previous post). Having just been to a conference on critical psychiatry in San Diego organised by the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP) (see programme and abstracts), I have been thinking about how critical psychiatry can be more effective.
A paper by Peter Zachar, current AAPP President, suggested that what he called "populist uprisings against the establishment" are propelled by recognition of corruption within the system (see previous post about Modern psychiatry's disgrace). I have commented before about how even biomedical psychiatrists have expressed concern about the influence of the drug industry on psychiatry (see previous post), but merely doing this seems to be insufficient for change (see another previous post).
Adjacent to where our conference took place, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting was in the Convention Center (see guide). The advertisements in the guide to the meeting portray the interests of APA as much as the content of the meeting. As was said at our conference, the economically successful model of APA is apparent.
Yet there should be disquiet about this situation. Another paper at our meeting by Katherine Larose-Hébert described how the power dynamics in psychiatry act as a "total institution", transforming patients' identities, subjecting them to receive services in the way they have been designed. Biomedical psychiatry is primarily organised for its own interests leaving patients docile and marginalised.
I have always tended to concentrate on conceptual issues within critical psychiatry (see my previous post on the call for abstracts for the AAPP conference). Critical psychiatry needs to do more to expose the corrupting self-interests of modern psychiatry to support the wider acceptance of its ideas.