Dear Daniel Mackler and Matthew Morrissey:
My name is Jackie Velnoskey. I saw that you have written A Way Out of Madness. My question for you is: may I promote the book at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in L.A., early April? It costs you nothing. All I\'m asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list.
I\'m giving you two LA Times promotion options to choose from: 1: you may forward a copy of your book to our address (see below), and we\'ll display it in L.A., or 2: we\'ll include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we\'re displaying and distributing during the LA Times event. Either option is free. Check out our Facebook page when we report live from L.A. where over 150,000+ are expected to attend.
At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Book Expo America, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, Baltimore Book Festival, and so on.
All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails. America Star Books has been around for more than fifteen years, serving over 60,000authors. Participating in book promotion is entirely optional.
Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.
America Star Books Special Services, manager
P.O. Box 151
Frederick, MD 21705
I\'m an aspiring therapist and I\'ve seen most every video you\'ve made and I appreciate what you do, thanks for doing it!
Having discovered you for the first time on YouTube yesterday I wanted to get in touch from the UK and welcome your honest and insightful observations about the practice of therapy and the training of therapists. I certainly admire your courage, as Voltaire (allegedly) said \'it is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong\'!
Your recognition, clearly based on lots of experience, that many therapists are more troubled than their clients/patients certainly rings true from this side of the pond as well. Of course, the institutions that position the practice of psychotherapy within wider society reflect the interests of the people working in those institutions, not necessarily the people who use the services. The myth of diagnosis serves to entrench those interests, confusing the treatment of the human body as an object (rightly the domain of consensual medicine, requiring patient passivity and clinical expertise) with the exploration of human being as embodied possibility (which lies within the domain of philosophy and relies on the mutuality of dialogue).
Having trained for many years as an attachment-based psychotherapist, I agree with much of what you say regarding the legacy of traumatic childhood experience. While I would never want to say that all behaviour and subjective experience is comprehensible to the external observer, surely it is fair to say that one should never reach a conclusion about its meaning until a person\'s history and their social context has been fully explored. In that sense, medical-diagnostic approaches can rightly be criticised as prima facie de-humanising.
However, in the spirit of constructive dialogue and a shared desire to learn, I would like to explore a little more the tendentious notion of a \'good\' therapist. I too have never yet met a practitioner/clinician who doesn\'t articulate the view that they are acting in a patient\'s best interests. This seems to be universal. The \'mad-doctors\' working in 18th century \'mad-houses\' said the same as they brutalised the inmates of that era.
Unfortunately, I think the simple truth is that a person choosing a therapist or reflecting on the value of a pre-existing therapeutic relationship can only rely on what you call instinct (as good a term as any). \'Goodness\' is something that only exists in the eye of the beholder and cannot be objectively determined, in the same way that madness or truth are not objectively determinable.
What I find so admirable in the way that you present yourself is that it would provide a prospective client with a wealth of information prior to making contact. A person who has learnt to be suspicious of the yawning gap between what people say they do and what they actually do is therefore provided with some space to become familiar with the way you are/see yourself in the world before throwing themselves into the odd relational intensity that is created by psychotherapy.
This makes me curious about why you stopped practising and I\'d be interested to know whether you found it easier to be open about yourself after you\'d stopped? For my part, I. too, stopped working as a therapist for a while because I simply couldn\'t bear to be associated with the absurdity of the mental health movement. Do you ever think about returning to practice?
One thought I would like to challenge is the idea that therapy is inherently asymmetric in terms of power, with the patient/client being unusually \'vulnerable\'. In life, we can\'t avoid the need to take control over the people we become involved with (I\'m not referring to psychiatric coercion here, which is a civil liberties issue masquerading as medicine). I\'ve known people with genuinely healthy and supportive backgrounds who became embroiled in dreadfully confusing and manipulative relationships. The difference is not that some people have an ability to manage how a relationship will develop but rather that, when things go wrong, they can return to the care of friends and family, rather than being thrown back into despondent, self-recriminatory isolation. Equally, as I often advise people who are despairing of ever finding a good relationship, you only need to find one person! As with everything else in life, courage, resilience and tolerance for the shortcomings of others count for a lot.
I also wonder if there are some cultural differences here. As I understand it, the US system is much more regulated and, with more treatment privately-funded, there is a greater need to create diagnoses in order for therapy to be funded as \'healthcare\'. Such a system is therefore very reliant on \'technical expertise\' or, as I would call it, the manufacture of pseudo-illness. Patients are therefore forced into passivity from inception, necessarily deprived of a language in which to frame their complaints.
By way of contrast, in the UK therapy is still an unregulated lay activity (although it nearly fell victim to statutory regulation a few years ago). As many therapists act for third parties (more often the National Health Service or employers, rather than insurers) clients over here often enjoy what might be considered consumer rights and are not always shy of complaining. Equally, many therapists working in the public sector are relatively uneducated and come from working class backgrounds. This means that they can be quite oppressed by employers or more articulate clients.
To my mind, patient \'vulnerability\' is not therefore an inevitable function of the therapeutic relationship itself but is instead induced by wider power interests that position psychotherapy within the world. I am sure there are lots of patients who have been entirely able and willing to tell their psychiatrist exactly where to stuff the medication that has been prescribed but judiciously recognise this will only result in further coercion or deprivation of liberty. Equally, the confident and well-educated can often induce shame and inadequacy in the less fortunate, irrespective of the chair in which they are sitting.
To me, this leads to two conclusions. Firstly, I wholeheartedly endorse your view that therapists should make their training and views of the world transparent from the outset. There are many, many schools of therapy - plenty of them mutually contradictory - so this seems to be the minimum that is required to allow patients/clients to make informed choices. Personally, I also agree that therapists should be encouraged to go further and explain much more about their history and lifestyle. However, this does seem more a matter of individual preference. While I personally love your open, thought-provoking style, I\'d be willing to bet that it scared the life out of some of the people who came to see you, expecting instead a reserved, neutral \'professional\' - barely a person at all.
Secondly, this analysis reinforces your idea that therapy is no panacea. Kinder communities, institutions and codes of personal conduct would be infinitely preferable to expanding the mental health movement. Learning from our children (not necessarily our own biological children) and other adults is more important than diagnosing and drugging those who make us uncomfortable into conformity. This seems to me to be an essentially a political struggle. Sadly, it seems to me that the US, once the proudest defender of individual liberty and a model of the benefits of independent thought, hard work and mutual co-operation, has now embarked upon a journey into pharma-induced torpor (sorry, that does sound a bit like Donald Trump but I guess there must be some reason he is popular over there). I worry about this because where the US leads, the UK usually follows. I was depressed to see that our own Lord Layard, an economist with no real knowledge of working as a therapist, has been doing the rounds in the US expounding the usual argument that \'mental illness\' does profound economic harm. As we know, the truth is the exact opposite. It is the mental health movement that inflicts terrible economic harm and personal tragedy by undermining personal autonomy and mutual co-operation.
On a final, more positive note, nearly twenty years ago I was working in S Carolina assisting attorneys working on behalf of death row inmates. At the time, it seemed inconceivable that the US would turn against the obscenity of racist, state-sanctioned killing. Now, the death penalty is in terminal decline and mums in Colorado can legally buy marijuana cakes for the weekend. How times change!!!
So keep going, my friend, our time will come!
All the best
Thank you so much for \"framing\" your beautiful insights, for your warmth and for having no inhibitions in expressing the depth of your character.
You\'ve helped me understand my psychiatrists a lot better 🙂 You\'ve given me \"well-documented\" cases of people genuinely overcoming severe mental anomalies, thus helping me counteract simplistic & misleading psychiatric narratives. You\'ve served as the only official psychotherapist I\'ve ever seen.
I\'ve grown, on my own, a lot... in both objective & inexplicable ways... and you are one of the rare people who has actually been helpful along the way. So thank you and know that your authenticity has contributed to mine.
All the best to you,
I just came across your interview with Amy Childs in 2011, about Bryn Athyn and Swedenborgians. Wonderful stuff. I am kind of amazed to find such a down-to-earth approach from yourself and from Amy.
I spent three years in Bryn Athyn. I totally agree with your evaluation on bringing up kids in this community. Our boy was 8 when we arrived and \'had to\' join the church school. Had to, because I was going through theological school to become a New Church minister.
It took me a few more years before I couldn\'t stand it anymore. The whole thing makes a captivating story though. Which I wrote as a novel, called \'Ordained.\'
Maybe you\'ll want to read it. See: https://muires.wordpress.com/
The road to hell is paved with noble religious sentiments.
Tell me about it…
Ordained Part II America is about the time I spent in Bryn Athyn, PA, in theological school. It contains a fictionalized account of my experience in classes and in the college, with the different teachers who are employed there, as well as with the bishop. It contains accounts from the Experiential Learning projects we were assigned, including the counseling classes where invited guests told their stories of what had happened to them in the name of the New Church.
It contains an account of a men’s group, as well as a detailed report of my first SWET weekend.
It contains the rumors I overheard about life in Bryn Athyn, about people, about New Church history. It contains reports on the extensive medication, indoctrination and child brain washing (which we experienced first hand because our 8-year old son attended the church school).
It contains accounts of the psychopathic imbalance that the bishop demonstrated in front of us all.
It touches upon the issue of women in the ministry, and of homosexuality, of course. What do the clergy really think about gays and lesbians? And about premarital sex, about divorce and remarriage? What is the actual standpoint that is not admitted to?
Finally it touches upon dissertation writing, the ordination procedure for ministers, and the requirements that theological school put upon us. Some of these were totally reasonable, some were fucking insane.
Welcome to a novel about the New Church. Available from Amazon.
Hi Daniel, Wishing you well... I feel you are in transition I am also In a deep way. I hope you will feel my need to talk to you. I know you are very busy. I communicate by talking if I could have 45 minutes of your time I will be very respectful. Please, I wont to get on your teem... \"WE\" can, how can I get my number to you?
I stumbled across one of your videos on YouTube. I found what you said resonating with my interpretations of my experience with therapists. I am mandated as a condition of my parole to participate in a sex offender program. I spent 12 years in prison where there was not even a superficial effort to provide help. Then, I get out 12 years later and I am mandated to be in an aggressive and intrusive program which uses such things as group bullying and polygraph tests as threats. Anyhow, due to my perspectives, background, and knowledge of certain things I believe I have been singled out by two of the therapists. This is very dangerous in my legal situation. I basically consider most of the practice terroristic bullying with thin veneer of we are thee experts and we care. I did my prison term without one disciplinary write up... basically a feat in such a volatile place...and have had a disciplinary incident free 2 1/2 years of parole. Now I am being required to go before a review due to the therapist \' telling on me\' - the charge? I\'m disruptive! I passed their polygraph and have been very compassionate to the others in the group - but I am a thought criminal because I have a mind or because I don\'t play the pretend game that the many of the successful subjects play. I am desperately looking for advice of help and truly wish that some caring organization or body would start an accountability process for these programs.
Dear Daniel Macker, LCSW
My name is Pascale Dellefield,LMFT I am a colleague in your field, and an artist with a recently published book , that I have written and illustrated titled \"Being With Heart\". My mission statement is \" A peace in healing the world emotionally\" and my company name is Health and Peace Greetings. I have also registered by own trademark with the US Trademark office. The reason I am mentioning all this is that it appears to me that we have a great deal in common. I am not afraid to speak up and do what I can to find ways to reach out to others to increase their awareness. I find that we are living in a time when consciousness is shifting, more people are interested in mindfulness practices, yoga, exercise, and holistic practices. i have been meditating for 7 years, and work in a managed care setting looking at authorizing services for the most severely and chronically ill patients. i am determined at not objectifying them, and keeping my heart of compassion open and advocating for them in a manner that is client centered. I have on numerous occasions found myself speaking out alone and no one to support me, and yet being thanked in the corridors, where no one important can really hear, for my compassion and passion for the clients. I would really like it if you took the time to look at the book that i have created. The illustrations are child like, and the text is very simple, perhaps even abstract, and yet has a great deal of depth. I am going to forward your article to my husband Ken Dellefield, Ph.D. who would very much appreciate it. He is very client centered and strong advocate of non-coercive methods regarding the client. He is also one who does not fear to speak up and speaks from a compassionate heart and one that is linked with the patient\'s best interest even when situations get complicated and are in crisis mode, he is not one to quickly jump to breach confidentiality out of his own fear. Thanks again Daniel for a beautifully written comprehensive well laid out article.
Pascale Dellefield, LMFT
San Diego, California
Really enjoyed the \"Bullshit\" song on youtube. After the hideous side effects of twenty different medications and numerous therapies I broke free from the dark world of mental health. It can be done.
You may not remember me, but I was very interested in your videos and your take on psychosis. I\'m in NYC now until Oct 4. I\'d like to catch up with you if you have time - coffee , lunch whatever.If so, I\'ll send my phone number in New York. If not, hope all is well for you and thank you for your work.
Western Australia 25/9/2015
Just watched your video on YouTube in critique of psychotherapy and after a lot of experience in this field as a client share your views extensively if not completely for my thoughts wandered a bit as I watched it and have to go back and see it and others you have posted on this same subject for they are so full of important information from both sides of the issue and that is what seems to give the most credibility in this subject. The power structure of it you mentioned is one of the things that I so asked myself about many times and then presented to a counselor once as a question as to why and where did that come from and how did it happen that there was a judgment position held by some people and how could it be guaranteed to be accurate? But the answer I got was a silent stare and nothing at all, and this counselor was close to retiring and had admitted to not knowing what was going on anyway and had been at times outwardly very verbally abusive as if I were the counselor and she venting at me about her own problems. I should mention here that I was told by a Vedic astrologer once that I have a natural kind of aptitude for psychology which explains I guess why I\'ve found myself on the receiving end of a lot of this kind of behavior throughout my life with people venting at me and my own empathy naturally kicking in, not so good as a child and so that is another story.
You made so many good points about the impossibility of this being a really hard science and more of an art form that seems it needs to be exposed more and more for the power of this profession is something that has what seem to be very serious consequences in the lives of millions of people all over the world and seems veiled a lot out of what I have seen as a desperation for answers and nothing else stepping up to give them so it is the last resort in the West generally for such problems as are dealt with in other ways in other cultures to good effect, though there are definitely some things that can be addressed by psychotherapy very well it seems. I told that counselor that it seemed to me since she admittedly had no answers then the best that psychotherapy could do was to triage the issues and give some outside description of the dynamics of a situation but as far as healing that was not going to happen because there were no real answers for solving the problems after they were identified, nothing other than logistical things that might be suggested but that deep healing was going to take something more like an Indian Saint could do. What you said about childhood trauma as the basis for the trauma that is what drives most people into psychotherapy makes sense but the further one goes into that the more one finds even deeper causes that are as I have said above only addressed by the modalities of Saints as far as I have seen and experienced. I suppose a combination if one can find it of a good counselor you very aptly described as being vulnerable in a good way and as you mentioned the leveling of the power in the relationship to be more on equal footing so that there is an interplay of mutual respect and added in an Indian Saint are things that make the most sense to me. Demystifying the hype there is that has put psychotherapy and psychiatry where they are today and showing them for their limitations is something I would sincerely like to see more of and I think is sorely needed in the world today.
Here\'s a tip for you folks: There is currently a flurry of interest in the relationship between gratitude and morality, frequently quoting Cicero\'s dictum that gratitude is the mother of all virtue (=morality). Freud concluded that morality is an illusion, and this view explains why Freudian therapy is dangerous to one\'s morale.
Morality is behavior influenced by the Golden Rule, that is, do not do to others what you would not like done to you. This is a natural intuition, unless a person does not have a normal prosocial childhood.
You folks can take these ideas and run with them.
Hi Daniel, I\'ve enjoyed watching your films for a while and encouraged my students to do so. Since retiring I have tried making a film about voice hearing and put it on YouTube. It\'s called Listening to Voice Hearers. It\'s not anywhere near as professional as your films, but I do think it is a much better way of communicating than writing academic papers.
Hi Daniel - Thank you for doing the film on the Open Dialogue process. I found Prakash Ellenhorn in Boston using it. Also, I\'m curious for you to address how your parents might have evolved or grown for you to be in relationship with them. If you\'ve addressed it, it would help other parents who might be willing to do so.
I want full recovery for my son, James, 24, first diagnosed with major paranoid schizophrenia on 11/11/11. He will be discharged next week from the Hawaii State Mental Hospital with Pychosis with Schizophrenic tendencies. He refuses medications, a good thing. He told me that he wants to start a band and play specifically in Finland and Sweden! Without knowing about the treatment available there! How can I get James into treatment in Finland? Or get the same model started in Hawaii on Maui?? I make connections almost everyday now!
I just finished watching your documentary \"Open Dialogue\" and I\'m blown away! My younger brother has been barely surviving his neuroleptics-based psychotherapy treatment (Canada) for almost six years. As a family, we\'ve been feeling absolutely hopeless in watching the progressive deterioration of his quality of life. This video has opened our eyes to a new hope we had no clue existed. Just knowing of at least one country\'s success with overcoming such a debilitating illness is enough to motivate us to seek more support for non-medication based forms of therapy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Just found your website, thank you for being out there.
Good morning , please I need to reach your medical center in Finland as we have son of my best friend Need for treatment of disease of the psychotic disorder . my tel is xxxxxxx Cairo - Egypt ashraf matarawy
I just kind of stumbled upon one of your videos.
I liked what you had to say, and really respect your honesty...
Dear Daniel, I\'m a friend of Teodoro, that wrote you few weeks ago. Since I\'m coming to New york from june 24 to july 1, my friend mentioned about you. So if you feel and have time to meet me, we could axchange about our work and foundation FIVE relating to human ethical relationship.
Let me know and have a great time with yourself, Ulisse
I struggled greatly with confronting my father a few years back about his emotional absence and the way he played the victim. As a holocaust survivor he felt \"entitled\" to play the victim and does not know how to take responsibility. Many felt i was brutal in standing up to an absent father that had \"suffered so much\". Sadly the children get lost and not heard when the perceived victim has manipulated others to believe their story.
Reading Daniel\'s book on Breaking away from Parents made me realise i had been on the right track all along. Intuitively it felt right if i was ever to heal and not continue to carry his unresolved trauma. Therapists that trained me felt this was unfair and selfish of me and i needed to find compassion for him, and in the process suppressing my own internalised feelings of shame and anger.
I think Daniel is a visionary who is way ahead of his time. I sense there are but a few people have done enough self development and healing of their early life attachment trauma to truly \"get\" him. I would say some of his views on parenting are even a tad radical for me, although i agree with much if not most of what he has to say. The world needs more like him who are prepared to make a stand against the narcissistic dysfunctional codependent sickness that is manifesting itself in our society. We have a long way to go, many generations before there is a seed change in humanity - but it has to start somewhere.
Hi Daniel, I am an author and devote of Alice Miller. You might find it interesting that her work triggered a full kundalini experience that lasted 5 weeks (the story of what happened I plan to write about at some point ... almost unbelevable)....this, after working my entire life on recovery from childhood trauma. I wrote a book entitled \"unSpirituality - Permission to be Human\" which makes the connection between the spiritual quest and childhood trauma. I wanted to connect and thank you for spreading the word....its nice to know someone cares enough to talk about it publicly since the thought of \"feeling\" the past in the moment is terrifying for most.
Thank-you so much for sharing your experiences in the YouTube Childhood Trauma. I took notes 😀 as it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have been off work on stress-leave and with a depression. I so want to be real for my two amazing kids and lessen their trauma. Thanks once again.
Hello Daniel Mackler,
My name is Dimitra Zervopoulos and I am very gratefully in therapy with Dr Ayme Turnbull. The only comment I\'d like to make for the time being is that I was UNable to subscribe to your blog using the subscription button you provided. Just wanted to bring to your attention.. I supposed I could just visit your blog periodically to read, but it would be nice to get email alerts of your postings.
I find your point of view extremely interesting; though certain ideas, disagreeable. I would like to post some comments soon to interact with you and other readers. Many Thanks for this website!!
I was fascinated by the documentaryof the Western Lappland Open Dialogue Approach. Its so fascinating what is possible, once we shape shift our pradigm.
I just discovered this talk on an alternative treatment center in Canada.
It seemin Quebec....
As both a psychoanalyst and a psychiatrist, Danielle Bergeron is the director of 388, the Psychoanalytic Treatment Center for Young Adults Psychotics. With her psychoanalyst coworkers from the GIFRIC (Freudian Interdisciplinary Research and Clinical Intervention Group), Dr. Bergeron developed a new clinical process allowing patients to resume their academic and work lives as well as fully participate as citizens. This represents radical progress in the field, since the patients can gradually regain their autonomy, rather than be taken care of for life by institutions.
With all this Information face. There is so much to deal with and to get clear on.
Where to find a inner guidance. Its easy for me to stay happy and alife. I have problems to deal with a long future planning. This drive me nuts.
Also with trusting relationship.
How to deal with deep genuine kinds of expressions? To Deal with this overload of possibilieties and impression? .... 🙂 I have tried so much from Diet, til Lifestyle, til reshaping my social life. There is so much possible. What i find hard, is the dealing with the dominant culture. How to face the expectation of the dominant culture? How to get the own life vision to reality? How to care for the own needs? How to keep something like deep inside genuine feeling and experience in this fast turning world alive?
Anyway thanks to you!
Best Wishes Niko
I was really (positively) impacted by the family interviews you showed in the Healing Homes film. After reflection, I wondered more about the community of the families hosting people in crisis. Specifically, are they Christians or part of another spiritual community or support social network?
I\'m here in Seattle part of a Mindfreedom group as well as working toward the eventual goal of a Soteria type house. Thanks for your work on the films!
Hi Daniel, I just read your post on the post in Mad In America. I\'m glad I came across this. You mentioned that the post didn\'t have adequate visibility. This happens and the editors don\'t quite know why. It\'s possible, in fact probable, that this may be the result of hacking. My own blog has been hacked and I am working to fix this. My own writing in there was buried and then forgotten. I am a person whose voice was shut out completely until I relocated, so I felt that at least there should be compensation (something like Equal Opportunity). Unfortunately, when I wrote to Robert Whitaker I wasn\'t clear on this and in no way wanted to accuse.
My entries are still up there in Mad In America. Here\'s one:http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/12/trapped/ and here\'s the other:http://www.madinamerica.com/2015/03/journey-freedom-three-part-story/ I was heartbroken after the second one was published and then, almost ignored. Also, despite my repeated requests, my bio is missing. This was a glitch they\'re working on. I still feel hurt, though. If I were someone famous that everyone loves, I really wouldn\'t care. But I am a published author who was silenced, so I do care.
I will go read that post.
Hey Daniel, just stopping by to say hi. Hope you are doing well!
It\'s nice to see one standing your ground and sticking to your feelings truthfully.
I saw your interview in the \'Borderline science\' show on Croatian TV.
I find these 2 people, Dr. Judith Wright and Dr. Bob Wright quite inspirational too. https://www.youtube.com/user/transformyourworld
Maybe you\'ll enjoy watching it.
And you\'re right, putting your thoughts in videos is much more effective.