Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Monat: April, 2014


COMPLETE DOCUMENTARY FILM. „Healing Homes,“ recovery from psychosis without medication. An in-depth exploration of the Family Care Foundation, one of the best psychosis-oriented programs in the world, a Swedish organization which places people failed by traditional psychiatry in families, many of whom are farm families, as a start to a whole new life. Interviews with clinicians, clients, and host families.


Take These Broken Wings

THE COMPLETE FILM! Featuring Joanne Greenberg (bestselling author of „I Never Promised You a Rose Garden“), recovered for over fifty years. Interviews with Peter Breggin, Robert Whitaker, Bertram Karon, and Catherine Penney. Directed by Daniel Mackler.

OPEN DIALOGUE: an alternative Finnish approach to healing psychosis (COMPLETE FILM)

74-minute documentary film on the Western Lapland Open Dialogue Project, the program presently getting the best results in the developed world for first-break psychosis — approximately 85% full recovery, a far majority off antipsychotic medication.

Contest to Reduce Implicit Racial Bias Shows Empathy and Perspective-Taking Don’t Work

NCAA college basketball isn’t the only hot competition involving a team from the University of Virginia.  UVa Psychology Professor Brian Nosek is one of three founders of Project Implicit, a collaborative nonprofit dedicated to the study of implicit social cognition — how unconscious thoughts and feelings can influence attitudes and behavior.

Prof Nosek is also heavily involved in the Open Science and Replication movements. Along with graduate student Calvin Lai, he led a multinational group of 22 other researchers in a competition to see who could devise the best intervention to reduce racial bias scores on a widely administered implicit test, the race IAT (Lai et al, 2014).

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a mainstay of social psychology research that assesses implicit (unconscious) attitudes towards outgroups (based on race, sexual orientation, body size, age, etc.), stereotypes (e.g., men are in science, women are in arts/humanities), opposing ideologies (e.g, Democrat vs. Republican), and a staggering array of other binary preferences (Classical-Hip hop IAT, Astrology-Science, Britney Spears-50 cent, Boxers-Briefs, Harry Potter-Lord of the Rings and on and on).

Or does it… ? There have been some vocal critics of the IAT over the years who have questioned what the test actually measures. I’ll return to this point later, but for now let’s look at the impressive aspects of the new paper.


Historic Moment for the Right to Legal Capacity

On Tuesday April 8, 2014, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted its first General Comment, on Article 12 which deals with the issue of legal capacity.  It was a moment that brought tears to my eyes and I turned and hugged another woman who was crying – Raquel Jelinek from the Mexican group CONFE, which advocates for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities.  I had not expected the adoption to happen so quickly and had not expected my tears.

As I listened just beforehand to the Committee read and discuss the finalized version of the General Comment, I found myself considering the text as I had done during the drafting and negotiation of the Convention itself: wow, this is good; this is not great but I can live with it . . .  there were no parts that I couldn’t live with.  The text of this General Comment is better than the Convention itself, in terms of the satisfying experience of hearing it made explicit that nonconsensual psychiatric interventions must be eliminated, and that the “controversial” concept of mental capacity can never be a basis for depriving anyone of legal capacity, including the capacity to perform legal acts, make one’s own decisions and create legal relationships. It is truly a watershed for users of survivors of psychiatry and people with psychosocial disabilities throughout the world, and for people with intellectual disabilities as well.

In short, with its adoption of General Comment No. 1, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has brought to fruition the work that was started way back in 2002 when the World Network of Users of Survivors of Psychiatry joined other organizations in starting to think about what rights we wanted to address in the new treaty.  The work is far from over, and the General Comment gives us a solid platform to push for changes in domestic laws throughout the world in countries that have ratified the CRPD.  But at the level of international law, the General Comment certifies that the CRPD establishes the fundamental shifts in perspective and principles that we advocated for, and that we believed as a matter of legal interpretation as well as social justice must be the correct understanding of the CRPD text.