Families Healing Together

families healing

By Krista MacKinnon

I’ve worked in the mental health system for twelve years now, and prior to that was a patient for three. My family was educated to believe that I would be sick my whole life, and that they should have very little hope for my future. When I became a family counsellor, I vowed to never “educate” anyone in such a way. Since then, I’ve watched “Recovery” grow from a subversive whisper to a full-blown growing paradigm in mental health services. Countries have adopted Recovery and implemented its model into their health care planning, academics have studied it and written thousands of articles in peer reviewed journals, organizations have restructured and reorganized their teams to reflect it’s principles, and brave everyday people have told their personal recovery stories to friends, colleagues, conferences, and the media. Recovery is a strong political force, a narrative, a system, a way of life, and a tool. So why then, has this incredible force of “Recovery” not leaked its way over to Family Education? As far as we’ve come (and I mean that as a global community) why are our most intimate loved ones still being educated in old school reductionist ways of thinking about what gets called “mental illness” “Schizophrenia” or “Bipolar Disorder”? Why are there still support groups for families out there where the facilitator thinks it is perfectly okay for families to strategize and brainstorm together ways to sneak their loved ones their medications to “keep them well” or “prevent relapse”? … [click on title to read and view more]

The Scarlet Label (Borderline Personality Disorder)

borderline

By Brent Potter PhD
The diagnosis Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) strikes fear and loathing in the hearts of most mental health providers. It is unquestionably one of the most stigmatizing and overused diagnoses in existence. Often diagnosing someone with this label is a clinical punch in the gut to the client and also a means of communicating warning to other clinicians. It is the 21st century version of the scarlet letter. … [click on title to read and view more]

Yogic breathing in daily life

yoga

By Sangeetha Saran Deep, thoughtful breathing is a crucial part of yoga. Proper yogic breathing is known as pranayama, which is the science and art of yogic breathing techniques. Because breathing in this way is emphasized in yoga classes, students often assume they can resume normal breathing after leaving. However, by incorporating yogic breathing into your […]

The war on grief

trauma

by Robert D. Stolorow
The DSM5, the most recent version of psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, makes it possible to classify grieving that endures beyond a rather brief span of time as a mental illness. … [click on title to read and view more]

A way to be on this earth and not shy away from the pain

green earth

Wow. Just wow! A wave of gratitude arriving on the shores of a radical earth based faith that is lived, a faith that is in and of itself, nature being natural. Nature engages constantly with itself like this.

I’ll share here that there is this heartbreak in me, a general sadness and despair I feel about many of the issues we face as a collective earth and as a human species. The suffering on this planet often overwhelms me. I sense along with many other animals that whether by natural events or by our own human hands, probably a convergence of both, this earth our home and everything that lives on it is in for massive changes and challenges in the next century and we will need new ways to engage on this planet if we are to make it without devolving into a big ugly mess. And yet life goes on! Even if nature shakes off the current natural inhabitants, life will go on in some new way and so we live on endlessly. … [click on title to read and view more]

About Yoga and the Vagus Nerve

yoga

Sometimes we refer to our instinctive wisdom as “gut feelings.” Maybe we don’t know why we feel the way we do or how we know the answer to a question. We just do. Some of us chalk it up to instinct or a sixth sense while others discount the phenomenon altogether. Could there be a scientific explanation? The answer may be the vagus nerve, a physical link to the mind-body connection. … [click on title to read and view more]

On sanity and self-inquiry

inquiry

Getting sane with inquiry means what was a minuscule awareness of my thoughts became a broader awareness of thoughts. It’s like being in a dark room with just a flickering light. Perhaps I’ve always been aware of this light, but when I started doing inquiry I began to investigate these flickers of light. What is it that is aware? What is hiding in the shadows where my beliefs are? I was the caretaker for a mansion full of beliefs that I imagined defined my identities and the vast majority of these were painful. Well, actually all of them were painful! … [click on title to read and view more]

Carl Jung’s Words of Advice for the Depressed

Photo courtesy of Toni Birrer(CC ShareALike)

From Jung’s point of view there is a hidden intention in depression. It “forces us downwards.” This is not, as it might sound, a punishment for arrogance, but rather a consequence of having become cut off from the human, instinctual part of ourselves. … [click on title to read and view more]

Mad in America Film Festival

mad head

From October 9th through 12th, 2014, Mad in America will be hosting its first International Film Festival at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA. Our mission is to foster the pursuit of social justice and human rights by bringing together an international collective of voices, perspectives, and artistic presentations that challenge the current mental health system and explore alternative understandings of “mental illness.” … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Who’s Delusional? What does support look like?

paris

I believe that Ernest Becker (in his book, “Denial of Death”), made an excellent case that the mere presence of other individuals holding belief systems radically different than our own may illicit within us a profound sense of anxiety, threatening our own sense of existential security and acting not unlike someone pointing a gun at our head. Furthermore, this profound insecurity is likely to compel us to do whatever we can to eliminate this threat, either by converting the individual(s) to our own belief systems or eliminating them from our sphere of existence altogether—such as by killing them, incarcerating them or invalidating them (e.g., they’re “crazy,” “mentally ill,” “evil,” etc.) … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,020 other followers