Taking Control of Medication: A conversation with Alison Branitski and Dirk Corstens

Following our first well attended online meeting in April 2020 we organised a second online public meeting in July on this important issue.

This time 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 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 back together the six people with different experiences who spoke about medication at our last meeting and who will respond to the conversation.

More information about our guests
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 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.

With thanks to National Survivor Users Network for their sponsorship.

This event is organised by the Manchester based Taking Control of Psychiatric Medication Network

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