Professional denial is a form of retraumatization

Anyway — any mental health professional that doesn’t recognize that the mental health system is rife with potential abuse and harm is dangerous to those who’ve already been harmed and to many who may yet be harmed. There are many folks in the system at this point that actually do understand the reality. Times are, indeed, changing. I see lots of reason to hope. I have many friends who are working in and out of the system as knowledgable and competent professionals. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

When Psychiatry Retraumatizes

by Laura K. Kerr — Before I became a psychotherapist, I often wrote, lectured, and blogged about damaging aspects of psychiatry. I am more hopeful now — not about psychiatry improving, but about truly helpful mental healthcare for people who might otherwise be labeled “chronically” mentally ill and forever take medications to tranquillize their internal demons. Since I began combining Sensorimotor Psychotherapy with CG Jung’s growth-focused theory of human nature, I have witnessed meaningful, lasting change happen without medications. I have also heard others talk about improved outcomes (both providers and clients) when trauma becomes the focus of care and joined with faith in lasting transformation.

But hope can be blinding (although it sure feels good). The following poem by Franz Wright, from his collection Wheeling Motel, reminds me the problem with psychiatry goes beyond pushing dubious drugs. … [click on title to read more]

Mindfulness and Complex Trauma: The Rewards and the Risks

What media hype and those selling mindfulness don’t tell you is that mindfulness is a process that can radically transform you, and it’s not always safe, nor is it easy or straightforward. We make it safer by being aware of the risks and learning to listen to our own bodies about when it is or isn’t okay for us. No one else actually knows.

almost a year since almost dying. what is up?

I’m approaching the one year anniversary date of the second brain injury that almost killed me. I entered the ICU on December 25th of last year. I was unconscious for several days and then when I woke up I had lost virtually all my memory. Conveniently and fortunately I remembered Paul, my partner, but so confused, I also thought he was one of the MDs in the hospital. So, yeah, it’s been a long haul to where I am now. …

The biggest issue we face: #WorldMentalHealthDay

The biggest problem in mental health treatment is the idea that anybody need be treated at all. What people really need is a safe space to be who and what they are. Once people are in a safe place they simply need to be supported in trusting their own process. …

Mourning, loss and vision

This will aways be in my heart: that people will be offered meaningful options to toxic psychiatry and that a kaleidoscopic infrastructure of care will rise up as a result of our holding this vision and passing it on. Multiple options are offered that change as people grow and change. Healing is not stagnant…what we need changes daily and by the minute. That the system will be fluid and alive, growing and changing just like those who need healing within it. That the “system” will actually be the village. Real egalitarian community…a world in which every human being is equal to every other human being.  …