Healing Voices movie premiere Dunedin

We are excited to announce that  there will also be a screening in Dunedin of this movie.

We are awaiting the poster.

But for any bookings in the meantime details are as below

 

7pm Friday April 29th

McMillan Room

Dunedin Community House

Corner of Moray Place and Great King Street

Bookings essential as venue holds 50 seats

Contact Grant from Otago Mental Health support Trust on 477 2598 or emailotagomd@ihug.co.nz

 

HEALING VOICES – Movie Premiere April 29 2016

The Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ in conjunction with ISPS, and Affinity NZ are pleased to announce we are holding a screening of the Movie Healing Voices.
HEALING VOICES is a new social action documentary which will be released via grass roots, non-theatrical premiere events around the world on April 29, 2016. Written and Directed by PJ Moynihan of Digital Eyes Film, HEALING VOICES explores the experience commonly labeled as ‘psychosis’ through the stories of real-life individuals, and asks the question:  What are we talking about when we talk about ‘mental illness’? The film follows three subjects – Oryx, Jen, Dan – over nearly five years, and features interviews with notable international experts including:  Robert Whitaker, Dr. Bruce Levine, Celia Brown, Will Hall, Dr. Marius Romme, and others, on the history of psychiatry and the rise of the ‘medical model’ of mental illness.  Community screening partners will host HEALING VOICES premiere events in their local markets on 4.29.16, which will be followed by audience discussion around dialogue topics relating to the content of the film. The documentary is ideal for individuals with lived experience in the mental health system, educators, peer counselors, advocates, researchers, psychiatrists, psychologists, healthcare workers, first responders, family members, or anyone who has been touched by mental health issues in their life.
MOVIE TRAILER HERE
The Huffington Post here
says this:

Writer and director PJ Moynihan explores two question: What are we talking about when we talk about “mental illness”? What is truly helpful?

Over a five year period, Healing Voices follows Oryx, Jen, and Dan, all previously diagnosed with serious mental illness. Oryx, Jen, and Dan are each very different personalities but all are articulate, insightful, and fascinating in describing their return journeys from extreme states of consciousness to satisfying human relationships and meaningful work.

Healing Voices is not afraid to discuss aspects of our humanity that routinely terrify many of us, and Moynihan is also not afraid to make his movie fun and joyful—including playful music and animations. What is striking about Healing Voices is its combination of boldness and humility—its boldness challenging political correctness and its humility about its own assertions.

RADIO INTERVIEW HERE

https://soundcloud.com/kinkfm/healing-voices

Please see the details of our event at the Pumphouse in Takapuna on the 29th April, on the attached jpeg.

Space is limited so book asap! 

Regards

Adrienne Giacon

Chair

HVNANZ

www.hearingvoices.org.nz

Research on Nutrients used for treating Mental illness in New Zealand- Julia Rucklidge

There is some great research and results done here in Canterbury NZ by Julia Rucklidge. Using micronutrients for treating children with ADHD and psychosis.

Here is the TED Talk

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In this critically important talk, clinical psychologist Julia Rucklidge explores a range of scientific research, including her own, showing the significant role played by nutrition in mental health or illness.

Julia J Rucklidge, PhD is a Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Originally from Toronto, she did her training in neurobiology (McGill) and Clinical Psychology (University of Calgary). Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions. For the last 6 years, she has been investigating the role of micronutrients in the expression of mental illness, specifically ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, anxiety and more recently, stress and PTSD associated with the Canterbury earthquakes.

Here is a more detailed talk here: What if Nutrition Could treat mental Illness

Despite the advent of medications and other therapies over the last 50 years, the rates of mental illness have been on the rise rather than a decline. Over the last decade, scientists have been uncovering an uncomfortable truth: What we eat is affecting our mental health.
In this talk, Prof Rucklidge will discuss the data that shows an alarming picture of food choices serving as risk factors to all kinds of psychiatric problems; she will then introduce the recent paradigm shift of using nutrients to treat these challenges, reviewing the evidence to date. The talk will challenge our current treatment regime for mental disorders and suggest one alternative course of action.

Lewis Mehl Madrona: Definining Coyote Psychotherapy

Lewis Mehl Madrona and Barbara Mainguy are coming to NZ. The HVNANZ has received finding from the ASB community trust and Lotteries Commission to help with this. Yay. So I am going to bombard you with some of the great articles he has written in the meantime.

We are collating the workshop info and will get the fliers out in the next few weeks.

Here is an article on Coyote Psychotherapy

http://www.futurehealth.org/populum/page.php?f=Defining-Coyote-Psychother-by-Lewis-Mehl-Madrona-Body_Community_Healing_Health-141102-270.html

We are just completing three presentations at the Institute for Psychiatric Services, which is the community and public psychiatry meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. We had the opportunity to present our approach to the psychotherapy of psychosis, and had realization that we could own the name, Coyote Psychotherapy, which is, as we playfully told people, indigenous inspired, body-oriented, narrative and social psychotherapy, and still a little more, because Coyote can never be completely contained.

In relation to my indigenous origins and to our active practice of Native American spirituality, whatever we do is indigenous inspired. The concepts are powerful and important. All healing is spiritual. To thrive we need the help of the spirits. Community is everything. Healing is energetic. Faith and the power of belief matter enormously. Relationship is everything. These are the core concepts of our work. Beyond this, traditional elders have inspired everything we do. I think of Vern Harper, an elder we love in Toronto. Vern is well past 80 years old. Every week he ventures into the worse part of Toronto to sit and listen to the homeless, the alcoholics, the drug addicts, to anyone who wants to talk. Vern has a profound respect for the humanity and the value of all these people. He doesn’t need them to change for him to love them. He just does. Vern is our hero. We strive to achieve the radical acceptance that Vern demonstrates.

Immediately that calls into mind John Charles. While I lived in Saskatchewan, John Charles was my hero. I’ve written about John before. For years he was an Anglican priest. Then, he was discovered to have brain cancer, so severe that the conventional doctors gave him 30 days to live (how they figure these things out is beyond me). John realized that Christian spirituality was not going to heal him. He went to see a woman who practiced the traditional Cree medicine and did everything she said. Within the 30 days in which he was supposed to do, he recovered and the tumors disappeared. That put John into a quandary of faith. He had been Anglican for most of his life, but he was Cree, and the Cree spirituality had healed him. One night he had a vision. He saw four elders smoking pipes around Christ on the Cross in each of the four directions. He was told distinctly that it was all one. He could be traditional and Christian all at the same time.

I spent many a Sunday at John’s house on Sturgeon Lake Reserve, being doctored, taking people to being doctored, sitting in ceremony with him, and feasting of fresh caught sturgeon. I also inspire to be as loving and as accepting as John. When someone missed ceremony because they had been drunk the night before, John sent his helpers to go get them. That’s when they really need to be in ceremony, John said. All were welcome at John’s. For John and Vern, and all the other elders I have known, nothing could shock them. Whatever people had done, they were welcome. So we aspire to put these principles into practice in our work with people who suffer emotionally.

Psychotherapy has always been a problematic word for me. What indigenous elders do is healing. I’d like to use the term healing, but it has such a New Age connotation, that it alienates many people. In this strategic move to be somewhat mainstream, the term is psychotherapy for the work we do with people with psychosis, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and the like. Yet, what we do is not just mental. We involve the body — sometimes directly through touch therapies, as with Cherokee bodywork, which I have learned, or in conjunction with colleagues who do osteopathic manual medicine. In preparing for our talks, we learned that a French psychoanalyst, Janet, preceded Freud by three years, and was very much involved in including the body in the healing of emotional pain (psychotherapy). Freud made the decision to reject the body for the “talking cure” and his followers went along, though at least one scholar points to the split with Wilhelm Reich (a good Mainer) as Freud’s impetus to abandon the body entirely.

In the apprenticeship I undertook to learn Cherokee bodywork from traditional practitioners, I learned that life is energy. When energy moves, health follows. When energy is blocked, disease ensues. Our osteopathic colleague, Magili Chapman-Quinn, described how opiate use makes people’s tissues feel as if they are stuck in concrete or think glue. These insights are important for healing.

I believe that psychiatry must reclaim the body. We should all be doing our own physical examinations on patients. We must overthrow the Victorian notion that all touch is sexual. The physical examination is a special moment of intimacy with patients. In examining their bodies, they often reveal concerns that would otherwise go unnoticed. I have found cancers on physical examinations that were being concealed by the patient. I have found skin diseases, the evidence of abuse in the form of bruises and other injuries, and, in the process of interacting through the exam, people have told me what is really bothering them. I believe psychiatrists must be doctors, too. We must stop hiding behind the Cartesian mind-body split and take control of the body.

When I present this idea at meetings, the inevitable response comes that we will be sued and charged with sexual assault. I note that it is we who have taught patients to think this way. Of course, every branch of medicine has doctors who abuse patients, and we are no exception, but the functions of the mind are manifest in and through the body, and we must examine the body to truly understand them. So, this is the sense through which our work is embodied. We understand that life is embodied and physical and that we have bodies so that we can be easily found (David Granger). Our bodies dutifully record the effects of the events of our lives. To recover from the effects of the events of our lives, we must address the body. We can do that through direct, hands on massage and manipulation, as in Cherokee bodywork, osteopathy, or tui nan. We can do it through embodied movement and dance therapies. We can do it through energy medicine, as in Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, or joh rei. We can do it through acupuncture or acupressure. But, however we do it, we must acknowledge the effect of a difficult life on the body (as well as the mind) and we are served if we liberate the body from the effects of these stressors and traumas even as we free the mind.

Our therapy is decidedly narrative in the sense that we understand that humans and stories are interchangeable. We are the stories that live through us. We live through the stories we enact. Stories are the default mode of the human brain. We evolved to make story about the many people in our lives. Stories help us keep track of our many social relationships. They inform us about how to seek the good life and how to interpret the events of our life. Stories help us construct meaning in our lives and find a purpose to occupy our time. Stories are very important.

We also recognize the healing power of community. I have written before about the power of being with others when having an experience. Gene induction is so much more powerful when we are in the presence of others than when we are alone. This seems to cut across the animal kingdom, and is called the audience effect in biology. Other people give us our sense of meaning and purpose. They help us create shared stories, which we feel are greater than us (transpersonal). They give us opportunities to be altruistic, to share, to demonstrate caring for others, and to learn and be supported from others. Our preferred hypothesis about brain development is the social brain hypothesis in which social experience is required to connect the circuitry from its rudimentary origins.

But there’s more. Coyote has a thing or two to say. Coyote teaches us the value of humor and fun. We want to enjoy each client. We want to have something positive to say about them, and to them. Coyote teaches us to find the humor in each encounter and to have fun in our work. Over time I will write more about narrative work, but it is decidedly fun. When we can represent each of the voices inside a person’s head with a puppet, and when we can get the puppets talking to each, it’s inevitably lots of fun, and also very helpful. We are breaking the conventional psychoanalytic mold (as it was taught when I trained in the 1870’s) and are finding the humor in life and its vicissitudes.

At the psychiatry conference, we presented outcome data. If people can stick it out with us for at least six months, they usually improve (over 90%). That was much better than I experienced in community mental health work. When I worked there, I tracked my patients, and, on average, no one improved (of course, some did, and some got worse, but the net impact was zero). So, we are arguing that we appreciate and enjoy our clients, we have fun with them, and they get better. However, it takes more than six months for serious problems, and sometimes years. Nevertheless, the joy is there.

Wildside Therapy anyone?

Wildside Therapy anyone? This is what the website says= online conferences, some excellent speakers, well known for their great work with voice hearers.   Would you like to reach clients you previously had not been able to reach? To learn the secrets of working with people labeled with “psychotic,” “schizophrenic” and “deeply disturbed”? To help […]

Hearing Voices Network UKs position on new DSM5 pyschiatric manual

Here is a great article from Hearing Voices Network Uks page  I have written it out here . They are asking for comments on their page.

DSM 5, the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – often referred to as the ‘psychiatric bible’ – has now been released in the wake of huge controversy and debate. The alternative classification system, ICD, is based on exactly the same principles. Some of the world’s most eminent psychiatrists have spoken out about the current system.

The former director of the US’s largest funding body for mental health research, the NIMH, recently described DSM as ‘totally wrong, an absolute nightmare’. The chair of the DSM 5 committee admitted that ‘We have been telling patients for several decades’ that the biological causes of distress are about to be discovered, but ‘We’re still waiting.’ Another senior psychiatrist said, ‘Patients deserve better.’ In the UK, clinical psychologists have challenged the use of diagnosis and the ‘illness’ model.

The Hearing Voices Network, alongside many of our professional allies in psychology and psychiatry, has serious concerns about the way we currently understand, categorise and respond to mental distress . We also recognise the confusion that can be caused when accepted facts, often presented to service users as truths, are challenged.

We believe that people with lived experience of diagnosis must be at the heart of any discussions about alternatives to the current system. People who use services are the true experts on how those services could be developed and delivered; they are the ones that know exactly what they need, what works well and what improvements need to be made. This statement outlines the main issues, as we see them, and invites people on the receiving end of a diagnosis to have a voice in this debate.

Main Issues

Psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically unsound:

  • No objective tests: Unlike most fields of medicine, psychiatric diagnoses are not provided on the basis of objective tests or measures.
  • They’re artificial: There is strong evidence that diagnoses do not represent meaningful clusters of problems or link to known biological abnormalities. Diagnoses are voted into existence by committee, representing opinion rather than scientific fact.
  • Drug company involvement: There is growing concern that new diagnoses are both suggested and shaped by (initiated by) drug company funded research and interests.
  • Unreliable: The diagnosis you receive from a psychiatrist is based on their opinion about what you have told them. Different psychiatrists often have different opinions about the same person, leading to multiple diagnoses. Two people with the same diagnosis may have nothing in common.
  • Limited explanation: Whilst diagnosis seems to provide an explanation for people’s problems, this isn’t the case. People are told they have ‘schizophrenia’ on the basis of their unusual thoughts, experiences, feelings & behaviour. If they then ask why they are having these unusual experiences, they are told it is because they have ‘schizophrenia’. This circular argument explains nothing.
  • Limited use: The issues raised above mean that diagnoses are a flawed basis for deciding on treatment, predicting outcomes and carrying out research.

Psychiatric diagnoses have damaging consequences:

  • Misses the point: Increasing evidence demonstrates mental distress is an understandable reaction to adversity, including: bereavement, loss, poverty, discrimination, trauma, abuse and victimisation. By focusing on ‘what’s wrong with you’, diagnoses can stop professionals asking ‘what’s happened to you’.
  • Missed opportunity: Psychiatric diagnoses can stop people addressing the links between social and economic policy and mental distress. Essential funds are used in the ongoing futile search for genetic markers instead of addressing the societal issues we know lead to mental health problems.
  • Disempowers: Psychiatric diagnosis ignores people’s own explanations for their distress and encourages them to defer to an ‘expert’ for treatment. Having your reality redefined in terms of illness and biology is an incredibly powerful experience that can set the scene for a lifelong psychiatric career.
  • Medication-focused: In diagnoses such as ‘schizophrenia’ treatment is primarily medication, which is becoming increasingly criticised for its harmful effects and lack of efficacy. Medication does nothing to address underlying difficulties.
  • Human rights: People are expected to accept diagnoses for fear of being labelled as ‘lacking in insight’ and having treatment forced on them, violating their basic human rights. Others may, understandably, hide their voices or visions to escape forced treatment – blocking them from receiving help to cope with their experiences.
  • Takes away hope: Diagnoses such as schizophrenia and personality disorder, seen as a life-long condition, can unnecessarily take away people’s hope for a meaningful recovery.
  • Discrimination: People diagnosed with ‘severe and enduring mental illnesses’ are often subject to stigma, discrimination and exclusion. They may have trouble getting insurance, security clearance to travel overseas, and difficulty fostering or adopting children.

A Way Forward

Finding the best way to support those of us who are suffering and struggling to cope without relying on diagnoses and the existing system is a challenge. It can be hard to see what is possible when all we have known is what is available. Still, we want to engage people with lived experience of diagnosis and our allies, in a discussion to create a way forwards.

Our initial ideas include:

  • Seeing mental distress as human and, ultimately, understandable: Rather than seeing voices, visions and extreme states as symptoms of an underlying illness, we believe it is helpful to view them as meaningful experiences – even if we don’t yet know what that meaning is. We believe it’s important to use human language when describing human experiences rather than medical terminology. Given the role of trauma and adversity, we need to start asking ‘what has happened to you?’ rather than ‘what is wrong with you?’
  • Keeping the person in the driving seat: We want people to have the freedom to define their own experience. Support should be based on need, not diagnosis. Equally, people need to access a wide range of alternatives to understand and manage their experiences. Medication is just one way, amongst many, that people may choose. We need information about the pros/cons of each approach – true choice and collaboration, no coercion.
  • Supportive communities: Mental distress is not just the domain of mental health services. Communities have an important role to play in supporting those who are struggling to cope. Community based options can run alongside, and as alternative to, psychiatry. Equally, these approaches must go hand in hand with greater awareness of the causal impact of social factors such as poverty, gender and racial inequalities, unemployment, deprivation and abuse, on mental distress

  See some other articles regarding the uproar here

 
and here
 
Things are certainly heating up

Open Dialogue evening in Auckland May 30th 2013 with Jaana Castella

HEARING VOICES NETWORK AOTEAROA NZ are pleased to present:

“OPEN DIALOGUE” with Jaana Castella.

an innovative approach to acute psychiatric crises developed by Jaakko SeikkulaMarkku Sutela, and their multidisciplinary team at Keropudas Hospital in Tornio, Finland. Jaana is a psychiatric nurse from the Region of Sjaelland who is trained in the “Open Dialogue” technique with Jaako Seikkula and Tom Anderson in 1999 and has been working with people with psychosis using this method and educating others in the techniques.

WHAT IS OPEN DIALOGUE?

Fundamental to the approach is the shift away from an immediate emphasis on trying to eradicate symptoms.   The conversation, or dialogue, is not “about” the person, but a way of “being with” them and living through the crisis together.  What Tom Andersen M.D. called “withness practices” mitigates the sense of isolation and distance a frightening episode can produce and leads to a path of recovery.

Starting in the eighties, there have been a variety of research studies of Open Dialogue and its outcomes with early psychosis.The results consistently show that this approach reduces hospitalization, the use of medication, and recidivism when compared with treatment as usual. For example, in a five-year study, 83% of patients had returned to their jobs or studies or were looking for a job (Seikkula et al. 2006), In the same study, 77% did not have any residual symptoms. Such outcomes led the Finnish National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health to award a prize recognizing the Keropudas group for “the ongoing development of psychiatric care over a period of ten years.”                                                                          http://www.dialogicpractice.net/open-dialogue%E2%84%A0/

See a video trailer about the Open Dialogue method here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBjIvnRFja4

Jaana will share how Open Dialogue works and we will have the opportunity to discuss and ask questions following her talk. This event is suitable for Professionals as well as voice hearers. Jaanas focus in NZ is around Peer support.

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ are a registered charity independent from Mental health services. Commited to providing research and support for voices and visions in NZ.

When: 7.00 to 9.00 PM Thursday 30th May 2013

Where: Room WF710 , Level 7 AUT Business  School WF Building, 42 Wakefield St, Auckland City 1142.

Cost: $20 for waged , Gold coin Koha for Unwaged. We are a registered charity. These fees will help pay expenses, and support sending our members to the World  Voices Congress in Melbourne this year.

Bookings: Adrienne at 0272650266 or email: hvnanz@gmail.com for a registration form. Please note spaces are limited. You will need to book.

A Poem on Hearing Voices by Chris

My friend Ying, was at a poetry evening, and one of the guys read an amazing poem on hearing voices. She kindly asked Chris, if we could share it here and he agreed. So here it is. Hope you find it as powerful as I did.

 

A POEM ON HEARING VOICES.
Having mental illness in family can be hard but the rewards for over coming them are so much greater then overcoming simpler things.
When i was 17 i had my first psychotic episode, and since then iv’e been diagnosed with psychosis, schizophrenia, bi-polar and depression, i hear voices, i have hallucinations and I have delusions
ahh Life is just a dream, woawo, lucky you, lucky lucky me

These days it starts with a gaze into the outer world, a blank stare into realms I’m not quite sure exist,
I can be staring at anything, such as, the alien species that hides trees
their limbs and their faces moved by the wind in such a way that they come to life
their waving hands simply stating “I see you, and I know you see me”
or I could be watching how the curtains breath at the pace of mother earths breath slowly hypnotizing me into a trance where I start to believe god himself has the curtains on strings or maybe
I’ll just be staring at the boring ground, where spiritual life reaps like you wouldn’t believe
as i walk with my head down i flow through a river of damned and tortured faces
lost souls trying to find peace and banished spirits trapped in purgatory trying to claw their way into me until
“Hey chris, got a spare smoke?”
“uh, uh yeah bro, help yourself”
Life is just a dream, woawo, lucky you, lucky lucky me

The voices that i hear aren’t as bad as the media will have you believe, but theyre pretty bad.
Imagine having no privacy because the people sitting next to me can read your mind
They don’t tell you your thoughts to your face tho, they tell you outside and down the road a little bit.
Imagine having no secretes because i feel like I’m under constant inspection, I’m to scared to even think a bad thought because something listening
Imagine trying to go to sleep and somewhere outside, you can hear people talking about you..there’s
whispers in the wind and vocal cords seemingly attached to passing cars
ambient noises vocalized into the voice of fear,
rustling trees like gossiping woman
and people in the distance speaking my thoughts
and then i hear about people who say that they can hear gods voice, or that they heard demons or angels telling them things…
Life is just a dream, woawo, lucky you, lucky lucky me

The problem with mental illness is that the people who know most about it aren’t the doctors who’ve spent a life in school
it’s not your psychiatrist or the leading team of psychologists..
It’s the people, that are living with them, its the people, who hear voices, it’s the people who believe theyre being followed and that their lives are at stake,
It’s the people who at this very moment are suffering from diseases that should of be labeled gifts a long time ago its those people…
it’s those people that hold the answers, not someone who’s lived a straight edge life and only knows what the text book says cuz no matter how smart you are
and no matter how much you have studied, until you lose your mind and believe that you’re Jesus, you only know half the story
Life is just a dream, woawo, lucky you, lucky lucky me.