This is an open letter from INTERVOICE to Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus at Duke University, about an article he published in the Huffington Post entitled Psychiatry and Recovery: Finding Common Ground and Joining Forces.
Professor Frances is an influential American psychiatrist best known for chairing the task force that produced the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) and for his more recent critiques of the current version, DSM-5.
His article was written in reaction to an Op-Ed by Eleanor Longden, an INTERVOICE board member, published in the Huffington Post entitled Why I Thank the Voices in My Head. This article followed up the very well-received video of Eleanor’s TED talk about her experience of hearing voices. Within a month of being posted online, the video of her speech has been viewed on the TED website over 780,000 times and on YouTube a further 58,000 times.
This open letter addresses the points of concern we have about his article and seeks to initiate a dialogue, both with Professor Frances, and others who are concerned and disheartened about the direction that psychiatry is taking.