post on his "STRUGGLING TO BE HUMAN: what we're up against" blog about the Critical Psychiatry Network conference, which I also attended yesterday. The conference theme was Recovery in a Time of Austerity. I just wanted to pick up what he says about feeling a bit more at home in the therapeutic community world. As I mentioned in my article, there are links between critical psychiatry and the therapeutic community approach.
GreenShrink also has a post of a talk he gave about therapeutic communities last year. I agree with him about their relevance for the NHS. Although numbers of beds have been reduced, inpatient facilities need to be more therapeutic rather than so custodial. Although we don't have the same degree of total institutions in psychiatry, as the asylums have been closed, inpatient facilities still suffer from such institutionalising practice. And, community services are not immune and need to become less bureaucratic.
I also agree about the relevance of Laing (see previous post about Mad to be Normal film, which I also saw yesterday) and Basaglia (e.g. see another previous post), both for therapeutic communities and critical psychiatry. And, as was said yesterday at the conference by Jo Moncrieff, the 'elephant in the room' when talking about 'recovery' is that mental health problems tend to be seen as brain disease. Such objectification of people may make psychiatry part of the problem rather than necessarily the solution to their problems. Part of the motivation of Laing and Basaglia was to counter this trend.