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COMMUNITYPSYCHUK  January 2007

COMMUNITYPSYCHUK January 2007

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Subject:

Re: critical reading on everyday psychiatry?

From:

Mark Burton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The UK Community Psychology Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 10 Jan 2007 18:30:33 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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A good series - I don't suppose they'll meet the needs of the original 
request, but the 2 original ones by Mexican cartoonist Rius were Cuba 
for Beginners and Marx for Beginners - still worth reading if you can 
find them.



Baker Kevin wrote:
> David
> have you come across the "...For Beginners" books by Writers and Readers
> Publishing in the US, and a similar series that used to use the same
> title published by Icon Press in the UK with different authors. Icon
> Press have now re-issued their books in a series called
> "Introducing...".
>
> Both series of books use a comic-book format - usually much more
> accessible and critical than traditional text based books (i.e
> 'textbooks') and are therefore usually 'critical' through their format
> as well as content.
>
> I think 'Foucault for Beginners' by Lydia Alix Fillingham (ISBN
> 086316160X) would be good, but also possibly bits of 'Postmodernism for
> Beginners' by Jim Powell (ISBN 08316188X), and maybe bits of 'Chomsky
> for Beginners' too!?
>
> "Psychiatry for Beginners" by Brider and Castneda (ISBN 0863161669) is
> now out of print - but is a good critical read. It includes the Wizard
> of Oz (!), and is critical of diagnoses and medical treatment.
>
> In the Icon Press books, the authors take a slightly different take on
> some of the issues - but still worth a look. I think they do their own
> comic book verisons of Foucault, Chomsky and possibly postmodernism, but
> I'm not sure if they did psychiatry or anti-psychiatry.
>
> Of course there may be other books using a comic-book approach that
> might be accessible while still dealing with important issues. What
> about using films too?
>
> Best wishes
>
> Kevin Baker
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: The UK Community Psychology Discussion List on behalf of David
> Fryer
> Sent: Tue 09-Jan-07 2:52 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [COMMUNITYPSYCHUK] critical reading on everyday psychiatry?
>
>
> Dear Craig,
>
> Thanks for reopening this issue.
>
> Interestingly, Marie Jahoda - who I regard as an early critical
> community psychologist - set up the Brunel Psychology undergraduate
> course as a sandwich course in which students worked in factories,
> offices etc for a year whilst critically reflecting on the mutual
> implications of work life for academic life and vice versa and I would
> like to see something similar going on today (though these days
> experience may need to be more often in call centres and part time
> service sector jobs rather than in factories at least in this part of
> the world)
>
> However the people interested in potential books I am talking about are
> not Uni students but 'users' of psychiatric services who are also
> community activists using arts to tackle stigma, stereotypes, injustice,
> oppression in relation to mental health. They are, despite their
> artivism, subject to the attentions of psychiatrists, community
> psychiatric nurses, psychiatric social workers etc and are 'given'
> diagnoses, treatments, discursively positioned and generally 'talked
> at'. When they are told they are suffering from schizophrenia, bi-polar
> disorder, have a personality disorder etc. in need of treatment they
> want to know in plain language what this means to the person doing the
> talking and what it means in terms of the potential disempowerment of
> the person doing the hearing. Engels may be key critical reading but may
> not be priority reading if being faced by being sectioned? However the
> social justice activism side of the project means that it is also
> important to engage critically with the psy-complex and its discourses .
> . . and so many good books which do that are pretty inaccessible to
> those are not professional readers (Rose or Foucault would be hard going
> for some in the group)
>
> So we want to find something to read which helps translate and decode
> psy-professionals' talk (and their doing by talking) but also which
> problemetises and deconstructs it in an accessible way. I have not come
> across anything yet . . . but am still hopeful though also perhaps
> increasingly wondering if it is yet to be written?
>
> David
>
>
> David Fryer
> University of Stirling
> FK9 4LA
> Scotland
> +44 (0) 1786 467650 (tel)
> +44 (0) 1786 467641 (fax)
> [log in to unmask]
>
>         -----Original Message-----
>         From: The UK Community Psychology Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Craig Newnes
>         Sent: 09 January 2007 1:29 pm
>         To: [log in to unmask]
>         Subject: Re: critical reading on everyday psychiatry?
>        
>        
>         I find myself agitated by the suggestions to David about
> potential books. They are the usual suapects - even our own (This is
> madness and This is madness too) are edited by Clinical Psychologists
> tho many chapters are by survivors and others. How about starting with
> Engels, as a far more insightful read? Anyone not paid by the psych
> industry can question it and point out its myriad flaws - indeed David
> himself blasted the non link between so called cognitions, biochemistry
> and conduct in Forum last year. Perhaps the students could work in a
> factory for a year instead.
>         Craig
>         
>         
>         -----Original Message-----
>         From: [log in to unmask]
>         To: [log in to unmask]
>         Sent: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 3.29PM
>         Subject: Re: [COMMUNITYPSYCHUK] critical reading on everyday
> psychiatry?
>        
>        
>         David,
>         
>         How about 'Users and Abusers of Psychiatry' (2000) by Rowe and
> Johnstone. Very readable, not too technical and critical to some extent
> but might have a bit too much of a psychotherapeutic focus and is not as
> critical as it could be,
>         
>         Mike
>        
>         Annie Mitchell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>                 Hi David,
>                 
>                  You could try  Madness Explained by Richard P Bentall (
> penguin paperback; 2nd edition 2004) ? It doesn't meet all your
> requirements in that it doesn't look at all diagnostic categories, only
> psychosis/ schizophrenia, but it does give a very thorough explanation
> of the DSM criteria, and why the medical model categories are
> inappropriate. Written by a cognitive psychologist but informed by wider
> considerations of social justice - the author makes personal connections
> as he had a brother who was diagnosed as psychotic. It's technical, long
> but readable.
>                 
>                 Regarding anxiety and depression, you could try Goldberg
> and Goodyear (2005) Origins and Course of Common Mental Disorders.
> Routledge. Again, this challenges medical model thinking but probably
> not as socially critical as you would want.
>                 
>                 Annie
>                 
>                 
>                 
>                 
>                 
>                 
>                 
>                 -----Original Message-----
>                 From: The UK Community Psychology Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Fryer
>                 Sent: 02 January 2007 15:28
>                 To: [log in to unmask]
>                 Subject: critical reading on everyday psychiatry?
>                 
>                 Happy New Year
>                 
>                 Can anyone recommend a good book for the following
> purposes, please?
>                 
>                 Some of us who are members of an expressive arts mental
> health group in Scotland, plan to meet in the new year in a 'book group'
> to read, think about and critically discuss the diagnoses some of us
> have been given by psychiatrists and the broader context of psychiatry
> and psy-professions. We are looking for recommendations of a book or
> books to use. We have three requirements of such a book:
>                 
>                 First, we do need a book which really clearly explicates
> the so-called symptoms, diagnostic categories, common pharmaceutical and
> other interventions etc. which are actually deployed by psychiatrists
> and others.
>                 
>                 Secondly, we also need a book written within a critical
> frame of reference, which does itself not subscribe to the medical model
> of mental ill-health but is informed by wider societal and justice
> considerations.
>                 
>                 Thirdly, we need a book which will not disable us
> through use of a lot of jargon, very complicated sentence structure etc.
>                 
>                 Does anyone know of an accessible book about mental
> illness which gets to grip with everyday diagnoses and treatments made
> in the UK whilst supporting and promoting ideologically critical
> thinking?
>                 
>                 The closest we have got so far is: Key Concepts in
> Mental Health (Key Concepts)
> <http://www.amazon.co.uk/Key-Concepts-Mental-Health/dp/1412907772/sr=1-2
> /qid=1167750883/ref=sr_1_2/202-2793199-8718202?ie=UTF8&s=books>  by
> David Pilgrim (Paperback - Feb 2005). This is really very interesting
> but a little more general than we want.
>                 
>                 David Heeley and Mary Boyle have already been
> recommended.
>                 
>                 Can anyone suggest any other book we might consider?
>                 David
>                 David Fryer
>                 University of Stirling
>                 FK9 4LA
>                 Scotland
>                 +44 (0) 1786 467650 (tel)
>                 +44 (0) 1786 467641 (fax)
>                 [log in to unmask]
>                 --
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