It is the last night in Cambridge for this time, and it fills me with vemod (there is no English word for vemod) and deep gratefulness. It is one of the best times in my life, and part of it has to do with meeting such great and passionate people with whom important talks have taken place and with whom I have felt surrounded by joy, commitment and a wonderful seriousness.
It has also been a joy to study at the beautiful library, and to get to know about Jessie Taft, a therapist and social worker educator who lived here in US between 1882 and 1960. When reading her texts and biography written by her dear friend and colleague Virginia Robertson it feels like reading about the work of Barbro Sandin whom I have been gifted to know as a dear mentor for many years.
Both Jessie Taft and Barbro Sandin express the importance of being met like a real person by another real person, also when the meeting takes place in a therapy room. Both of them describe the relationship as the most important, and not to be afraid of emotions and feelings, but rather to acknowledge their importance without trying to explain it. Time as a limit is something else they seem to have in common, to make use of the time frame, and to be reminded about life and death and the responsibility which comes with being a human being.
The last month has been a reminder about essential things in life and work, and how to be useful in relation to people in need, but also how to listen to that which is of utterance importance in my own life. A lot of meetings have taken place, and some phenomenon tend to be more present, no matter where the meetings take place, no matter with whom. The importance of taken a stance, and to do that which has to be done.
As Barbro Sandin did when she claimed there is no such thing as schizophrenia as an illness, but rather as a reaction to life situations too hard to deal with, and by doing so challenged the whole psychiatric paradigm. Or as Peter Breggin did when he loudly protested against lobotomy and by doing so made a change for lots of people until then being numb in the psychiatric system. Robert Whitaker who tells about the increasing use of psychiatric diagnosis and drugs will tomorrow publish a new book which probably will create some “panic” amongst psychiatrists who have sold their souls to Big Pharma.
I have had a coffee today with Dan Fisher, a psychiatrist with own lived experience of being forced to taking drugs and also a meal this evening with Laura Delano, editor at MadinAmerica whom for years was “treated” in the psychiatric system, being told she would never get well. Both of them are bringing essential experience and wisdom into the movement which is determined to make a change regarding those called patients – those whom are labeled and prescribed drugs.
It is absolutely necessary to create a change when more and more kids are defined in terms of that which is called ADHD, without ever having found any evidence by blood tests or brain screenings, just by some vague symptoms described in the psychiatric DSM –system.
So as much as I find it hard to leave Cambridge, as much do I also find it good to soon be back at work, with the aim and mission to create some vital changes and present alternatives to the psychiatric biological model. We are many and will be more, in this text just a few important persons are mentioned, but there are many, many more. I am so happy to be a part.