Exploring Identities of Psychiatric Survivor Therapists: Beyond Us and Them

I am very excited about the new book I co-authored with 3 friends – it is scheduled to be available next month.  Below is an excerpt from the flyer that our publisher, Macmillan is  now distributing.  We are hoping that our work has an impact on the education of mental health professionals so that the expertise generated by lived experience is valued and incorporated into future academic curricula.  Most important to us is that aspiring professionals who have experienced and have worked through extreme emotional and cognitive states will not be disadvantaged and discriminated against but rather have their struggles regarded as potential assets.  If it becomes easier for people to be open about their past, progress can be made in understanding the pain, confusion and mystery of what it means to be fully human.

Here is the blurb from the Macmillan flyer.

Exploring Identities of Psychiatric Survivor Therapists: Beyond Us and Them
A product of Palgrave Macmillan UK

This book is about people that are uniquely situated between the realms of activism, within the Psychiatric Survivor Movement, and their careers as mental health professionals. It focuses on the co-authors’ navigation and juxtaposition of the roles of psychiatric survivor, mental health professional, and activist. Psychiatric Survivors is an international movement advocating for human rights in mental health systems and supporting humane and effective alternative options to mainstream practice for help seeking.

Drawing on past research as well as the co-authors’ own experiences, the volume explores identities of people who identify as both psychiatric survivors and mental health professionals, discussing the potential for further dialogue between psychiatric survivors and mental health professionals to create humane and person-centred communities of healing.  This book is specifically targeted for practicing psychotherapists and graduate students, to gain new insight into the Psychiatric Survivor Movement and to appreciate the value of lived experience and of psychiatric survivors’ efforts shaping the future of mental health care.

Alexandra L. Adame is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Seattle University,
USA. As a qualitative researcher, she has written about the Psychiatric Survivor
Movement and existential approaches to psychology.

Ronald Bassman was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his early 20s. He is now a licensed psychologist. He is the current chair of The Community Consortium, an organization that promotes civil and human rights of people with psychiatric disabilities.

Matthew Morsey is a psychotherapist in full time private practice. He has spent the last two decades promoting and providing alternatives to the medical model and organizing conferences, workshops, and protests within the Psychiatric Survivor Movement.

Kristina Yates is a retired Marriage and Family Therapist. After surviving forced electroshock treatment, she has been a mental health activist with MindFreedom International and has published in anthologies such as Beyond Bedlam: Contemporary Women Psychiatric Survivors Speak Out.