Berlin Conference Sept 2011 – Searching for a Rose Garden – Fostering Real Alternatives to Psychiatry

We are pleased to announce the conference Searching for a Rose Garden. Fostering Real Alternatives to Psychiatry on 2nd and 3rd September, 2011 in Berlin. This conference is the highlight of the event series “Survivor Control: The Rights and Self-help Opportunities of People with Psychiatric Experience” organized by the Berlin Association for Protection against Psychiatric Violence this year. Continue Reading…

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INTAR Conference – Toronto Nov. 3-4 2011 Announced “Challenging Our Understanding of Psychosis and Exploring Alternatives for Recovery”

Mark your calendar Challenging Our Understanding of Psychosis and Exploring Alternatives for Recovery November 3 & 4, 2011 University of Toronto, Hart House Registration and conference details to follow. Sponsored by INTAR and The Leadership Project. This conference offers a unique opportunity to hear from a distinguished group of writers, clinical practitioners, researchers, advocates and activists who are foremost in their fields of critical psychiatry, psychology, education, journalism, community development and activism. Their inspiring work on psychosis, depression and recovery puts them in the vanguard of the push to transform mental health care. Join them as they present the case for a new perspective on psychosis, and humanistic, community-based alternatives for recovery. Our Guests: Robert Whitaker, “Anatomy of an Epidemic” Richard Bentall, Ph.D. Deconstructing Schizophrenia Sandra Escher, Ph.D. Hearing Voices Dr. Philip Thomas, Critical Psychiatry Rufus May, Ph.D Unusual Beliefs Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, Psycho-Pharma Complex Alisha Ali, Ph.D. Oppression/Depression Dr. Michaela Amering Trialogue Joe Goodbread PhD. Process Oriented Psychology Julie Repper, Ph.D. Social Inclusion Will Hall MAPW Psychiatric Drugs/Harm Reduction Maria Haarmans CBT for Psychosis Dr. Peter Stastny “Crisis or Opportunity” Ron Bassman, Ph.D. “Inspiration, Hope & Possibility” and others Download the preliminary flyer for the event here. Download Conference Registration form here. Download Conference Registration package here. For information: Brian McKinnon at 416 285 7996, ex. 227 Continue Reading…

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“User Involvement in Research and Evaluation: Liberation or Regulation?” — by Peter Beresford

Abstract This article explores the progressive and regressive potential of ‘user involvement’ in research and evaluation, with particular reference to social policy. There is growing political and research interest in user involvement. This article critically explores key different approaches to user involvement in research and relates them to consumerist and democratic models of involvement in policy and practice, management and development. The article highlights the need to approach user involvement in research critically and systematically, taking account of the diversity of approaches that have developed and to take forward user involvement in research in equal association with service user organisations and movements. (download PDF Continue Reading…

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“Reframing First Breaks and Early Crisis: A Capabilities-Informed Approach” — Kim Hopper

Kim Hopper Center to Study Recovery in Social Contexts October 2009 A note on the project: This paper will attempt to lay out a usable version of the capabilities approach and explore how its conceptual toolkit might aid us in thinking about “first breaks” and early crises. As will quickly be evident, this is very provisional work. Applied work in capabilities that deals with physical and mental states of distinction, limitation and exclusion – difference, “impairment,” and “disability” – is still in its formative stages and has yet to get its linguistic house in order. So, a forewarning: In making the argument, this paper will necessarily raid and pillage a number of literatures for concepts, distinctions and applications that will then be put to provisional use, found wanting or misleading, and revised accordingly or thrown out. Initial or trial adoption of terms should not be mistaken for final endorsement – and, indeed, one of this paper’s major points will be the need to interrogate the conceptual frameworks we routinely take for granted in discussing public mental health, to question our well-worn equipment of everyday thinking To date, some preliminary efforts have been made to use the capabilities approach to rethink recovery and social integration as “outcomes,” to support self-determination, and to make a case for peer participation in research.1 Fueled by pilot funding from the Center to Study Recovery in Social Contexts, additional work is under way to examine decision-making, citizenship, parenting, community participation, complex poverty, and user views of freedom. This joint project with INTAR on “first breaks” opens fresh ground the charge is twofold: re-think and re-ground, framework and fieldwork – theory to direct the inquiry, practice that will need to be interpreted as evidence. Prologue: Transcript excerpt, BBC “Yesteryear” 2030 BBC Interviewer: “So, let me see if I have this right. Continue Reading…

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“Alternative approaches to first break situations: Key practice models and their operant values” –by Stastny, Chaudhary, Hagmann

I. Introduction: The purpose of this working paper is to identify and describe key alternatives to mainstream psychiatric intervention — designed to benefit individuals experiencing a first break or early crisis episode (see definition below) — that are either currently available or have been in operation since the mid 1970s. We focus on the three programs/practice models that are most prominently represented in the literature and that stood the best chance of falling within a set of guiding principles that are based on discussions held by members of the INTAR network during its four preceding meetings (see below). We examine these alternatives in terms of their operating principles, engagement of affected persons and interested others, outcomes, and consumer satisfaction, relying on published data, with the ultimate goal of determining to what extent these programs preserve and enhance existing capabilities, offer means of operationalizing “hope,” and assist participants in early recovery and a return to a viable developmental trajectory. We see this paper as a contribution towards developing a framework to systematically examine current and newly developed alternative modalities with respect to their potential for averting capability deprivation, enhancing recovery processes, fostering individual agency, and safeguarding the dignity and human rights of people experiencing serious mental health crises. We also hope this paper advances the discussion of just what constitutes a viable and acceptable response to a person experiencing a serious, and potentially debilitating break-down for the first time in their life. (download paper Continue Reading…

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Factors Involved in Outcome and Recovery in Schizophrenia Patients Not on Antipsychotic Medications: A 15-Year Multifollow-Up Study – Harrow & Jobe

This prospective longitudinal 15-year multifollow-up research studied whether unmedicated patients with schizophrenia can function as well as schizophrenia patients on antipsychotic medications. If so, can differences in premorbid characteristics and personality factors account for this? One hundred and forty-five patients, including 64 with schizophrenia, were evaluated on premorbid variables, assessed prospectively at index hospitalization, and then followed up 5 times over 15 years. At each follow-up, patients were compared on symptoms and global outcome. A larger percent of schizophrenia patients not on antipsychotics showed periods of recovery and better global functioning (p  .001). The longitudinal data identify a subgroup of schizophrenia patients who do not immediately relapse while off antipsychotics and experience intervals of recovery. Their more favorable outcome is associated with internal characteristics of the patients, including better premorbid developmental achievements, favorable personality and attitudinal approaches, less vulnerability, greater resilience, and favorable prognostic factors. The current longitudinal data suggest not all schizophrenia patients need to use antipsychotic medications continuously throughout their lives. Read More Here: Continue Reading…

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