By Brent Potter, PhD — I am grateful to be alive during to see the apex and decline of evidence-based psychotherapy and psychiatry. Honestly, I didn’t think that I’d see anything like it in my lifetime. It was looking pretty daunting for a while, but we’re not only making substantial progress, but winning. — Please don’t mistake me—we have plenty more to do. We’re not in the clear yet, but we’re light years ahead of where we were roughly 20 years ago. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
by Paris Williams — Over the years of my explorations into psychosis and human evolution a very interesting irony became increasingly apparent. It is well-known that people who fall into those deeply transformative and chaotic states typically referred to as “psychosis” often feel, at different points throughout their journeys, that they have received a special calling to save the world, or at least the human race. Indeed, this experience played a particularly prominent role in my own extreme states, as well as within those of at least two of my own family members. From a pathological perspective, this is often referred to as a kind of “delusion of grandeur,” though in my own research and writing, I have come to feel that the term “heroic (or messianic) striving” is generally more accurate and helpful. The great irony I have come to appreciate … [click on title for the rest of the post]
In the diverse array of terms now used – extreme states, madness, spiritual crisis, kundalini, psychosis, crazy, shamanic initiation – I see my own experience in all of them. To me, they’re all expressions of what I call Shades of Awakening. Each one with it’s own flavor, meaning and transformational path to recovery. — After over a decade of soul searching, a new question emerged. How can I support others who are integrating to find their own truths, their own narratives and their own answers? (Be sure to visit the Shades of Awakening series page to learn about Dabney’s free series of interviews with many folks who’ve moved through spiritual emergence (which often otherwise gets pathologized by psychiatry) and are now thriving.) … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Rep. Tim Murphy’s Bill Promotes Forced “Treatment” over More Effective and Less Expensive Voluntary Care
On June 4, Congressman Tim Murphy introduced legislation (HR 2646) designed to dismantle the federal mental health authority – the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – which has successfully promoted recovery and community inclusion for individuals with serious behavioral health conditions for 25 years, as called for by President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. The bill would replace SAMHSA with a new Office headed by a politically appointed government official, controlled by Congress and robbing people of their civil rights through forced treatment and increased institutionalization. … [click on title to read and view more]
By Jen Peer Rich — If we took a mere 50% of our global weaponry and technology resources and applied them towards sustainability actions, we could live in a much different world. It’s possible to stop kicking the earth in the teeth with destructive behaviors. Why not address the suffering of our species and endless other species? But we don’t. We keep feeding the machinery of separation. And why? … [click on title for the rest of the post]
By Jo Anna Rothman — About 10 years ago, as I was playing with different ways to not flake out on self-care, I had a thought that changed my life.
I had been in this process of giving myself a present everyday.
It was awesome, I love presents!
For once, I was following through! … [click on the title to read and view more]
When I get caught up in trying to explain why I have these experiences I often realise that I am coming from a place of fear. I tell myself that I want to understand because knowing why will help me cope, help me know what to do. I may even tell myself that my experiences need me to be understanding and empathic. I want to make myself feel safer, I want to find the right way forwards – the best way. I don’t want to feel confused and powerless so I go to default mode of observing, analysing the data and coming up with an explanation that seems to best suit the issue at hand. I may return to explanations that have helped me in the past. … [click on title to read and view more]
My husband, Paul Woodward, who has published quite a few essays on this blog, sometimes sends emails to me about his thoughts on my (and therefore, often, our) circumstance. Sometimes he’s incredibly helpful and insightful both. I’m sharing what he wrote to me yesterday. The below is most of the body of an email. I’ve edited out a couple of sentences that were directed to me more personally at the beginning and the end. Most of it is just as it was written. As way of introduction to those who perhaps are not familiar with this blog, the autonomic nervous system injury that Paul is referring to in myself is the one incurred by psychiatric drugs and their withdrawal. It is essentially a sort of chemical and pharmaceutical and, therefore, iatrogenic brain injury. It’s often referred to as psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome and in some people can be a severe and debilitating condition. … [click on title to read and view more]
*editors note: I really like this piece by Gary Weber because developing my inner sense of “feel” has been the most important thing in my healing process…
By Gary Weber — Developing an internal sense of “feel” was the most critical skill in navigating the thousands of hours of practice that was basically DIY w/only sporadic contact with two Zen masters. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
It’s already known and accepted within the medical profession that occupied people feel less pain and depression, so that’s a good start. However, the large amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that knitting has much more to offer. It isn’t simply about keeping people occupied with an activity they enjoy. It’s not just ‘old fashioned’ occupational therapy either. There’s a lot more to knitting than initially meets the eye! … [click on title to read the rest]