Embracing our madness: the way forward

Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life......

The life-liberating impact of feeling the feeling

By Georgi Y. Johnson -- The moment we choose to feel a feeling, we have moved beyond thought and into direct experience. That is, we have moved out of the programing of the temporal, linear, left brain, which builds agenda through the composition of time frames and stories. Feeling what we feel does not take place yesterday, and will not take place tomorrow. It always happens in the now. Feeling is so much in the now, that even if the thoughts are in the future, the feeling will still be in the eternal now. Because of this, when we move from consciousness to awareness, or from mental awakening to sentient presence and begin to feel what “is”, old, unfelt feelings will emerge, even if decades have passed in the interim. -- Contrary to popular belief, it is not possible to “think” away a feeling. We can check it rationally and we can relativize it. We can justify, excuse, build stories and rename it. But all of this thinking activity is dependent on the allowance of the feeling in the first place. We cannot know what the feeling is that we think we are “thinking away” (by changing our thought patterns) unless we first agree to feel it. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

The Still Small Voice is Speaking. Are we sane enough to listen?

About a decade ago, two psychiatrists and a team of student psychiatrists asked me if I hear voices in my head. “Why, don’t you?” I answered. They looked grandiosely disapproving and all simultaneously ticked something in their notepads. Oh dear. … [click on title to read and hear more]

Radical uncertainty: a healing stance for all

By Ron Unger, LCSW -- Unfortunately, the typical interaction between professionals and clients seen as psychotic in our current mental health system has characteristics which make a positive human relationship almost impossible. To start with, rather than starting from a place of equality, where two people negotiate to see each other and to define reality, the professional holds onto a position of assumed superiority and declares himself or herself as able to define both the other person and the overall nature of reality, without any need to reconcile that view with the viewpoint of the “psychotic” person. This makes sense within the standard paradigm, as once a person’s mental process is defined as “psychotic” it is understood to be determined by illness, and to be senseless, with nothing of any value to offer. Under such circumstances, true dialogue, in which the experience of the professional meets the full experience of the other, is impossible. … [click on title to read and view more]

Learning to be with ourselves: a response to Understanding Psychosis

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]

Olga Runciman – Hearing Voices Network (also many links on hearing voices & thriving)

Olga Runciman is the Chair of the Danish Hearing Voices Network. Originally a psychiatric nurse, she herself became a patient, and experienced the full force of psychiatric treatment before making a full recovery. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

the truth will defend itself (and some links on hearing voices too)

The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself. ~ St. Augustine … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Healing Voices, action needed

Through the lens of individuals at various stages of their mental health story, HEALING VOICES will investigate topics including the stigma of psychiatric diagnoses, the role of trauma, pharmacology, alternatives to the Western one-size-fits-all medical model, and the power of storytelling in recovery.

Hearing voices: living and thriving as voice hearers

TODAY is World Hearing Voices Day 9/14/16 -- I’m not sure why it was ever considered good practice to deny someone’s experience. It’s cruel to do that if nothing else and seems to be a no-brainer that we should be kind to those in any kind of emotional distress. I’m happy to say that even when I worked in social services I never avoided speaking to people about their “delusions” and/or voices even when I was told not to on the job. Some of us have always intuitively understood that all this content from the psyche has meaning. It’s nice to see that finally some of the inherent cruelty in psychiatric and psychological treatment is being challenged and meaningfully changed in a few corners of the world.

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