Sunday, 7 February 2016

'Staying Well After Psychosis': Reading the Preface and Foreword

link to book on Amazon UK
I started with the Foreword (of 'Staying Well After Psychosis'), having heard Professor Max Birchwood speak at an SMHRN (Scottish Mental Health Research Network) event in Glasgow, Dec13, Perspectives on Psychosis Research, and not being impressed.  So I was prepared not to like what was written, and I didn't.  The language was flowery and full of hyperbole eg "magnificent book"  "renaissance of psychotherapy"  "Thus CBTp won approval" which I found off-putting. 

I then began to read the Preface and liked the style of writing, the content and context, finding it easy to understand and accessible to a "layperson" like me.  Which isn't always the case with academic research articles on psychosis which seem to be full of statistical jargon and distancing from the person.  

[not sure why the book is priced so high on Amazon at £37 for a Kindle edition and £38.99 paperback, it should be far cheaper so that the ordinary person in the street could pick up a copy, learn about the advantages of CBT for psychosis, and then request it in their localities and for their family members]

Here is an excerpt from an Email I wrote to the authors last night, not expecting a response, more of a soliloquy:

"The comments about family therapy which I agree with.  Didn't like Open Dialogue for this reason, also for the "blaming the mother" which came out.  You use the word "individual" repeatedly in the 2nd paragraph and I like this.  For each of us experience psychosis individually and differently, uniquely to our self and personhood, I think.  We are no two of us the same.  I like that you are not going to portray anyone in particular, ... You say psychosis is "a normal human experience" and again I agree.

You mention readers accessing specific chapters according to need.  That's useful.  Mary MacCallum Sullivan's book ... Cradling the Chrysalis, I could dip into at different parts and make sense of it.  I notice you mention a few women attachment theorists in the Preface.  That makes a change!  I've never heard of them so will check them out: Mary Main, Mary Dozier and Christine Barrowclough. 

I can see from this Preface why there is a need to talk of relapse and to prepare for it.  Or to guard against it.  Psychosis: "an adaptive and meaningful response to personal life experiences".  Yes.  And I think it is more healthy in the long run than internalising distress which can lead to depression and physical health issues like cancer, ulcers etc, or that's my take on it.  The problem was psychiatric treatment, in my family's experience.  The coercion and one size fits all regime.  Take the pills or else.  Some of my family remaining in the system on the drugs.  The disabling side effects.  Shortened lives.  Stigma and discrimination.  "Family history of" leading to targeting. ...


"psychosis an integrative and collective term ... a range of human experiences"
Preface p1 family-based interventions, individuals
Preface p2 para 1 "a normal human experience"
Preface p3 para 2 re women attachment theorists

Psychosis: "an adaptive and meaningful response to personal life experiences"
Preface ... and finally ...


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