New Vision for Psychiatry | Jim van Os | Madness Radio

First Aired: 03-21-2016 -- 5 comments | Add comment

What if psychiatry recognized that schizophrenia does not exist? How might diagnostic categories (left over from the asylum era) be replaced by spectrums of experience that show how psychotic experiences can also be normal? What if services were oriented around individuals, not the statistical groups of “evidence based” research? And could the mental health system as we know it, which defines health as the absence of disease symptoms, be replaced with a new definition of health, health as empowerment in life?

Jim van Os, professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology at Maastricht University and member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Science with more than 700 publications, is one of the top one percent highly cited scientists in the world. His research combines with the experiential knowledge of people with lived experience of psychosis to envision a radically new direction for the mental health system. (Alternate 58 min version here.)


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5 comments on “New Vision for Psychiatry | Jim van Os | Madness Radio

  1. This is an excellent podcast. My only complaint is Jim’s use of the idea that patients respond to treatment. I realize that it is a standard notion in medicine and is applied to treatments outside of psychiatry and psychotherapy. When a patient does not get better, it is not a failure of response on the part of the patient, but an inadequacy of the treatment for the task at hand.

  2. Pingback: A New Mental Health System? Interview with Jim van Os - Mad In America

  3. One of the intelligent presentations I have heard. Especially liked the suggested emphasis on social economies, employment of people lived experience, the thrust towards higher order goals, and empowering one’s own capacities to adapt get back one’s life. Hope for the future!

  4. “What if services were oriented around individuals, not the statistical groups of ‘evidence based’ research? ”

    I just listened to the latest episode of an podcast called “Invisibilia” about letting go of the notion of “solving” mental illness. They look at the community in Geer, Belgium as an example of cultural attitude. The episode is titled “The Problem with the Solution” and is available at

  5. Pingback: New Vision for Psychiatry – on Madness Radio – A New Vision for Mental Health

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