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  • By Daniel Mackler

    In the far north of Finland, a stone's throw from the Arctic Circle, a group of innovative family therapists converted the area's traditional mental health system, which once boasted some of Europe's poorest outcomes for schizophrenia, into one that now gets the best statistical results in the world for first-break psychosis. They call their approach Open Dialogue. Their principles, though radical in this day and age of multi-drug cocktails and involuntary hospitalizations, are surprisingly simple. They meet clients in crisis immediately and often daily until the crises are resolved. They avoid hospitalization and its consequential stigma, preferring to meet in the homes of those seeking their services. And, perhaps most controversially, they avoid the use of anti-psychotic medication wherever possible. They also work in groups, because they view psychosis as a problem involving relationships. They include in the treatment process the families and social networks of those seeking their help, and their clinicians work in teams, not as isolated, sole practitioners. Additionally, their whole approach values of the voice of everyone in the process, most especially the person directly in crisis. And finally, they provide their services, which operate within the context of Finnish socialized medicine, for free. Open Dialogue weaves together interviews with psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and journalists to create both a powerful vision of medication-free recovery and a hard-hitting critique of traditional psychiatry.
  • By Daniel Mackler

    Healing Homes, a feature-length documentary film directed by Daniel Mackler, chronicles the work of the Family Care Foundation in Gothenburg, Sweden -- a program which, in this era of multi-drug cocktails and psychiatric diagnoses-for-life, helps people recover from psychosis without medication. The organization, backed by over twenty years of experience, places people who have been failed by traditional psychiatry in host families -- predominately farm families in the Swedish countryside -- as a start for a whole new life journey. Host families are chosen not for any psychiatric expertise, rather, for their compassion, stability, and desire to give back. People live with these families for upwards of a year or two and become an integral part of a functioning family system. Staff members offer clients intensive psychotherapy and provide host families with intensive supervision. The Family Care Foundation eschews the use of diagnosis, works within a framework of striving to help people come safely off psychiatric medication, and provides their services, which operate within the context of Swedish socialized medicine, for free. Healing Homes weaves together interviews with clients, farm families, and staff members to create both a powerful vision of medication-free recovery and an eye-opening critique of the medical model of psychiatry.
  • By Daniel Fisher, MD, PhD

    I hope for a day when: Every person who experiences extreme emotional states is engaged in respectful, hopeful, humanistic, and empowering relationships that enable them to heal and recover full, meaningful lives in the community. Instead of being seen as threats to society, we will be seen as a source of wisdom that we have obtained through our recovery. Practices like Open Dialogue will eliminate the long-term iatrogenic effects of a prophesy of doom and lifelong illness. Suffering will be seen as an understandable human response to trauma rather than a chemical imbalance or a defective fear circuit. Voluntary, community-based, recovery-oriented, culturally attuned, traumainformed services and housing will replace psychiatric hospitals. The mental health system will be run by persons with lived experience of recovery from extreme emotional states. Everyone will learn how to assist each other through extreme emotional states by learning communication skills such as Emotional CPR.
  • By Laurie Ahern, Daniel Fisher, MD PhD

    People can and do recover from severe emotional distress known as "mental illness".

    This curriculum has been developed by Laurie Ahern and Dan Fisher MD, Ph.D. It includes a 34-page guide and a 90-minute video lecture on the PACE (Personal Assistance in Community Existence) curriculum, featuring information on the empowerment model of recovery, PACE/Recovery principles, and recovery research. This information is useful for administrators, consumers, families, advocates, and providers who want to transform their system to one based on a recovery culture.  
  • By Patricia Deegan, PhD

    "How does one work with people who are unmotivated"

    This curriculum, organized into eight modules, will help consumer/survivors/ex-patients, staff, families and friends to provide more effective support and compassionate understanding for those diagnosed with mental illness who appear unmotivated. Roy Starks, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Mental Health Corp. of Denver, Inc. wrote: "Both staff and members found the training materials invaluable. I have worked in the field of Psychiatric Rehabilitation for thirty years and found this training tape to be the most helpful I have ever seen...I recommend this training to anyone working in mental health." Staff of the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare comments:
    • "Pat is a powerful myth-buster!"
    • "These tapes really challenge and overturn conventional ways of thinking about 'unmotivated' or 'low-functioning' consumers."
    • "Pat makes it so clear that their are no cookie cutter approaches, and her emphasis on relationship is so important."
    • "These training materials will really be useful in working with staff who are resistant to the role changes that are needed to move the system toward a recovery orientation."
    • "There is so much authenticity in this material. It is a grounded and thoughtful presentation of the life experience of real people."
  • By Daniel Fisher, MD, PhD, Judi Chamberlin

     

    Training for peer coaches, family members and providers.

    "Recovery through Peer Support" is a curriculum for consumers in training to become peer coaches, for consumers wishing to further their own recovery, for family members, and those wanting to assist another person in their development as a whole human being while learning new skills for promoting recovery. The curriculum describes the evolution of peer support by mental health consumers, gives concrete suggestions of ways to facilitate recovery by using the 10 major principles of recovery developed by NEC, and contains interviews with peer coaches describing their experiences. Written by authors with decades of experience in peer support and consumer movement.  
  • Purchase the complete Recovery Series for the combined price of $149.

    Includes one each of the following:
    • PACE/Recovery Curriculum - $49.00
    • PACE/Recovery through Peer Support Curriculum  - $69.00
    • PACE/Recovery through Peer Providers - $29.00
    • PACE/Recovery Reader - $30.00

    $177.00 If priced separately

  • Note: The Hearing Voices Curriculum is now available as a virtual training. For some suggestions on how to conduct this training virtually, click here.

    Learn more about the Updated Hearing Voices Curriculum in the video below.

     

    Originally created by Patricia Deegan, PhD with updates by Dr. Dan Fisher and Oryx Cohen

    WHAT IS IT?

    Hearing Voices That Are Distressing is a complete training/curriculum package in which participants use headphones for listening to a specially designed recording.  During this simulated experience of hearing voices, participants undertake a series of tasks including social interaction in the community, a psychiatric interview, cognitive testing, and an activities group in a mock day treatment program.  The simulation experience is followed by a debriefing and discussion period.  The curriculum includes an updated DVD and updated discussion questions that focus on what we can do to support people who hear voices.
    "...The first graduate students who experienced 'Hearing Voices' said it changed their lives. We now require it for all our graduate students in sites across the country."      ~ Paul J. Carling, Ph.D. Executive Director The Center for Community Change, Trinity College, Vermont "...The voices simulation gave me a good overview of what people who do hear voices go through on a day to day basis." "...Incredible experience which gave a great insight. " "...Every Officer should have this experience so they can understand what people who hear voices are going through."      ~ Law Enforcement Officers from Utah CIT Academies

    WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS TRAINING?

    This curriculum has been developed and piloted for a wide range of mental health professionals including: Inpatient/outpatient psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, social workers; psychologists; direct care workers in residential, day treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation programs; mental health administrators, policy makers; and police officers, academic faculty and students.
    "...I recently participated in the 'Hearing Voices' training. I must confess, I was disturbed by the sudden realization that I have been treating schizophrenia for four years, yet I have never known what it really was. I may have had the knowledge, but not the wisdom or true empathy -­ until now."      ~ Jim Willow, M.D. Psychiatric Resident, PsycHealth Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

    Sample a sound byte from the hearing voice simulation (mp3, 1843 KB) Please be advised: Contains mild profanities

    WHO CREATED IT?

    Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and developed this curriculum as part of her work with the National Empowerment Center. She also publishes and lectures internationally on the topics of recovery and empowerment. Pat is a person with a psychiatric disability, who also has experience hearing voices that are distressing.