THEMHS 2014: Discussion point – Critical psychiatry, recovery and our state of mind

By August 27, 2014 No Comments

After his keynote presentation today, Dr Pat Bracken joined us for a Q&Asession about critical psychiatry and recovery oriented practice.

One of the discussions in the Q&A was about how to promote recovery-oriented practice. Many workers, family members and consumers may feel frustrated about the prospects for changes in mental health care practice. Feeling frustrated, they wonder about how to fix the system. 

Pat argued instead that “if we try to fix it, we’re still in it; we’re still seeing it as a fixable problem”. The difficulty is that a mentality of “fixing things” is precisely the problem we are talking about wanting to change. What if trying to “fix” the system is actually counterproductive? If we apply Paolo Friere’s ideas about pedagogy to this process, we may need to foster dialogue with workers rather than attempt to fix their practice or the institutions within which they work. 

  • What do you think of the idea that “fixing” the mental health system is counterproductive and that we need new ways of thinking about how to promote change?
  • What would it mean to address make change through building relationships?
  • Who would need to trust you in order to experiment with ideas from critical psychiatry and the recovery movement?
  • What fears might staff have about ideas and practices from critical psychiatry and the recovery movement?