What is the Secret to being an Amazon Best Seller – without spending ANY money or doing ANY extra promotional work? First you need a well written book that has a good title and an eye catching cover…obviously. Once you have that… …the SECRET is to put it in the RIGHT category. By ‘right’ I don’t mean the most appropriate… Read more →
Robert Whitaker is a medical journalist who used to write articles about the brain chemical imbalance theory, believing it to be true. When the World Health Organisation claimed that living in a developed country was a strong predictor of a poor outcome for those diagnosed with schizophrenia he wanted to know why. Why, if you’re diagnosed with schizophrenia, are you… Read more →
In 2009 Katie Mottram took an overdose. She hated herself and felt like she had ruined her life and she had no choice but to die. Her mother had been through the psychiatric system and had also tried to kill herself. The effect on Katie, as a child, was profound. This is where her depression stemmed from. Despairing and suicidal,… Read more →
When she was 20 years old, Catherine G Lucas ended up in a psychiatric hospital. She had the wisdom to work with a therapist and found that within her experiences lay an opportunity for healing. Gradually, with the help of her therapist, she learned how to take better care of herself. Catherine went on to found the Spiritual Crisis Network,… Read more →
When Sascha Altman Du Brul was eighteen years old he was locked up in a psychiatric ward for two and a half months. He was told he had a biological brain disease that he would have for the rest of his life and there was little hope for him. But Sascha stepped outside of this view and looked into the… Read more →
Dr.Eleanor Longden started hearing voices when she was a student. At first they were harmless and narrated whatever she did. But they became increasingly antagonistic and dictatorial, and made her life a nightmare. She was hospitalised, drugged and labelled schizophrenic. Eleanor went on to earn a master’s in psychology and demonstrate that the voices in her head were “a sane… Read more →
It wasn’t until she read Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic that she began to seriously reconsider her options. Since September 2010, she has been free from psychiatric labels and psychotropic drugs, and now believes that the human experience should never be pathologised. Read more →
Open Dialogue is revolutionising the way people are treated in the mental health system. This new system of healthcare emerged in Finland after their mental health service collapsed under the weight. Finland used to have the worst statistics in Europe for schizophrenia. Now it has the best.
After the mental health service collapsed, a group of family therapists got together and asked how can they do it better? Open Dialogue is the answer. It is based on a totally different model to the current one, which adopts the brain chemical imbalance theory. Instead, it sees mental health problems as a symptom of the social network breaking down and so it aims to repair that. Bringing together the social network of the person at the centre of concern (they are not called the patient) the job of the practitioner is not to diagnose and treat but instead to encourage all of the voices to be heard. It taps into the power of the social network, so that everyone takes an active part in the healing of the family member. It is a social model that believes in the power of the individual to heal with the help of the collective.
Open Dialogue doesn’t ask what’s wrong with a person but what’s happened to them.
Open Dialogue is being introduced into the NHS by Dr Russell Razzaque author of the radical book Breaking Down Is Waking Up. And Green Lane Films (my production company) has been asked to film it. My personal and professional life have finally joined and had children! And this video is the offspring.
Melinda Messenger features in this clip that I shot at the Open Dialogue Conference in London earlier this year. Melinda is doing a Transpersonal Psychotherapy training and is the Patron of the UK Spiritual Crisis Network.
If you want to know more about Peer Supported Open Dialogue sign up to the POD Bulletin.