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Best Will Hall, Madness Radio podcasts we could find (Updated October 2019)
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Voices and Visions from Outside Mental Health
 
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Do early psychosis programs serve healing – or function as surveillance and control? Are treatments for paranoia actually themselves forms of paranoia, based on scientific racism and white supremacy? By defining and enforcing “normal” does psychiatry wage a war on the imagination? Rachel Jane Liebert is a multi-media artist and Critical Psychol ...…
 
After taking the psychedelic drug ayahuasca Martha Sneyd went into an extended altered state diagnosed as psychotic. Her terrifying ordeal ignited a spiritual initiation that eventually brought gifts of awakening, insight, and compassion. How did Martha emerge from her ecstatic journey through a mythic, archetypal world to become an advocate an ...…
 
What is at the root of world violence? How does psychiatry re-create dynamics of humiliation and shame that drive people crazy? Is there a just and equitable way out of the spirals of attack and counterattack tearing humanity apart? Evelin Lindner was nominated 3 times for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work internationally to overcome the roots ...…
 
Audiobook mp3 of Introduction and Chapter 1 “Persons and Experience”, from The Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise, by R.D. Laing, read by Will Hall. (Additional chapters also available on youtube and forthcoming.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._D._LaingBy Will Hall, Madness Radio.
 
What does it mean to be called “crazy” in a crazy world? Listen to the free audiobook of the Preface to Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness, written and read by Will Hall. Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness reveals the human side of mental illness. Based on ten years of Madness Radio interviews, more than 60 v ...…
 
Voice hearers, mystics, visionaries, and mad people are found throughout the scriptures of Judaism. What does Jewish theology have to teach us about madness and psychiatric diagnosis? How can modern Judaism show the way to new responses to extreme and altered states, in our communities and ourselves? Caroline Mazel-Carlton is a survivor of psyc ...…
 
What are the key ingredients of alternative mental health programs – and what makes them different and successful? Connor Tindall followed his calling to become a a therapist after confronting mistreatment by a psychotherapist as a teen. He went on to work at the innovative Soteria House Alaska, a hospital alternative where compassionate respec ...…
 
Can the breakdown of psychosis show the way forward to spiritual breakthrough? Is there a path through the depths of mental health crisis independent of hospitals, doctors, and therapists? Adrian Bernard was labeled a chronic schizophrenic and spent 20 years living on a disability check. After surviving a spiritual ordeal tested by God he is to ...…
 
Has modern psychiatry lost its soul? How can dreams, storytelling, and imagination help people in emotional crisis – including psychosis and madness? What lessons can we learn from shamanism, the placebo effect, and the importance of the doctor’s “bedside manner’? George Mecouch MD, psychiatrist, Jungian therapist, and author of While Psychiatr ...…
 
How is psychotherapy different when the therapist is also a survivor? What vital lessons must therapists learn from people who have experienced psychosis? If therapy is an imbalance of power between therapist and patient, how can therapists avoid the misuse of power and protect clients from harm? Olga Runciman, voice hearer, psychiatric nurse i ...…
 
What does healthcare become when science is limited by a mechanistic, machine view of reality? How does a mechanistic view shape concepts of mental health and illness – and deny the fundamental aliveness of human beings? What does the study of living systems teach us for creating a different, more holistic vision? Fritjof Capra, theoretical phy ...…
 
Does a diet without animal products improve mental health? Why can changing to plant based nutrition be so hard to sustain? And are people’s food ethics a symptom of eating disorder or neglected self care? Sabrina Louise, a vegan educator, consultant at Portland Community College, and ecstatic dance DJ, discusses how to transition away from eat ...…
 
How can people come off psychiatric medications in the safest way? What are the key lessons and vital ingredients for leaving psychiatric care? Is there life after meds? Laura Delano spent 14 years as a psychiatric patient before she left behind her psychiatric diagnoses and reclaimed herself. Today she is Director of the Inner Compass Initiati ...…
 
What’s it like to be a teenager in a psychiatric hospital? What’s it like to be a queer pregnant teenager? And is it true that friends do make the best medicine? Nina Packebush explores these questions and more in her groundbreaking debut young adult novel, Girls Like Me. Girls Like Me is an In the Margins 2018 recommended book and a Lambda Lit ...…
 
Is psychosis a journey and a breakthrough to somewhere more authentic? Should unhappy people be made to adjust to a mad society? Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing was a fierce critic of the mental health system, and saw madness as a rational adaptation to irrational family and social constraints. Laing’s compelling prose, acute intellect, and sp ...…
 
Is madness breakdown or initiation into a spiritual calling? Crazywise is a documentary film that explores the meaning of psychosis from the perspective of traditional cultures and shamanism, following the stories of people struggling with extreme states, spiritual awakening, and the mental health system’s failures. Filmmaker Phil Borges is an ...…
 
How can seeing visions and hearing voices be transformed into a spiritual gift for healing? What does the initiation ordeal into becoming a shaman involve? Gogo Ekhaya Esima was diagnosed with psychosis and confined in psychiatric hospitals before she became an initiated Sangoma healer in the Zulu tradition of South Africa. Today she is a certi ...…
 
What is it like to hear voices — and are all voices harmful or can they also be helpers? What does voice hearing say about the human mind – and the society we live in? And how can we support people who hear voices? Lisa Forestell has heard voices since she was a child. She is an organizer with the Hearing Voices Movement and with the Western Ma ...…
 
Is mindfulness meditation about calming the mind and accepting things as they are? Or is it a force for social change and challenging oppression? Can meditation help us become intimate with our wild, primal and untamed creative force? Nirali Shah, certified UCLA mindfulness facilitator and teacher at Spirit Rock, has spent thousands of hours me ...…
 
Now available as an audiobook! Based in more than 10 years work in the peer support movement,The Icarus Project and Freedom Center’s 52-page guide is used internationally by individuals, families, professionals, and organizations to support reducing and coming off psychiatric drugs. Includes info on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depre ...…
 
What is it like to flee a war-torn country as a child? What lasting psychological effects do refugees face? Can peer support and trauma informed care lead to lasting recovery? Khatera Aslami Tamplen, an Afghan-American and the Consumer Empowerment Manager for Alameda CountyBehavioral Health Services in California discusses war trauma, the activ ...…
 
Are psychiatric treatments, experts, and medications the best way for traumatized communities to heal their mental health problems? Could indigenous practices, including traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, offer a different way forward — through grassroots community development? Herman Garcia is the Vice President and Ryan Bemis Found ...…
 
Are beliefs in witchcraft and “voodoo death” not real? Do magical explanations of disease mean people are primitive and less educated? Or are stories and beliefs at the heart of reality for all cultures – including yours? Frank Bures, author of The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World’s ...…
 
How does the legacy of colonialism affect mental health in India? Are women’s rights, spiritual freedom, and ant-colonialism intertwined? Do women who choose a path of spiritual renunciation have the same freedom as men? Where are human rights more respected: in traditional temples, or in hospital locked wards? Bhargavi Davar’s mother Bapu was ...…
 
What if psychotic experiences express historical and intergenerational trauma? Does one person’s emotional crisis reach beyond their own individual mind? Could synchronicities and meaningful coincidences guide recovery instead of just being “symptoms”? Naas Siddiqui, a psychiatric survivor and therapist in training who founded the Spiritual Eme ...…
 
What if psychiatry recognized that schizophrenia does not exist? How might diagnostic categories (left over from the asylum era) be replaced by spectrums of experience that show how psychotic experiences can also be normal? What if services were oriented around individuals, not the statistical groups of “evidence based” research? And could the ...…
 
The Families in Mental Health Crisis Act HR 2646 — The Murphy Bill — proposes drastic changes to US mental health policies. Will the Murphy Bill curb violence and improve care? Or will more forced treatment, medication, and hospitalization only enrich pharmaceutical and medical industry power and reinforce stereotypes at the expense of real hum ...…
 
Is mental health about individual diseases, or the health of communities and countries as a whole? How do economic policies after the 2008 crisis impact disability rights, suicide rates, and community wellbeing? Are cuts in social spending really necessary for economic growth, or do they cause more problems in the long run? Guardian columnist M ...…
 
Psychiatric survivor leader Oryx Cohen was at a national conference when a seizure suddenly launched him out of his body and into a visionary state of madness. Avoiding medications or hospitalization, friends held a hotel room vigil for Oryx for many sleepless nights, and then drove him 4 days across country to safety. What surprising lessons – ...…
 
Is thinking a cognitive process of information input and output? Or do consciousness and emotion take place in our bodies – animated, moving, and responsive to the environment? And what would Darwin think of today’s focus on brains and neuroscience – is there an evolutionary way to understand the mind instead? Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, dancer, p ...…
 
Celebrated US President Abraham Lincoln also suffered from life-threatening depression. Did he view his “melancholy” as a treatable illness, as a punishment from God — or as a source of his gifts? How did Lincoln’s extraordinary leadership abilities arise from his struggle with extreme pain? Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of Lincoln’s Melancholy: Ho ...…
 
What if you were the only one seeing coded messages, covert realities, and elaborate plots all around you? Does that make you out of touch with reality, “paranoid” and “psychotic?” Or is it real — but you are just so upset that everyone thinks the problem is you instead? Tim Dreby, a psychotherapist and author in the San Francisco Bay Area, end ...…
 
In schizophrenia really an “incurable illness” — or a state of chronic terror? Are there ways for psychotherapy to reach people in different realities? And does Freudian psychoanalysis offer a humane and empowering approach? Bert Karon, psychoanalyst since 1955, co-author of the classic textbook Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia, and Professor of ...…
 
Are there ways to reach people in states of madness? How do talking with ghosts, hearing voices, and seeing visions — as well as enduring family turmoil — relate to psychotic crisis? When Dina Tyler discovered the meaning of life in an altered state, the treatment she received only inflicted further trauma. Dina instead embraced her madness as ...…
 
What if ordinary families could provide care for people psychiatry has given up on? Is there a way out for people stuck long-term as mental patients? Can human relationships and living together be more effective than medications, diagnosis, and hospitals? Carina Håkansson’s values wouldn’t allow her to work in the traditional psychiatric system ...…
 
How do we recover from childhood violence? When Lauren Spiro was 14, her father was murdered. Eighteen months later, she began to have unusual spiritual experiences and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Today she works to promote peace and healing in communities, fulfilling the vision she had in her extreme state. Lauren is co-director of Emoti ...…
 
What if researchers collaborated with patients rather than treating them as “informants” and objects of study? Nev Jones survived her mother’s frightening extreme states — and then her own mind unravelled into different realities. She was herself diagnosed with schizophrenia, and began a lifelong exploration of the uniqueness of madness. Today ...…
 
Adverse effects from prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in America. How can we know if the pills we take are actually safe? What can we do if they aren’t? Dr. David Healy, internationally renowned psychiatrist, whistleblower, and author of 20 books, discusses industry corruption of pharmaceutical regulation and proposes bette ...…
 
If madness isn’t like other illnesses, what is it? Should psychiatry have the power of legal coercion? How can the legacy of Thomas Szasz inform new ways of helping people? Tomi Gomory, associate professor of social work at Florida State University and co-author of Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs, explores thinking beyon ...…
 
How is the legacy of colonialism impacting American Indian mental health today? Does the Indian Health Service meet the needs of the people on tribal land? Can Native peoples revitalize cultural traditions and reverse centuries of racism? David Walker, mixed-heritage Cherokee, psychologist working at the Yakama Nation, and author of the award-w ...…
 
Does psychotherapy cover up issues of power and social justice? Are talk show therapists providing help, or blaming individuals for their problems? David Bedrick, counselor, attorney, and author of Talking Back to Dr. Phil: Alternatives to Mainstream Psychology, discusses how to discover profound meaning in our struggles by taking the time to u ...…
 
Why are so many trauma survivors, especially women, diagnosed “borderline?” Is the label useful — or sexist and degrading? How can people who live through intergenerational violence be understood and supported — instead of discounted and silenced? Rita Marshall, human rights activist and former psychiatric inmate from a family of Holocaust surv ...…
 
How can family members help a relative in extreme crisis — instead of worsening the situation? Is there a way out of treatment power struggles and arguments about “insight”? And what do families need to change about themselves? Psychiatric survivor Krista MacKinnon, formerly at Toronto’s Family Outreach and Response program and now Director of ...…
 
Are Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan and other benzodiazepines really more addictive than heroin? How can these common drugs for anxiety actually worsen the symptoms they’re prescribed to treat? What are the dangers of protracted withdrawal? Matt Samet, former professional rock climber, Outside Magazine writer, and author of Death Grip: A Climber’s Esca ...…
 
Are elders living with forgetfulness, Alzheimer’s, and dementia unreachable? Are there parallels with states called psychotic? Can meaning be found in the confusion of brain injury and coma? Stan Tomandl, MA, DiplPW and author of Coma Care & Palliative Work, and An Alzheimer’s Surprise Party: Unveiling the Mystery, Inner Experience, and Gifts o ...…
 
Why did the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual become so controversial? Is it possible to alleviate human suffering without classifying it as a mental disorder? Gary Greenberg, psychotherapist, author of Manufacturing Depression and The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, and journalist for Harper’s, the New Y ...…
 
How do psychiatric labels shape our perceptions of others – and ourselves? Are there better ways to understand emotional distress? Does the “peer movement” offer real alternatives — or present new problems? Sera Davidow, psychiatric survivor, director of the peer-run Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC), and co-producer of the new fil ...…
 
Is trauma also a source of creative inspiration? Can sexual passion be a force for healing? And do we have to live in either/or boxes — or is there somewhere else? Artist and activist Jacks McNamara, co-founder of the Icarus Project radical support community, discusses their recently-published anthology Inbetweenland, including poetry about bei ...…
 
Why does the same psychiatric drug help one person – but harm another? Do psychiatric medications “work” by chemistry alone – or through expectation, placebo, and social factors? What is the difference between prescribed medications and mind altering substances like alcohol? David Cohen, social work professor at Florida International University ...…
 
Is a champion athlete more powerful than madness and psychiatric medications? When Meaghan Buisson said she wanted to break the world record for inline skating, her psychiatrist diagnosed her as psychotic. Two years later, she won the title — only to face the even greater challenge of self-harm, starvation, and psych meds withdrawal. Buisson no ...…
 
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