Tag Archive: Alternative Therapy


Updated Books Page

I’ve updated my books page today with some books by R D Laing.  I’ve read two and am reading one.  The two I have read are Knots and Sonnets.  At the back of Sonnets are some thoughts in prose which I found helpful.  The one I am reading is Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics, which is a book of case studies and transcriptions of taped interviews.  I’m not sure if it is of its time or not, but it is very interesting.  I have provided UK and USA Amazon links for each book.

R D Laing was a leading figure in the Antipsychiatry movement and established some houses in London as part of the Philadelphia Association which provides an alternative approach to mental distress.

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What Is Disablism?

After my last post I thought I had better check and see, though it seemed obvious, what disablism is.  I put ‘what is disablism’ into Google and the search came up with some sites, including this one from a feminist perspective.  I would add to it that disablism is saying that everything you say about your social situation and background is false because you are judged to have a mental illness.  Or is it that you are lying about your life so you must be mentally ill?  Though I’ve been completely honest and said nothing which isn’t true.

I talked about Emily Pankhurst in my first meeting with my psychiatrist here and I was told not to start on that one, though I meant it earnestly with all my heart and mind.  I said she had not fought for women’s rights and suffrage for women in power to subjugate other women or define them as they did not wish to be defined.  They dismissed it as the ploy of a mentally ill person who would use anything to get out of the psychiatric situation.

‘What Is Disablism’  is a good search to put into Google.  I have only used the first result but there are others of interest.

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.

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