned after both parents were diagnosed with schizophrenia and died from medication toxicity. Today she is a leading voice in survivor activism, and her powerful spoken word poetry, including “I Was A Teenage Mental Patient,” has been featured in publications including Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution, and DC Poets against the War: An Anthology. Leah is also the co-coordinator of the US Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.
Buy her new cd “Take Refuge” at the National Empowerment Center: http://bit.ly/7f5kyN
Can recreational drugs be an opening to genuine spiritual awakening? Brian Hartnett’s passion for rave dance music — as well as alcohol and ecstasy — cost him his career.
Doctors labeled his paranoia, telepathy, and voices symptoms of schizophrenia. But Brian went on to become one of the founders of Hearing Voices Ireland, and discover a new, heightened spirituality.
How can a chaotic and oppressive family life lead to trauma and extreme states? Do medications and diagnosis provide help, or can they make things worse?
Psychiatric abuse survivor Lisa Darbyshire, Massachusetts organizer with the Freedom Center and the Recovery Learning Community, discusses her personal experiences of hospitalization and recovery, including the struggle with learned helplessness and dependence.
What does it mean to be autistic, have Asperger’s, or be on the autism spectrum? Is autism a disease to be overcome, or a difference to be embraced? Is autism advocacy like mad pride activism?
Ari Ne’eman, a person on the autism spectrum and director of the Autism Self Advocacy Network, discusses the autism movement’s challenge to what we consider “normal.”