Workshops and Training

Harm Reduction Guide To Coming Off Psychiatric Medication

Will Hall in Conversation About Psychiatric Medication, Manchester, 4th February 2021

Held on Thursday, February 4, 2021 we were joined by Will Hall who talked about a harm reduction approach to the psychiatric medication withdrawal process.

He has spoken around the world about the harm reduction approach to withdrawing from psychiatric medication and was a co author of the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming of Psychiatric Drugs with the Icarus Project. He is currently a PhD candidate at Maastricht University Medical Center – School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, supervised by Dr. Jim van Os doing research into alternatives to psychiatric medications.

You can see the video of the meeting here

The Myth of the Chemical Cure

Joanna Moncrieff in conversation about the “The Myth of the Chemical Cure”

Joanna Moncrieff is a British psychiatrist who has published extensively about psychiatric medication.

Her books include “The Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs”, “The Bitterest Pill” and “The Myth of the Chemical Cure”.

She also challenges the accepted account that portrays antipsychotics as specific treatments that target an underlying brain disease and explores early views that suggest, in contrast, that antipsychotics achieve their effects by inducing a state of neurological suppression.

Further, she believes we need to de-medicalise human emotions.

She aims to overturn the claim that psychiatric drugs work by correcting chemical imbalance, and analyses the professional, commercial and political vested interests that have shaped this view.

You can see the video of the meeting here

Taking Control of Medication

A conversation with Alison Branitski and Dirk Corstens

In July 2020 we held our first online public meeting on this important issue.

We invited Alison Branitski from Massachussets, USA and Dirk Corstens from near Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Alison no longer uses psychiatric medication and Dirk is a social psychiatrist.

We invited them both because of their knowledge and experiences and because they worked together on a project run by the Psychosis Research Unit here in Greater Manchester.

They considered the issues surrounding coming off medication from their own perspectives.

We also brought together six people with different experiences who responded to the conversation.

Alison Branitsky

Alison Branitsky is a survivor researcher who works with the Psychosis Research Unit and Complex Trauma and Resilience Research Units in Manchester, as well as with the Hearing Voices Research and Development project in the USA.

Her research focuses on the relationship between trauma and voice hearing, with a particular interest in psychosocial ways of responding to voices, such as voice dialogue and peer support.

Outside of research, Alison uses her own experiences coming off psychiatric drugs to support others to make informed choices about medication. She has facilitated peer support groups on hearing voices, suicide, spirituality, and withdrawing from psychiatric medication.

Dirk Corstens

Dirk Corstens is a social psychiatrist and psychotherapist and has been a key collaborator in Marius Romme and Sandra Escher’s Hearing Voices project at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, since 1992.

He was Chair of the Intervoice Board between 2009 and 2016 during which period hearing voices work was established in 11 new countries.

During his work and research, Dirk discovered that many people who hear challenging voices found that a turning point in coping with the experience is finding different ways of talking with and understanding them. Exploring the voice’s motives and discovering different ways of relating to them can help change the relationship between the voice-hearer and their voices.

You can see the video here

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