The Importance of Alternatives: Critical Psychiatry and Narrative Therapy.

I found this yesterday under the antipsychiatry tag.  It seemed to me that adopting an approach like this would be approaching something like sanity in the way mental health users are treated.  However, when I brought up the question of talking therapy at the hospital I was in, with a nurse, it was resisted and dismissed as a bit of an oddity, and me as a bit of a twit, or a strange and funny person.  Or crazy, maybe.  Who knows what they did with the suggestion afterwards?  I did have the leaflet in my hand from their literature rack, but the nurse I spoke to appeared to have no time for it.

The author of the post makes the good point that narrative therapy differs from psychoanalysis in that it is not prescriptive or didactic and the patient is not presented with an interpretation with which they have to agree.  It’s about exploring different ways of seeing and interpreting things in your life, and those ways come out of the patient’s own narrative with the therapist.  It sounds a bit like counselling to me, in that sense, and the post goes into far more detail, so I think it would be good to read it.  It has an audio interview as well, of about 5 or 6 minutes.

The author’s name is Jim Brooks and information about him can be found on his about page, which I was going to link to but have changed my mind, because I want you to read the post.  You can read the about page when you get there.  But he has studied pharmacology and is now studying for an MA in Science Journalism, so expect a well-written post.