Worth Watching

Teaching psychiatric history often focuses on the history of psychiatrists.  And yet there really is not one history of psychiatry – there are many.

PoliticsOfMemoryPatricia Deegan made The Politics of Memory, a film for consumer survivors.  It`s history from the other side; from the perspective of those we treat, often against their will.

Some may find it difficult to watch and some psychiatrists in particular, might find it challenging.  I don’t think Pat Deegan was looking to slam psychiatry but rather calling it as she sees it.  She presents a side of history that is rarely given voice.

While well worth purchasing the film through www.patdeegan.com it’s also available on YouTube in 5 sections.

I have only  two 1-hour sessions with psychiatric residents to talk history, not enough time to show the whole film and discuss.  Two PoliticsOfMemory Quiltsections I do show are in part 1 at the 10:00 mark, with the embroidered quilt and at the beginning of part 2 with the stories of Elizabeth Packard and Ebenezer Haskell.

As well every ACT clinician should know about eugenics, Nazi psychiatry and Aktion T4 in part 3 of the film.

Some might feel this film is ‘anti-psychiatry’.  I don’t.  I think it’s a valuable tool to help mental health clinicians maintain collective self-reflection.

Shalom Coodin

PS: This blog started a year ago.  Since then it’s been viewed 4800 times from 10 different countries. Thank you for taking the time to visit – it means a lot.  Special thanks to Lorna.

To be continued…

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