Robert Whitaker - An Anatomy of an Epidemic -
Robert Whitaker - An Anatomy of an Epidemic - Part 2
7 Principles to Open Dialogue for treating Mental Illness - Jaako Seikkula - Finland (English Subtitles) - Worth viewing and reading
Resources for Open Dialogue and other approaches for healing through mental crisis
Open Dialogue Training in America - Mary Olson, PhD.
Open Dialogue Training in Finland
Trialogue - Ireland
Therapists and Resources
Will Hall MA - a therapist who was originally diagnosed with schizophrenia, recovered and is now helping others. Practices in Santa Rosa, CA. He does phone work as well.
Steven Dill, MA - Edmonds, WA - I have referred families to him for years who need help with mental health issues. He previously worked in the mental health system at a local hospital. Now in private practice he is able to offer personalized care.
EASA- Early Assessment and Support Alliance - early intervention is key to higher recovery rates. Patrick McGorry
Initiating Open Dialogue Treatment in America Open Dialogue Treatment in America - University of Massachusetts Medical School
About Brain Chemistry and Medication
Alternative to Meds Center, Sedona, Arizona video on Brain Chemistry, Medication and Supplements. I had the opportunity to visit the Alternative to Meds Center in Sedona and saw how they work with others. It was a great experience to see people put their lives back together.
This video is incredibly well done. It is well organized into sections and gives a well balanced view of what is going on in the brain. At Alternative to Med's Center, Sedona Arizona, they help people with psychosis wean off the medication and put their lives back in order. Watch their other videos. What they say and do makes a lot of sense to me.
Alternative to Meds Center's Blog on Medication. Great resource to look up the article on the medication you want information about.
Here is a video, by Will Hall, MS who I have a lot of respect for. I have consulted with him and find him very helpful. This video is on Harm Reduction for Coming off of Medications - What I like in listening to him is even apart from his discussed about medications is his peaceful spirit about what it was like being diagnosed schizophrenia and now being a therapist/consultant helping others.
Robert Whitaker's list of Research Articles on Bipolar. He is the author of Anatomy of an Epidemic. He cites 24 studies that show how the medication will lower rates of recovery for those with this disorder. Recovery rates were higher before the era of pharmacological treatment of bipolar.
Professional Journey towards philosophy:
I prefer to think about people who are suffering
from what is called Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder as
going through a "mental crisis." This might seem naive
to some, but I didn't always think this way. Twenty
five years ago I was working with the chronically
mentally ill and was trained to think that it was a
chronic disease and the medication management was the
best form of treatment. I worked in a hospital in
Seattle and then eventually in a group home setting for
a few years. The people who lived there all seemed to
suffer from some kind of trauma in addition to the
trauma of having psychotic experiences. When one is in
a manic episode or hearing voices or catatonic, it is
easy to focus on these symptoms rather than look at what
could be the causes. They also seemed to be very
perceptive and had a sensitivity that other's didn't
seem to have. But, it would only be later that I would
The medical profession tends to use medication, surgery and ECT and has moved away from the concept that the brain's chemistry might be responding to some social, psychological or external factors. Taking a snap shot of the brain and seeing what is going on is a start, but people are too complex for this approach. If a couple were have an argument and the brain chemistry was measured, this thinking suggests that it is the chemistry causing the argument. We should give people medication for the "imbalance" and this could cause people to not have the fights with their loved ones. I was surprised when I was working with someone and was working through the issues after have severely abused several family issues. There were prescribed an anti-seizure medication to help them with the "intermittent explosive disorder." According to the client, it worked in that it slowed his brain down. It is an interesting idea that perhaps anger is associated with mini seizure activity in the brain. This has yet to be proven. Using one form of treatment over another limits the effectiveness that could be provided to clients suffering from Bipolar Disorder, Schizo-Affective Disorder, Major Depression or Schizophrenia. It may appear that I am anti-medication. I am really not as long as there is good solid research to justify using it and the benefits outweigh the negative side effects. The problem appears today in American there there is an imbalance of the use of medication rates of mental illness are actually getting much worse and not better. It is common knowledge that America is over medicated. (I will provide stats soon)
A little personal and professional history. A while ago, I started seeing more people with bipolar disorder that was triggered by substance abuse, mainly marijuana. I am sorry, but this was my experience. Clients would have a psychotic break with reality during use, end up in the hospital and then they were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, even the the DSM-III, DSM IV, DSM IV-TR would state that you would have to rule out substance abuse causes. I also met with people who had a manic episode after using Prozac. At that time, people were told not to take an SSRI if they were predisposed to have Bipolar Disorder. Today, I see people all the time put on Prozac with mania.
Worked with a gentleman who had suffered a lot of trauma in his life and then believed the county was after him and he tore up the house looking from microphones. I worked with him for a year and got him stabilized. I had a client who was really successful in managing her schizophrenia and dealing with the voices. We worked with a technique called reality testing, where we help her stay focused on logic. If the voices were sexual in nature and the people she thought were standing farther than 50 feet we saw this as a hallucination and she ignored them. By the end of therapy, she created new ways of thinking about this.
I then worked with a lady had been in mental institutions, received shock treatment and had been on medication for years. She did well with someone listening to her story, taking her serious and helping her solve problems. This reminds me of a story Dr. Peter Breggin, MD, who shared while he was in his residency at a psychiatric hospital, there was 10 of the most chronic psychiatric patients there assigned to 10 grad students for therapy. Just doing therapy, 9 out of the 10 moved out of the hospital and started to live functional lives.