Monday, June 15, 2009

Looking beyond medicine to treat mental illness: A conversation with psychology professor Gail A. Hornstein

Amhurst Bulletin, June 05, 2009

Agnes's Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness

Full story here

Key sections of the book discuss the work of the Freedom Center, a Northampton-based advocacy group for people diagnosed with mental illness. Founded seven years ago, the Freedom Center stresses choice in treatment. Run by people diagnosed with mental illness, the center offers support groups and other activities aimed at helping to control psychotic episodes.

"Northampton should be particularly proud," Hornstein says, "because it's one of the leading activist and support organizations of its kind in the country."

In the United Kingdom, she attended meetings of the Hearing Voices Network, comprising more than 160 support groups for those who hear voices in their heads. The members say that talking about their voices, and their feelings about them, helps them cope with what can be frightening experiences, Hornstein said.

Impressed by the work of the HVN in Europe, Hornstein became a trained facilitator and now co-leads a Hearing Voices group, one of the first of its kind in this country, that meets at the Recovery Learning Community in Holyoke.

You can buy book here

No comments: