Pfeil back to Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry (print edition) Pfeil Pfeil back to Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry  (e-book) Pfeil

Peter Stastny & Peter Lehmann (eds.)

Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry

About the Co-authors

Volkmar Aderhold

  Volkmar Aderhold, born in 1954, is an M.D. and doctor of psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic medicine. He has worked since 1982 in psychiatry, from 1996-2006 as a senior physician in the area of psychosis at the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in the University Clinic of Hamburg-Eppendorf. Since 2006, he has been a member of the Institute for Social Psychiatry at the University of Greifswald. And free-lancing with advanced training and implementation of the Open Dialogue within hospitals and outpatient structures. Publications include Psychotherapie der Psychosen – Integrative Behandlungsansätze aus Skandinavien (Psychotherapy of Psychosis: Integrative Treatment Approaches from Scandinavia), in collaboration with Yrjö Alanen, et al., 2003; Neue Antidepressiva, atypische Neuroleptika – Risiken, Placebo-Effekte, Niedrigdosierung und Alternativen. Mit einem Exkurs zur Wiederkehr des Elektroschocks (New Antidepressants, Atypical Neuroleptics: Risks, placebo effects, low doses and alternatives. With a digression to the return of the electroshock (2017, in collaboration with Peter Lehmann, Marc Rufer and Josef Zehentbauer; e-book in 2023). Co-author of Withdrawal from Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs (2023).
Laurie Ahern

  Laurie Ahern. Psychiatric Survivor, living in USA. Associate Director of Disability Rights International (DRI). Co-founder and co-director of the National Empowerment Center, Inc., a federally-funded recovery and technical assistance center. Former vice president of the National Association of Rights, Protection and Advocacy (NARPA). Recipient of the National Mental Health Association's Clifford Beers Award and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law's Advocacy Award. Co-author/investigator of the both MDRI-reports: Hidden Suffering: Romania's Segregation and Abuse of Infants and Children with Disabilities (2006) and Behind Closed Doors: Human Rights Abuses in Psychiatric Facilities, Orphanages and Rehabilitation Centers of Turkey (2005).
Birgitta Alakare

  Birgitta Alakare. Psychiatrist, psychotherapist (advance specialist level) and family therapy trainer, lived in Finland. Worked in Western Lapland District both in outpatient clinic and Keropudas Hospital since 1982. Involved in developing practices with people suffering from psychosis or showing its first signs. Birgitta Alakare passed away on February 19, 2021.
Karyn Baker

  Karyn Baker has worked in mental health since 1983 and has had her own family experience. Since 1996, she has been the Director of the Family Outreach and Response Program in Toronto, Canada. Karyn has developed education and support programs for families using a critical psychiatric perspective. Presently, she has been given the lead role in Toronto to develop programs for families with a relative recovering from first time label of psychosis.
Ulrich Bartmann

  Ulrich Bartmann, born in 1948 in Westfalen. Qualified psychologist and psychotherapist. While studying, worked in substance abuse services and as a teacher in technical colleges and specialized secondary schools for social pedagogy. From 1976 until 1996, he worked as a behavioral therapist in psychiatry. 1989 Doctorate work on the therapeutic effect of slow jogging on the psyche. Since 1996, he has been a professor of Social Work Methods at the University for Applied Sciences at Würzburg – Schweinfurt, and faculty coordinator for the track "Social work with individuals who experience substance-related and mental health problems." Supervisor for behavioral therapy. Published works: Joggen und Laufen für die Psyche. Ein Weg zur seelischen Ausgeglichenheit (Jogging and Running for the Mind: A Path to Spiritual Balance), 5th edition 2009, editor of Fortschritte in Lauftherapie (Advances in Running Therapy), as well as publications about addiction disorders, clinical social work and quality assurance in social work.
Agnes Beier

  Agnes Beier, born 1961. Art exhibits of paintings and written texts, public readings of her own poetry, and publications in anthologies.

  Regina Bellion, born 1941, cleaning-woman, factory-worker, haute-couture sales-woman, teacher, waitress etc. Today living in retirement in Wilhelmshaven.
Wilma Boevink

  Wilma Boevink was born in 1963. Social scientist. Working in Utrecht at Trimbos-instituut (the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction) as a senior researcher. Founder of TREE, a user-led training and consulting company in the area of recovery, empowerment and experiential expertise of persons with psychiatric disabilities. From 2006-2009, Chair of Stichting Weerklank, the Dutch organisation of people who hear voices and have psychotic experiences; from 2008-2013, Professor of Recovery at Hanze University Groningen. Former active member of the Dutch user-movement in psychiatry and board member of the European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Publications include, Stories of Recovery: Working Together towards Experiential Knowledge in Mental Health Care (ed., 2006). Contributor to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs (2004); Recovery of People with Mental Illness: Philosophical and related perspectives (2012); Empowerment, Lifelong Learning and Recovery in Mental Health: Towards a new paradigm (2012).
Pat Bracken

  Pat Bracken is currently Clinical Director of the Mental Health Service in West Cork, Ireland. He trained in medicine, psychiatry and philosophy in Ireland and in the UK. He was Professor of Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire in the years 2006-2008. He was co-editor of the book Rethinking the Trauma of War with Celia Petty, published in 1998. His own book Trauma: Culture, Meaning and Philosophy was published in 2002. With Phil Thomas, he published the book Postpsychiatry: A New Direction for Mental Health in 2005.
Stefan Bräunling

  Stefan Bräunling, born in 1967. Father of two children. Qualified Psychologist, Master of Public Health. From 1997 to 2007, staff worker at the Berlin Runaway House, since then, working within the field of health promotion for the organisation "Gesundheit Berlin-Brandenburg". Also works with the Berlin Crisis Services.
Ludger Bruckmann

  Ludger Bruckmann. Born on July 13, 1947. Qualified merchant in retail trade and bicycle mechanic. Since 1980, active in antipsychiatric self-help organisations. Co-founder of the Verein zum Schutz vor psychiatrischer Gewalt (Organisation for the Protection from Psychiatric Violence). Participated in the development and founding of the Berlin Runaway House, working there from the beginning in 1996 until he retired in July 2010. 2002, founding member of Für alle Fälle (In Any Case), board-member from 2002-2012. Until 2020, for many years board-member of the Verein zum Schutz vor psychiatrischer Gewalt. Ludger passed away on November 23, 2020.
Foto of the author

  Giuseppe Bucalo was born in Sydney (Australia) in 1962. Now living in Sicily, Italy. In 1986, co-founder of the Comitato d'Iniziativa Antipsichiatrica (Committee of Antipsychiatric Initiatives) and, in 1994, of Telefono Viola (Purple Telephone; and La Sindrome Associativa (The Associative Syndrome) in Sicily. Since 1996, member of Associazione Penelope in Taormina. Book publications among others: Dietro ogni scemo c'è un villaggio (Behind Every Fool There Is a Village), 1993; Malati di Niente (Sick of Nothing), 1996; La malattia mentale non esiste (Mental Illness Does Not Exist), 1996; Dizionario Antipsichiatrico (The Antipsychiatric Dictionary), 1997; Sentire le voci (Hearing Voices), 1998.
Dorothea Buck

  Dorothea S. Buck-Zerchin (1917-2019), sculptor. Victim of forced sterilization during the Nazi era. After free artistic activity, taught art and handicraft at the Technical College for Social Pedagogy in Hamburg from 1969-82. Since 1970, active in the self-help movement. 1992, co-founder of the German Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener (BPE; Federal Association of [ex-] Users and Survivors of Psychiatry), now Honorary Chair. 1989, co-founder of the "Psychosis-Seminars". Countless lectures in Germany and abroad and contributions in specialised journals and anthologies. 1997, awarded with the Bundesverdienstkreuz erster Klasse (decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany for service to the community). Publications include Auf der Spur des Morgensterns – Psychose als Selbstfindung (On the Trail of the Morning Star: Psychosis as Self-Discovery), edited by Hans Krieger, 1990; Ermutigungen (Encouragements), 2012; Mit meinen herzlichen Grüßen! Ihre Dorothea Buck. Der Gartenhaus-Briefwechsel (With my heartful regards! Your Dorothea Buck – The summerhouse correspondence), 2016; The Sky and Beyond – On the Trail of Dorothea Buck, film by Alexandra Pohlmeier, 2008.
Sarah Carr

  Sarah Carr. Born 1971 in England. Sarah has had lifelong experiences of mental distress, with several diagnoses and treatments along the way. She studied Theology to Master's level. She now works as a research analyst for a social care organisation in London, specialising in service user/survivor participation in research and service development. But her real love is writing and film making, through which one day she hopes to speak the unspeakable.
Tina Coldham

  Tina Coldham used mental health services for over 17 years. She has used this experience to promote user/survivor perspectives in all her work when she became self-employed as a trainer/lecturer, researcher and consultant. She became active through setting up self-help groups, and also being part of a local campaigning user group. This led to national and international involvement. Tina was elected to the National Advisory Panel for Mind Link – the user/survivor arm of national Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales, and was Chair for two years. She was also involved in setting up the National Survivor User Network in 2005 and just finished a term as Chair in January 2011. However, Tina still finds time to actively campaign at grass roots level for better mental health services which respect human rights..
Bhargavi Davar

  Bhargavi Davar finished her Ph.D. in 1993 on the subject of the philosophical foundations of psychiatry and related sciences. She studied existential philosophy and psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, critical theory, anti-psychiatry, the history of psychiatry, and philosophies of self, mind and freedom. She also contributed to a critique of psychiatry from women's point of view with several academic publications. In 1999, she created the Bapu Trust, a national organisation advocating for change in the Indian mental health system. She has received several fellowships, grants and awards, including the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship. In 2006, she finished a comprehensive study of traditional healing in India, situating it in the context of inner life. In February 2015, she received the World Women Leadership Achievement Award 2015. She has a passion for research and writing, and lives with her daughter (born in 1999) in Pune, India, where she practices arts-based therapies and is an avid gardener. Bhargavi Davar passed away on May 22, 2024.
Anne Marie DiGiacomo

  Anne Marie DiGiacomo has been working in human services since 1977 in non-profit and community mental health arenas, receiving her Masters of Social Work in 1986. During the first 18 years of her career, she worked with children, adolescents and families in both residential and day treatment settings and private practice. Since 1996, she has worked at Windhorse Associates and Windhorse Community Services in the position of Clinical Director, Co-Executive Director, Admissions Director and Senior Clinician. Anne Marie is a practicing Buddhist and brings a contemplative perspective to her therapeutic work as a psychotherapist and Sandplay therapist.
Constance Dollwet

  Constance Dollwet, born in 1964, grew up in Saarland, admitted to a psychiatric facility in 1986, then started anew in an intentional community of individuals experienced with psychosis in Wederath/Hunsrück. Involved in self-help activities of (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry with readings, writing seminars, and cabaret acts as "Schizzobaby" together with Bianca Schmid.Book publication: Schreiben – Mein Weg aus der Sprachlosigkeit (Writing: My Way Out of Speechlessness), 2000. Constance Dollwet passed away on September 23, 2016.
Jeanne Dumont

  Jeanne Dumont, Ph.D. is a researcher and psychiatric survivor living in New York State. She was the principal investigator of the US National Research Demonstration "Crisis Hostel Project". She has considerable experience conducting concept mappings for theory development, program planning and evaluation. She has also served on numerous mental health related boards, committees and advisory groups. She served as a co-principal investigator for the project "Recovery: What helps and what hinders? A national research project for the development of recovery facilitating system performance indicators."
Merinda Epstein

  Merinda Epstein, living in Australia. Active in mad politics since 1991. Winner of the 2004 Australian Human Rights Award for her work with people diagnosed with mental illness. Working for the Victorian Mental Health Legal Centre, a NGO established to defend the legal rights of people with psychiatric diagnoses caught up with forced detainment and treatment, at risk of losing their children under Family Law statutes or embroiled within the criminal justice system. Publications and lectures about human rights issues for women diagnosed with 'Borderline Personality Disorder' and the relationship between such labels, childhood abuse and neglect and real or perceived shortfalls of articulated mad politics.
Sandra Escher

  Sandra Escher, PhD, working as researcher at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands. Honorary Researcher at UCE (University of Central England) in Birmingham. In 2011, she was awarded with the "Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau" for her work with children hearing voices. Publications (together with Marius Romme) include Accepting Voices (1993); Making Sense of Voices (2000); Living with Voices: 50 stories of recovery – in addition with Jacqui Dillon, Dirk Corstens & Mervyn Morris, 2009); Children Hearing Voices: What you need to know and what you can do (2010); Psychosis as a Personal Crisis: An experience-based approach (ed. 2012). Sandra Escher passed away on May 31, 2021.
Jim Gottstein

  James B. (Jim) Gottstein. Born in Washington State in the USA in 1953. Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1978. Subject to brief psychiatric hospitalizations in 1982 and 1985. Attorney advocate for people diagnosed with serious mental illness, including the successful billion dollar litigation reconstituting Alaska's one million acre Alaska Mental Health Land Trust, the 2006 landmark Alaska Supreme Court decision on forced drugging in Myers vs. Alaska Psychiatric Institute, the 2007 Witherhorn v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute, disallowing involuntary commitment for being gravely disabled unless the person is unable to survive safely in freedom and the 2008 case, Bigley v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute, re-affirming psychiatric patients' rights to procedural and substantive due process. He has served and continues to serve on various boards and currently devotes most of his time to the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights), whose mission is to organize a serious, strategic, coordinated legal effort against forced psychiatric drugging.
Chris Hansen

  Chris Hansen. Born in New Zealand, Chris worked in mental health management until committed to a psychiatric ward. As a result, she became involved in user/survivor politics, including lead roles in the "Like Minds Like Mine" anti-discrimination campaign (NZ) and research from a user perspective on workforce development and mental health service policies. She had been a board member of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, and has also worked as a part of the NZ delegation to the United Nations working on the Convention for Rights of Persons With Disabilities. Currently developing work within USA and internationally, Chris is extending her activism to writing, teaching and developing intentional peer support services, particularly alternatives to acute inpatient care.
Geoff Hardy

  Geoff Hardy has been a gay activist since the early 1970s. A trained massage therapist and counsellor (College of Holistic Medicine), he is a Partner at The Natural Health Centre in Shrewsbury.
Petra Hartmann

  Petra Hartmann, born in 1969, education in social pedagogy, 2 children. 2002-08, staff member at the Runaway House Villa Stöckle. Since 2010, developing a center for mental-health related grievances and information in Berlin.
Alfred Hausotter

  Alfred Hausotter. Born in 1954. Married with two children. Ph.D. in clinical psychology and health psychology. Between 1974 and 1983 survived several schizoaffective psychotic episodes. Active since 1997 in assisted living. Book publications: Der GottTeufel – Innenansicht einer Psychose (The GodDevil: An inner look at psychosis), 2006; Erntedankfest – Vorgeschichte, Verlauf und Ausheilung einer Psychose (Thanksgiving: Prehistory, process and complete healing of a psychosis), 2015.
Michael Herrick

  Michael Herrick was born in 1955. In 1976, became a student of Tibetan Buddhism under Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Master's degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, in 1984. Experience in the mental health field since 1980: worked with the original Windhorse (Maitri Psychological Services) as a Housemate and a Team Therapist under Edward Podvoll. Since the early 80s, an avid student of the Integral Approach as presented by American philosopher Ken Wilber. 2001, return to Windhorse Associates, Inc. in Northampton, Massachusetts, as Team Leader. From 2003-08, Executive Director of Windhorse. Now working in London in private practice and as a tutor at the Minster-Center, the leading Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling Training Institute in Europe.).
Guy Holmes

  Guy Holmes is a clinical psychologist living and working in Shropshire, U.K. He specialises in alternatives to psychiatry and challenging stigma through groupwork, and has published in the areas of male victims of childhood sexual abuse and the medicalisation of men's problems. Books include This is Madness: A Critical Look at Psychiatry and the Future Mental Health Services (1999) and This is Madness Too: Critical Perspectives on Mental Health (2001), both edited with Craig Newnes and Cailzie Dunn, and Psychology in the Real World: Community-based Groupwork (2010).
Andrew Hughes

  Andrew Hughes was born in 1953 in Rochdale, England. He has been married twice and has four children. He first received mental health services at the age of 17, followed by many periods of madness and several stays in hospitals with compulsory treatment. From the mid-1980s he became involved in the self-advocacy movement, providing occasional 'patient perspectives' and critiques of mental health service provision at conferences and training events. In 1988 he co-founded, together with Anne Plumb and Tony Riley, Distress Awareness Training Agency (DATA), the U.K.'s longest established survivor training group. Since March 2000 he has been self-employed as a trainer, researcher and consultancy worker in mental health and the wider health, social care and disability fields.
Theodor Itten

  Theodor Itten. Born in 1952 in Langenthal, Switzerland. From 1971-81 studied psychology at Middlesex and City University, psychotherapy and ethnology in London with Ronald D. Laing and Francis Huxley. Member of the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy. Since 1981, has practiced psychotherapy in St. Gallen. From 2003-2008 committee member and from 2008-2011 president of the Schweizer Psychotherapeutinnen und Psychotherapeuten Verband (Swiss psychotherapists' association). Active for 12 years as council member of the Swiss Foundation Pro Mente Sana. In 2002, founded his own publishing company ( Book publications include, Rage: Managing an explosive emotion, 2011; Größenwahn – Ursachen und Folgen der Selbstüberschätzung (Megalomania: Causes and consequences of hubris), 2016; The New Politics of Experience and the Bitter Herbs, 2016, together with Ron Roberts.
Maths Jesperson

  Maths Jesperson. Born 1954. From 1980-1981, inmate of an old mental hospital. From 1982-1988, producer at the theatre company, Mercuriusteatern, as well as local politician of the Green Party in Lund, Sweden. Converted 1984 to Catholicism. Since 1988, regional secretary of Riksførbundet för Social och Mental Hælsa (RSMH) (Swedish national organization of [ex-] users and survivors of psychiatry). Founding member of the European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry 1991. From 1994-1999, editor of the European Newsletter of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry. Since 1999, writer of cultural articles in a daily newspaper. Since 2000, actor in the Stumpen-Ensemble, a theatre group with psychiatric survivors, drug addicts and homeless people as actors. Concurrently, research work at Department of Theatre Studies at the University of Lund. Contributor to Coming off psychiatric drugs (2004).

  Kristine Jones, Ph.D. is an economist working as a research scientist for the Statistics and Services Research Division, Nathan Kline Institute in Orangeburg, NY. Her research has included studies on the impact of having a trauma history on treatment costs associated with persons using mental health services and on the impact of managed care compared to fee for service delivery systems on social cost. She has conducted various cost-effectiveness analyses of specialty mental health services in operation in the U.S. Kristine has also done research on methods of designing payment mechanisms to providers of mental health services.
Hannelore Klafki

  Hannelore Klafki, inspired by Marius Romme, Sandra Escher and Ron Coleman; was the main founding-member of the German Netzwerk Stimmenhören (Hearing Voices Network) and was its chairperson for seven years. Since 2003, she was a board-member of the German Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener (BPE; Federal Association of [ex-] Users and Survivors of Psychiatry) and she was a trainer for (ex-)users and survivors of psychiatry, their friends and supportive relatives, as well as sympathetic workers within the psychiatric system; she offered training on such topics as how to deal with hearing voices, self-help, empowerment and alternatives to psychiatry. Book publication: Meine Stimmen – Quälgeister und Schutzengel. Texte einer engagierten Stimmenhörerin (My Voices: Tormenters and Guardian Angels, Texts of a Committed Voice Hearer; 2006, e-book in 2022). When Hannelore died on September 4, 2005.
Miriam Krücke

  Miriam Krücke, born in 1979, education as a rehab-pedagogist, advanced coach and systemic consultant, experiences in the mental health system, since 2002, involved in anti-psychiatric activities. Head of the office of the Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener (BPE; German federal organisation of users and survivors of psychiatry), working as consultant for other users and survivors of psychiatry, and organising self-help activities. For her masters thesis on the subject of "Rehab-Pedagogic", she occupied herself with the connections between advanced directives and independent coping strategies in a psychiatric context.
Peter Lehmann   Peter Lehmann, Dr. phil. h.c.. Born in Calw, Black Forest (Germany). Certified pedagogue. Living as independent publisher in Berlin. Author and editor since 1986, then foundation of Peter Lehmann Publishing and Mail-order Bookstore. 1989 co-founder of the Association for Protection against Psychiatric Violence (running the Runaway-House Berlin). In 1991, co-founder of the European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP); from 1997-1999, Chair of ENUSP; until 2010, board member. From 1997 to 2000, board member of joint WFMH-MHE (Mental Health Europe, independent European section of [and combined with] World Federation for Mental Health). Since 2004, member of INTAR (International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery). In 2010, awarded with an Honorary Doctorate in acknowledgement of "exceptional scientific and humanitarian contribution to the rights of the people with psychiatric experience" by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 2011, awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by the President of Germany. Publications include, Withdrawal from Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs (co-edited 2023 with Craig Newnes); Coming off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Lithium, Carbamazepine and Tranquilizers (ed. 2004); Coming off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Mood Stabilizers, Ritalin and Tranquilizers (e-book, ed. 2023; Neue Antidepressiva, atypische Neuroleptika – Risiken, Placebo-Effekte, Niedrigdosierung und Alternativen. Mit einem Exkurs zur Wiederkehr des Elektroschocks (New Antidepressants, Atypical Neuroleptics: Risks, placebo effects, low doses and alternatives. With a digression to the return of the electroshock (2017, in collaboration with Volkmar Aderhold, Marc Rufer and Josef Zehentbauer; e-book in 2023).
Bruce E. Levine

  Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., living in Cincinnati, USA. Clinical psychologist in private practice since 1985. Many lectures and workshops throughout North America. Member of the advisory council of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology and the editorial advisory board of Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. Regular contributor to Z Magazine. Articles and interviews in numerous magazines. Book publications: Commonsense Rebellion: Taking Back Your Life from Drugs, Shrinks, Corporations, and a World Gone Crazy (2003), Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (2007).
Harold A. Maio

  Harold A. Maio. I live in Fort Myers, Florida, I am husband, father, son, teacher, ceramicist, artist, retired editor. Although I from time to time deal with deep depression, that depression has not stopped my successes, or diminished my goals. One of those goals is to make certain that society acknowledges that the psychiatric industry has mistreated people terribly, and that this mistreatment must stop–in my lifetime.
Rufus May

  Rufus May. Living in England. Rufus works as a clinical psychologist working in Bradford mental health services. He is one of the organisers of Evolving Minds a series of monthly public meetings that explore alternative approaches to mental health.
Shery Mead

  Shery Mead, born 1953 in USA. Hospitalized in 1970 and several times in the early 90's. In response to the devastation of these hospitalizations she developed some peer support programs including a peer run crisis alternative. Since that time she has helped develop many more such programs throughout the US. She is the author of a number of academic articles and co-author of two books with Mary Ellen Copeland: WRAP and Peer Support (2004) and Community Links (2006).
Kate Millett
Photo by Tom Olin

  Kate Millett. Born 1934. Lived from 1961-63 in Japan. Ph.D. from Columbia University, 1970. Lived in New York City and on her farm in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she ran an Art Colony for Women. Book publications include: Sexual Politics (1970); Flying (1974); The Prostitution Papers (1975); Sita (1976); The Basement (1979); Going to Iran (1982); The Loony-bin Trip (1990); The Politics of Cruelty (1994); A. D.: A Memoir (1995); Mother Millett (2002). Kate Millett died on September 6, 2017.
Maryse Mitchell-Brody
Photo by Kate Reeder

  Maryse Mitchell-Brody (1984-): Maryse is a(n): organizer, proud tía, revolutionary, day-dreamer, tortured artist, badass facilitator, dancer, loud new yorker, good friend, and mad one. Along with her work with the Icarus Project, Maryse is an advocate for sex workers' rights and a member of the Rock Dove Collective, a radical community health exchange. Born and raised in New York City, she facilitates workshops that examine the links between sexual shame, trauma and emotional well-being, and explore the potential for sex as a healing modality.
David Oaks

  David W. Oaks is a leader in the international psychiatric survivors movement also known as the "Mad Movement." He has been a human rights activist to transform mental health care since 1976. He experienced five lock-ups in psychiatric institutions, typical diagnoses, forced injections, etc. After joining the Mad Movement, he graduated with honors in 1977 and became free of the mental health system using non-drug alternatives. He is now director of MindFreedom International. He lectures in many countries all over the world. He now lives with his wife Debra in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
Peter Rippmann

  Peter Rippmann, Ph.D., born in 1925 in Switzerland in Stein am Rhein, began with Germanic studies, has worked over 40 years as a senior editor of the critical biweekly Der Schweizerische Beobachter (The Swiss Observer). Among other topics, he was instrumental in uncovering and publishing articles about the responsibility of the Swiss authorities' in the discriminatory politics of the Nazi-regime vis-à-vis Jewish refugees. Served as well for many years as board member of the Swizz psychiatry-critical non-profit organisation PSYCHEX. Peter Rippmann died on July 30, 2010.
Marius Romme

  Marius Romme was Professor for Social Psychiatry at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, from 1974 to 1999, and afterwards Visiting Professor at the University of Central England in Birmingham. Awarded with the "Knight in the Order van de Nederlandse Leeuw". Since 1987 in collaboration with Sandra Escher, he has studied the phenomenon of hearing voices, focusing on the experience of the voice hearers. Together they laid the foundation for the international hearing voices movement and published articles and books, including Accepting Voices (1993); Making Sense of Voices (2000); Living with Voices: 50 stories of recovery – in addition with Jacqui Dillon, Dirk Corstens & Mervyn Morris, 2009); Children Hearing Voices: What you need to know and what you can do (2010); Psychosis as a Personal Crisis: An experience-based approach (ed. 2012).
Marc Rufer

  Marc Rufer (Switzerland), M.D. Long-standing critic of psychiatric diagnostic systems, psychopharmacology and the use of force in psychiatry. Good contacts and exchange with independent (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry. Book publications: Irrsinn Psychiatrie (Insane Psychiatry), 1988; 4th edition 2009; Wer ist irr? (Who's Crazy?), 1991; Glückspillen. Ecstasy, Prozac und das Comeback der Psychopharmaka (Happy Pills: Ecstasy, Prozac and the Comeback of Psychotropic Drugs), 1995; Neue Antidepressiva, atypische Neuroleptika – Risiken, Placebo-Effekte, Niedrigdosierung und Alternativen. Mit einem Exkurs zur Wiederkehr des Elektroschocks (New Antidepressants, Atypical Neuroleptics: Risks, placebo effects, low doses and alternatives. With a digression to the return of the electroshock (2017, together with Volkmar Aderhold, Peter Lehmann and Josef Zehentbauer; e-book in 2023). Co-author of Coming off Psychiatric Drugs (2004); Withdrawal from Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs (2023).
Gisela Sartori

  Gisela Sartori. Born 1952 in Endingen, southern Germany. MA in community psychology from Free University of Berlin. Emigrated to Canada in 1985, and has lived and worked in Canada's far north for the last twenty years. Founder and long-time co-ordinator of Yukon's Second Opinion Society, a grassroots community organization offering alternatives to psychiatry. Developed an integrative non-medical approach to working with aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in emotional and social distress. Has been involved with the antipsychiatry movement since 1980, and is a member of the National Association of Rights, Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) since 1992, as well as MindFreedom International and International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP). Former board member of World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP), and current member of International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery (INTAR). Currently training in integrative body psychotherapy and transformational group process and living on Gabriola Island near Vancouver. Author of Towards Empathy (1995), a training resource to help womens' shelters provide equal access for psychiatrized women.
Erich Schützendorf

  Erich Schützendorf, born in 1949, married with three children. Studied education, psychology and sociology. Adult education program faculty leader on the subject of aging, lecturer for social gerontology at the college of Niederrhein. Over thirty years of interest in people with dementia. More recently, dealing with his own aging process and the development of ideas for life as an old man, who might one day become dependent on others. Publications include Das Recht der Alten auf Eigensinn (The Right of the Elderly to Obstinacy), 3rd edition 2004; In Ruhe verrückt werden dürfen (Getting Crazy In Peace), in collaboration with Helmut Wallrafen-Dreisow, 12th edition 2004; Wer pflegt, muss sich pflegen (To Work as a Carer, You Have to Care for Yourself), 2006; In Ruhe alt werden können (Getting Old in Peace), 2nd edition 2006.
Jaakko Seikula

  Jaakko Seikkula, Professor of psychotherapy at the Department of Psychology University of Jyväkylä in Finland. Clinical psychologist, psychotherapist (advance specialist level) and family therapy trainer. He has been mainly involved in developing family and social network based practices in psychiatry for patients with psychoses and other severe mental health crises.

  Andy Smith. Lives on South coast of England with two goldfish and beautiful dawn skies.
Zoran Solomun

  Zoran Solomun. Film director, born in 1953 in Pula, Istria. From 1973-77, studied at the Belgrade Academy for Theater, Film, Radio and Television. From 1985-90, leader of the independent film group Pokret (Movement) in Belgrade. Collaboration with various people and groups involved in anti-psychiatry. Since 1990, has lived in Berlin. In 1997, founded the film production company Ohne Gepäck (Without Luggage). Films include Ah, jedan podanik! (Oh! A Subject! – 1989, a documentary about the central psychiatric madhouse in Belgrade); Jedna zardjala ludnica (A rusty mental institution – 1990, a documentary about alternatives to psychiatry); Müde Weggefährten (Tired Companions – 1996, a feature film, awarded the Max-Ophüls-Prize in 1997); Der Chinesische Markt (The Chinese Market – 2000, a documentary, awarded the ARTE Documentary Film Prize in 2001); Super Art Market (2009 – documentary).
Peter Stastny

  Peter Stastny was born in Vienna, Austria, where he graduated from medical school in 1976. Since 1978 he has been working and residing in New York City. Taught at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx until 2009 and has conducted several publically funded research projects in the area of vocational rehabilitation, social support and self-help, in collaboration with individuals who had survived personal crises and psychiatric interventions. Currently, he is working on the development of alternative services that obviate psychiatric intervention and offer autonomous paths towards recovery and full integration. These activities have engendered a close collaboration with the user-survivor movement, as manifested by joint research projects, publications, service demonstrations, and community work. He is a founding member of the International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery (INTAR).
Chris Stevenson

  Chris Stevenson, Professor of Mental Health Nursing in Dublin City University, has 25 years working in the U.K. as a nurse within psychiatry and on its margins, offering family meetings to people experiencing psychosis and eating distress. Chris is a founding member of the Institute for Mental Health Recovery, Ireland. Over a 100 publications, books and articles. Currently, heading a programme of suicidology research. Altschul award for psychiatric nursing scholarship in 2000. Book publications: Good Practice Guide (2005) for working in strategic partnership with people experienced in mental health services; Care of the Suicidal Person (2007, co-authored with John Cutcliffe).
Dan Taylor

  Dan Taylor. Born in 1963, grew up and is still living in Accra, Ghana. Diploma in Journalism and Marketing. In 2004, co-founder of MindFreedom Ghana to fight for human rights and better living- and treatment-conditions for (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry. He is secretary of MindFreedom Ghana, has published articles in Ghanaian newspapers and abroad, organized symposia on prevention and rehabilitation in the mental health field, is engaged in radio and TV shows, and has organized a protest march against human rights abuses and stigma in psychiatry in July 2006 in Accra with 350 people. Dan calls for support and assistance to accentuate and strengthen the work of MindFreedom Ghana in a developing country like Ghana.
Phil Thomas

  Philip Thomas. Professor of Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire, England. Chair of Sharing Voices Bradford, a community development project working with Bradford's Black and Minority Ethnic communities. Co-author of the column Postpsychiatry in Open Mind magazine. Founder member and co-chair of the Critical Psychiatry Network in Britain. Book publications: Dialectics of Schizophrenia (1997), Voices of Reason, Voices of Insanity (2000, co-authored with Ivan Leudar), Postpsychiatry (2005, co-authored with Pat Bracken).
Jan Wallcraft

  Janet (Jan) Wallcraft was born in England. PhD in 2002. Research fellow of Birmingham University and University of Hertfordshire. Freelance mental health consultant and researcher. From 1987 to 1992, co-ordinator of Mind's user network, Mindlink. In 1992, co-founder of the U.K. Advocacy Network. From 1987 to 1990, member of Survivors Speak Out's national committee. 1997 to 1999, lead researcher on the user-led Strategies for Living project at the Mental Health Foundation. Author of Healing Minds (1998); co-author of Handbook of Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research (2009); On Our Own Terms: Users and Survivors of Mental Health Services Working Together for Support and Change (2003); Being There In A Crisis (1997); contributions in Social Perspectives in Mental Health (2005); Mental Health at the Crossroads (2005). Jan Wallcraft passed away in March 2020.
David Webb

  David Webb, born in 1955, has completed a PhD on suicide as a crisis of the self at Victoria University in 2005 in Melbourne, Australia. This research, motivated by David's personal history of suicide attempts, shows that first-person knowledge of suicidality is necessary to understand suicide, but that the first-person voice is systematically excluded from current suicide research. During his research, he has embraced Mad Culture as a liberating community of people fighting for greater depth, sensitivity, compassion and justice for those struggling for mental, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing. Prior to his years of madness, David worked in the computer software industry as a programmer, designer and analyst, and as a university lecturer. He has lived in New York, Delhi and London and now he lives in Castlemaine, an old goldrush town near Melbourne. Book publication: Thinking about suicide: Contemplating and comprehending the urge to die (2010). Co-author of Coming off Psychiatric Drugs – Successful withdrawal from neuroleptics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, Ritalin and tranquilizers (2004; e-book in 2022). Contributor to Jenseits der Psychiatrie – Stimmen und Visionen des Wahnsinns im Madness Radio (2023). David Webb passed away on July 26, 2023.
Uta Wehde

  Uta Wehde, born in 1963, psychologist. Since 1994, executive director of the Ambulante Dienste (Ambulatory Services) association in Berlin. Conceptualization and implementation of the Berlin Runaway House, founding member of the Verein zum Schutz vor psychiatrischer Gewalt (Organisation for the Protection from Psychiatric Violence) and long activity on the board. Co-founder and board member of Für alle Fälle (In Any Case). Publications critical of psychiatry, and various contributions. Author of Das Weglaufhaus – Zufluchtsort für Psychiatriebetroffene (The Runaway-house: Asylum for (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry), 1991.
Scott Welsh

  Scott Welsch was born in New York State in 1969. He studied documentary filmmaking at Harvard College and developed manic-depressive symptoms during his senior year in 1990. Among other things, Scott likes music, trees, games, film, chocolate, ultimate Frisbee, and Indian food. Scott especially enjoys the spontaneity of children and is considering a career as a play therapist.
Salma Yasmeen

  Salma Yasmeen. Living in U.K. Counselling and communication studies. Background as a psychiatric nurse, has worked in both the statutory mental health sector and the voluntary sector. Previously involved in setting up and leading Sharing Voices Bradford, which has pioneered the use of Community development approaches in mental health. 2006, leading and managing a project that is part of a national programme to tackle inequalities in mental health services for black and minority ethnic communities.
Laura Ziegler
Photo by Tom Olin

  Laura Ziegler. Living in USA. In 1976, at age 17 she was locked up, diagnosed, and forcibly drugged until a court ordered it stopped. Active in the mad movement since 1983, she has been a paralegal at a mental disability law clinic, monitored mental health legal proceedings, participated in a half-year homeless protest encampment outside New York City Hall, and expressed her opposition to psychiatric oppression through testimony, whistleblowing, poetry, civil disobedience and street theater. Granddaughter of a victim of T4. Past president of NARPA (National Association of Rights, Protection and Advocacy). Since 1996, she has lobbied for disability rights and prisoners rights at the Vermont Statehouse.
Uschi Zingler

  Ursula (Uschi) Zingler, born 1939, married, mother and grandmother. 1975-2004, editor and proofreader at a scientific publishing house. In 1981, workplace harassment caused her depression. Since 1982, involved in the psychiatric reform movement. Committee work beginning in 1983, including as representative of the German Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener (BPE) (Federal Association of [ex-] Users and Survivors of Psychiatry) in the Workshop for Further Development of Psychiatric Care at the Ministry of Health. 1991-1993 instrumental in the merger of (ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry on all levels. Board member of the BPE since its founding in 1992. In this role, she took a critical position on various topics. 2007, awarded with the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande (decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany for service to the community). Ursula Zingler passed away on January 18, 2010.
Pfeil back to Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry (print edition) Pfeil Pfeil back to Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry  (e-book) Pfeil