Are voices real -- or are they just auditory hallucinations and sign of mental illness? Is it best to try to control and get rid of voices -- or listen and discover their meaning? After being sexually abused by a priest and in grief at the death of his first wife, Scottish advocate Ron Coleman started hearing voices, was labeled a chronic schizophrenic and spent six years in psychiatric hospitals. Ron describes his remarkable recovery, and how he became a renowned teacher and leading trainer with the Hearing Voices movement in the UK. http://www.workingtorecovery.co.uk/
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. (Trouble downloading? Right-click (Mac: ctrl-clck) on This Link and choose "Save As.")
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. http://www.iraresoul.com
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. www.theicarusproject.net; scatter(at)theicarusproject(dot)net
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. http://www.dialogicpractice.net, http://beyondmeds.com/2010/01/04/alterna..., http://www.willhall.net/opendialogue
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. alpouvar1(at) tomaatnet(dot)nl
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. www.afsc.org/stopmax www.criticalresistance.org www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights
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. www.dantescure.com www.desertgathering.com www.iraresoul.com/dvd.html
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. www.freedom-center.org. www.westernmassrlc.org.
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." www.autisticadvocacy.org.