Category Archives: Policy

Mad studies brings a voice of sanity to psychiatry | Peter Beresford | Society | The Guardian

“Recovery” was meant to be the bright new idea of mental health policy. For many service users, however, it has become code for cutting support and trying to push people off benefits and into employment. The rhetoric of “user involvement” carries less conviction as the sector is reshaped more by a push to privatisation than by the appeal for parity of esteem with physical health policy….

Mad studies brings a voice of sanity to psychiatry | Peter Beresford | Society | The Guardian.

Australasian Psychiatry Feature on Psychotherapy –

Edwin Harari 2104 Ghost Busting: Re-introducing psychotherapy for the psychiatrist


Objective: The purpose of this paper is to provide a clinically relevant historical and conceptual overview of psychotherapy as an introduction to a forthcoming series of papers on specific models of psychotherapy. The author offers a selective review of some key ideas in the history and practice of psychotherapy.

Conclusion: The principles of psychotherapy should inform all psychiatric practice, including the doctor– patient relationship, multidisciplinary teams caring for patients with complex or ‘treatment resistant’ problems, and patients who are non-compliant with psychotropic medication.

Keywords: psychotherapy, doctor–patient relationship, treatment resistance, psychotherapy and medication

Australasian Psychiatry 2014, Vol 22(5) 433–436 © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2014 Reprints and permissions:

Australasian Psychiatry – Signposts DOI: 10.1177/1039856214546673

Ghost Busting: re-introducing psychotherapy for the psychiatrist

Edwin Harari Consultant Psychiatrist, St. Vincent’s Hospital Area Mental Health Service, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia

Psychotherapy (‘healing the mind’) is a particular type of interpersonal influence, wherein one person, acknowledged by society as possessing relevant skills (the psychotherapist) seeks to change the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behaviours, relationships or personality of a suffering other (the patient):

If one posits that the relation between doctor and patient has been critically wounded, how are we to understand whether, and on what basis, that relationship may be reasserted ? AI Tauber

The pedagogy for engaging hidden values and divided selves is the moral building of the clinician as a full developed human being. A Kleinman

I do not favour the way Descartes ontologically screwed up a reasonable search for mind-brain docking during the past four centuries yielding life-denying monstrosities like radical behaviourism and an emotionless information processing cognitivism… J Panksepp

The possibility of intersubjective knowledge offers a welcome relief from a forced choice between pure subjectivity (Descartes) and true objectivity (Kant). EM Hundert

The outcome of the game is to convert what would otherwise be a nameless trauma into a loss. J Lear

As a general rule throughout Asia, the more patriarchal the society, the more the Buddha looks like a woman: the more egalitarian the society, the more the Buddha looks like a man. L Shlain

Psychotherapists, especially, appreciate [that]… this painful ambivalence is as old as the ice-age, a hallmark of Cro-Magnon man, torn between his craving for consolation and his fear of revenge. J Cawte

Each of the above quotations may serve as a conceptual signpost or creative condensation of the argument each of the authors’ advances in their respective texts which bear on the nature, subject matter and practice of psychotherapy.

Read more here

 Tauber AI. Confessions of a medicine man: an essay in popular philosophy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002, p.103.
 Kleinman A. The divided self, hidden values and moral sensibility in medicine. Lancet 2011; 377: 804–805.
 Panksepp J. The self and ‘its’ vicissitudes. Critique of commentaries. Neuropsychoanaly-sis 2002; 4: 50.
 Hundert EM. Philosophy, psychiatry and neuroscience. Three approaches to the mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990, p.297.
 Lear J. Happiness, death and the remainder of life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.92.
 Shlain L. The alphabet versus the goddess. New York: Penguin, 1998, p.200.
 Cawte J. Aboriginal healing: psychotherapy in ancient society. Aust J Psychother 1988; 7: 14.
 Doidge N. The brain that changes itself. Melbourne: Scribe, 2007, p.216.
 Wolff HH. The therapeutic and developmental functions of psychotherapy. Br J Med Psychol 1971; 44: 117–130.
 Markowitz JC and Milrod BL. The importance of responding to negative affect in psycho-therapies. Am J Psychiatr 2011; 168: 124–128.
 Frank JD and Frank JB. Persuasion and healing: a comparative study of psychotherapy (3rd edition). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.
 Kernberg OF. Severe personality disorders: psychotherapeutic strategies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984.
 Gabbard G and Kay J. The fate of integrated treatment: whatever happened to the biopsychosocial psychiatrist? Am J Psychiatr 2001; 158: 1956–1963.

Hunter Institute of Mental Health – DiG Festival

The Hunter Institute will drive the integration of a mental health stream into the DiG Festival allowing business, education providers, technology providers together with young people, academics and experts from the field to network and share successes and idea’s for the future.

– See more at:

The Hunter Institute of Mental Health are excited to announce a new partnership with DiG Festival, with the introduction of a new major health stream in this year’s conference, to be held in Newcastle from 16-17 October 2014.

The DiG Festival is running a 72 hour sale on conference tickets at the discounted price of $99 for the mental health and suicide prevention sector.

To purchase $99 tickets click on the link below

END SECLUSION NOW – End Seclusion Now, in all NZ hospitals

We are absolutely certain that the inevitable abolition of seclusion is near upon us. Join us so we can once and for all eliminate seclusion… now!

END SECLUSION NOW – End Seclusion Now, in all NZ hospitals.

We need a similar campaign in Australia and the world over!

19th ISPS International Congress in New York City | ISPS NY 2015

Abstract submission now open

March 18 – 22, 2015 at The Cooper Union in New York City

19th ISPS International Congress in New York City | ISPS NY 2015.

Opening minds stigma scale for health care providers (OMS-HC): examination of psychometric properties and responsiveness

Unfortunately, many mental health workers and other health workers stigmatise their clients, often without being aware of this process. The Canadian Mental Health Commission has funded a programme to address this with the funding of the Opening Minds project.

A full report and final version of the Opening Minds Scale is available here

With a report on the development of the scale here BMC Psychiatry | Abstract | Opening minds stigma scale for health care providers (OMS-HC): examination of psychometric properties and responsiveness.

King’s College London – World’s first Professor in User Led Research

Here is recognition of the importance of the real experts in mental health – the service users, who are transforming psychiatry from an elite, hierarchical endeavor, into a democratic and authentic approach to human suffering King’s College London – World’s first Professor in User Led Research.

How to facilitate and support self-determination of patients in psychiatric practice

EPA 30th Anniversary Ethics Symposium 2013
15 November 2013 – Council of Europe – Strasbourg, France
How to facilitate and support self-determination of patients in psychiatric practice
Abstract of presentation by A. Heinz, Prof. Dr. med.
There is currently a debate between legal practitioners and psychiatrists on different forms of compulsory treatment and their ethical implications. This debate is based on different concepts of autonomy and its prerequisites. We advocate an approach that centers on the individual demands of the person, promotes open settings and focuses on intensified relationships

WHO WE ARE 30th Anniversary Anniversary Symposium | European Psychiatric Association.

“Too much coercion in mental health services”

“Sometimes, coercion of patients may be hard to avoid, but it’s something to which mental health professionals too easily resort”

This commentary by Professor Richard Bentall (from the  of Clinical Psychology at University of Liverpool), who recently visited us in Australia, reviews the evidence supporting the increases in coercive treatment for psychosis, and finds little evidence that the year-by-year increases in forces admissions and medication has lead to improvements in outcomes.

He also points to the real deficits in psychiatric practice, and research – the use of, and search for treatments that patients actually want!

Interesting (and free) online articles on resilience and recovery, in ‘Studies in Social Justice’

Vol 6, No 1 (2012): The Politics of Resilience and Recovery in Mental Health Care

Guest Editors: Jijian Voronka and Alison Howell

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Politics of Resilience and Recovery in Mental Health Care PDF
Jijian Voronka, Alison Howell 1-7


Uncovering Recovery: The Resistible Rise of Recovery and Resilience PDF
David Harper, Ewen Speed 9-26
Towards a Social Justice Framework of Mental Health Recovery PDF
Marina Morrow, Julia Weisser 27-43
Power and Participation: An Examination of the Dynamics of Mental Health Service-User Involvement in Ireland PDF
Liz Brosnan 45-66
The New Vocabulary of Resilience and the Governance of University Student Life PDF
Katie Aubrecht 67-83
“Recovering our Stories”: A Small Act of Resistance PDF
Lucy Costa, Jijian Voronka, Danielle Landry, Jenna Reid, Becky Mcfarlane, David Reville, Kathryn Church 85-101

Other Articles

Homelessness in the Suburbs: Engulfment in the Grotto of Poverty PDF
Isolde Daiski, Nancy Viva Davis Halifax, Gail J. Mitchell, Andre Lyn 103-123
The Aesthetic Post-Communist Subject and the Differend of Rosia Montana PDF
Irina Velicu 125-141

Book Reviews

Review of Global Child Poverty and Well-Being: Measurement, Concepts, Policy and Action PDF
Laura Camfield 143-146
Review of Becoming Biosubjects: Bodies, Systems, Technologies PDF
Audrey L’Espérance 147-149