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Saturday, 20, July, 2024

Other Resources and Information


Behaviourism and Mental Health. Psychologist Phil Hickey’s powerful critiques of psychiatric theory and practice. www.behaviorismandmentalhealth.com

Critical MH Nurses Network – Takes a critical perspective on the practice, culture and environment of mental health nursing.

Critical Psychiatry. A very useful collection of articles from a broadly critical perspective. www.critpsynet.freeuk.com

Discursive of Tunbridge Wells – blogs and commentary on psychology, mental health and related topics.

Duncan Double’s collection of articles from a critical perspective.

Far be it from me – blog by Judith Haire.

Hole Ousia – blog by psychiatrist Dr Peter Gordon.

Laura Delano. Laura Delano’s website and blog tells the story of her recovery from 13 years in the psychiatric system. www.lauradelano.com

Me, myself and disability. Chris Coombs writes about his reflections on mental distress and physical disability. www.memyselfanddisability.wordpress.com

Retired Discursive of Tunbridge Wells. Articles and interviews on a range of mental health topics. https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/discursive

Retired psychologist Phil Hickey directs hard-hitting criticism at the diagnostic model.

Tales from the Madhouse – An insider critique of psychiatric services by Gary Sidley.

The Blog That Shouldn’t Be Written: Madness, trauma and recovery. Campaigner and a survivor of psychiatry, Indigo Daya tells her story in these blogs. www.indigodaya.com

The home of the Critical Psychiatry Network for UK psychiatrists.


Web Sites and Facebook groups

A Disorder 4 Everyone – Exploring the culture of psychiatric diagnosis – creating change. Provides events blogs and other resources.

A Disorder for Everyone on YouTube. Inspiring collection of talks and interviews with leading professionals, campaigners and activists. www.youtube.com/channel/UCaWG15Tqjo6sZ7obcnKc_Mw

Auntie Psychiatry. A collection of hard-hitting cartoons by the talented Auntie Psychiatry. www.auntiepsychiatry.com/Auntie%20Psychiatry.html

Behind the Label. Rachel Waddingham is a former service user, now a writer and trainer. Her website has links, articles and resources. http://www.behindthelabel.co.uk

Beyond Meds. Website and blog of Monica Cassani. Insights into the mental health system in the United States.’ A very comprehensive collection of resources and information. http://beyondmeds.com

Coming Off. A website to support those wishing to withdraw from psychiatric drugs. www.comingoff.com

Compassionate Mental Health – Experiential events designed to inform, inspire and empower people living and working with mental distress.

Dolly Sen is an award-winning writer, artist, performer and filmmaker and an activist for change in psychiatry. www.dollysen.com

Dr Terry Lynch. GP Dr Terry Lynch challenges the medical model of depression in his courses and resources. www.doctorterrylynch.com

Drop the Disorder (Facebook) –  a group for anyone interested in challenging traditional approaches to emotional distress.

Drop the Disorder Facebook group. A group for debate about alternatives to current psychiatric practice. www.facebook.com/groups/1182483948461309

Emerging Proud. Resources, support and personal stories for people who see their crises in spiritual, mystical or transcendent terms. www.emergingproud.com

Ending Harm from Psychiatric Diagnosis. An American website that campaigns for recognition of the damage done by psychiatric diagnosis. It has videos and stories from many service users about their experience of diagnosis. http://psychdiagnosis.weebly.com

Gail Horstein. This website includes an extensive list of first-person accounts of madness. http://www.gailhornstein.com

I Got Better. A collection of videos by people who see themselves as having recovered. www.igotbetter.org Jacqui Dillon. Trainer, writer and voice-hearer Jacqui Dillon’s website. www.jacquidillon.org She also describes her experiences of rejecting psychiatry at www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHzHliy5yeQ

Intervoice. The website of the International Hearing Voices Network (the International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices). It includes extensive international resources about ways of overcoming the difficulties faced by people who hear voices, as well as the more positive aspects of the experience and its cultural and historical significance. www.intervoiceonline.org

Jacqui Dillon is a writer, campaigner, international speaker and trainer, and also a voice hearer. Her website has information and resources.

Let’s Talk Withdrawal (Facebook) – a group dedicating to sharing experiences and discussing issues with psychiatric drugs including antidepressants, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines.

Mad in America – Mad in America’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad).

Mad in America’s Drug Withdrawal pages – A directory of providers who help people taper from psychiatric medications, and information about withdrawal guides, educational courses, research studies, and personal withdrawal studies.

Mental Health and Survivor Movements and Contexts. A fascinating compilation from numerous perspectives of the history of the service user/survivor movement, including personal accounts. http://studymore.org.uk/mpu.htm

Mind Freedom. Mind Freedom aims to ‘win human rights campaigns in mental health, challenge abuse by the psychiatric drug industry, support the self-determination of psychiatric survivors and mental health consumers and promote safe, humane and effective options in mental health’. The website also has a large collection of personal stories. www.mindfreedom.org/personal-stories

National Paranoia Network. Website with ideas and resources for people experiencing suspicious thoughts and paranoia. www.nationalparanoianetwork.org

National Survivor User Network. The NSUN network is an independent, service user-led charity that connects people with experience of mental health issues to give them a stronger voice in shaping policy and services. Includes information about service user groups, activities and resources across the country. www.nsun.org.uk

Paranoid Thoughts. Clinical psychologist and self-help book author, Daniel Freeman hosts this website about ‘unfounded or excessive fears about others’ from. Includes first-person accounts by people who have experienced suspicious thoughts and paranoia. www.paranoidthoughts.com

Paula J. Caplan. Articles, books and links by Paula Caplan, US psychologist and leading campaigner against psychiatric labels. www.paulajcaplan.net

Rufus May is a clinical psychologist and trainer who has recovered from his own experiences of psychosis. His website has resources and events.

Spiritual Crisis Network. Offers an alternative perspective, practical advice and email support to people who are interested in exploring the idea of spiritual crisis. www.spiritualcrisisnetwork.org.uk

The Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry – CEP exists to communicate evidence of the potentially harmful effects of psychiatric drugs to the people and institutions in the UK that can make a difference.

The Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry. Supporting the evaluation and use of the best evidence, and hosting articles and resources. www.cepuk.org

The Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network. A group formed to promote critical thinking about the practice, culture and environment of mental health nursing. https://criticalmhnursing.org/about-us/

The Critical Psychiatry Network. The CPN consists of over 350 psychiatrists, two thirds of whom are based in the UK, the rest spread around the world, who take a broadly critical perspective on current theory and practice. www.criticalpsychiatry.co.uk/

The Icarus Project is a grassroots network of independent groups and individuals who wish to look beyond the conventional medical model understandings.

The Icarus Project. A grassroots network of independent groups and individuals ‘living with the experiences that are commonly labelled bipolar disorder’. It promotes a new culture and language that looks beyond a conventional medical model of mental illness. www.theicarusproject.net

The Inner Compass Initiative and Withdrawal Project – provides information, resources, tools, and connecting platforms to facilitate more informed choices regarding all things “mental health”.

The International Hearing Voices Network includes extensive resources about ways of overcoming the difficulties faced by people who hear voices, as well as the more positive aspects of the experience and its cultural and historical significance.

The Midlands Psychology Group has been in existence for many years and has just updated its website. We share many of the views expressed in Mad in the UK, MIA and the World. One of our members, John Cromby, recently published a blog/book review on MITUK about neurodiversity and politics. We published our own, joint-authored book, Outsight: Psychology, Politics and Social Justice, in 2022.


The Open Paradigm Project. A collection of video testimonies by people who have experienced various forms of madness, and their paths out of the mental health system. http://openparadigmproject.com

The Power Threat Meaning Framework – Towards the identification of patterns in emotional distress, unusual experiences and troubled or troubling behaviour, as an alternative to functional psychiatric diagnosis. www.bps.org.uk/power-threat-meaning-framework

The UK branch of the Hearing Voices Network.

The Voice Collective. Hosted by Mind in Camden, this is a resource ‘for young people who hear, see and sense things others don’t’. http://www.voicecollective.co.uk

The Voices in My Head. A short TED talk in which psychologist and voice hearer Eleanor Longden talks about her experiences. www.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head


A Manifesto for Mental Health: Why we need a revolution in mental health care, by Peter Kinderman. Palgrave Macmillan (2019). A professor of psychology proposes a radical new way of organising and running our mental health system.

A Straight Talking Introduction to Being a Mental Health Service User, by Peter Beresford (2010)

A Straight Talking Introduction to Caring for Someone with Mental Health Problems, edited by Jen Kilyon and Theresa Smith (2009)

A Straight Talking Introduction to Children’s Mental Health Problems (2nd ed.), by Sami Timimi (2020). A highly recommended critique of current psychiatric practices with children and young people that takes a strongly non-diagnostic perspective.

A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs: The truth about how they work and how to come off them, by Joanna Moncrieff (2020). This updated and rewritten second edition scrutinises and critiques the evidence for the ‘chemical imbalance’ hypothesis on which psychiatric drug prescribing is based and the effects of these drugs. Highly recommended.

A Straight Talking Introduction to the Causes of Mental Health Problems, by John Read and Pete Sanders (2010). A clear explanation of all the factors that lead to diagnoses for ‘mental health problems’.

Accepting Voices, edited by Marius Romme and Sandra Escher. Mind (1993). A ground-breaking book about learning to live with voices.

Agnes’s jacket: A psychologist’s search for the meanings of madness, by Gail Hornstein. PCCS Books (2012). Gail Hornstein’s meetings with, and reflections on, people who challenge accepted views about madness.

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic bullets, psychiatric drugs, and the astonishing rise of mental illness in America, by Robert Whitaker. Further reading and resources 151 Crown Publishing Group (2011). A compelling overview of the research on psychiatric drugs, arguing that overall they create more disability than they cure.

Beyond Belief: Alternative ways of working with delusions, obsessions and unusual experiences, by Tamasin Knight. Peter Lehmann Publishing (2013). Offers a new way of helping people deal with unusual beliefs by encouraging supporters to consider working within the person’s belief system. Downloadable free from www. peter-lehmann-publishing.com/books/knight.htm

Cracked: Why psychiatry is doing more harm than good, by James Davies. Icon Books (2013). James Davies’ extraordinary investigation into how the DSM is created, featuring interviews with the committee members.

Crazy Like Us: The globalisation of the Western mind, by Ethan Watters. Constable & Robinson (2011). A hard-hitting look at the damaging effects of exporting the Western diagnostic model across the world.

De-medicalising Misery: Psychiatry, psychology and the human condition, edited by Mark Rapley, Joanna Moncrieff and Jacqui Dillon. Palgrave Macmillan (2011). An inspiring collection of essays about non-medical approaches to distress.

Doctoring the Mind: Why psychiatric treatments fail, by Richard Bentall. Allen Lane/Penguin (2009). A thorough, research-based overview of the currently available psychiatric interventions and their limitations

Experiencing Psychosis: Personal and professional perspectives, edited by Jim Geekie, Patte Randall, Debra Lampshire and John Read. Routledge (2011). Examines first-person accounts alongside current research to suggest how personal experience can contribute professionals’ attempts to understand and help.

Formulation in Psychology and Psychotherapy: Making sense of people’s problems (2nd ed), edited by Lucy Johnstone and Rudi Dallos. Routledge (2013). A comprehensive overview of formulation-based practice.

Living with Voices: 50 stories of recovery, edited by Marius Romme, Sandra Escher, Jacqui Dillon, Dirk Corstens and Mervyn Morris. (2009). Fifty people describe how they have overcome their problems with hearing voices outside of the illness model, by overcoming feelings of threat and powerlessness and discovering that voices are not a sign of madness but a reaction to problems in their lives.

Lost Connections: Why you’re depressed and how to find hope, by Johann Hari. Bloomsbury (2018). Journalist Johann Hari takes a fascinating journey through what we know about depression, based partly on his own experiences of diagnosis and psychiatric drugs.

Madness Contested: Power and practice, by Steven Coles, Sarah Keenan and Bob Diamond. PCCS Books (2013). A readable collection of essays looking at criticisms of and alternatives to current mental health practice.

Mental health, race and culture (3rd ed), by Suman Fernando. Palgrave MacMillan (2010). Psychiatrist Suman Fernando critiques psychiatry from the perspective of non-Western cultures.

Models of Madness: Psychological, social and biological approaches to psychosis, edited by John Read and Jacqui Dillon. Routledge (2013). A comprehensive overview of critiques of all aspects of psychiatric theory and practice.

Our Encounters with Madness, edited by Alec Grant, Francis Biley and Hannah Walker. PCCS Books (2011). An edited collection of 36 service user and carer accounts of diagnosis, personal experience, and the system. The stories are frank, varied and uncensored.

Psychosis: Stories of recovery and hope, edited by Hannah Cordle, Jerome Carson and Paul Richards. (Quay Books, 2010). Fifteen people tell their stories, and professionals describe various approaches to understanding and helping, including the traditional medical model as well as the recovery approach.

Sanity, Madness and the Family by R.D. Laing and Aaron Esterson. Tavistock Press (1964). A classic account from the 1960s, showing family dynamics behind the diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia.’

Searching for a Rose Garden: Challenging psychiatry, fostering mad studies, edited by Jasna Russo and Angela Sweeney. PCCS Books (2016). A radical set of critiques of the psychiatric system, authored by survivors.

Sky-diving for Beginners: A journey of recovery and hope, by Jo MacFarlane. Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (2014). Jo MacFarlane’s moving account of her journey to recovery. Available from [email protected]

Stablisation pack. A range of self-help guides produced by service users and the psychology team in Cwm Taf University Health Board, to help people who are experiencing reactions to trauma and provide advice on managing these symptoms. https://cwmtafmorgannwg. wales/services/mental-health/stabilisation-pack/

Tales from the Madhouse: An insider critique of psychiatric services, by Gary Sidley. PCCS Books (2015). Clinical psychologist Gary Sidley reflects on a career in mental health services and calls for change.

The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, brain and body in the transformation of trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk. Viking (2014). A thoughtful and inspiring overview of the trauma-informed approach by one of its leading proponents.

The Myth of Mental Illness, by Tomas Szasz. Harper &d Row (1961). Another classic account from the 1960s, challenging the idea that there are such conditions as ‘mental illnesses’.

The Spirit Level: Why equality is better for everyone, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. London: Allen Lane (2010). Influential and accessible analysis of the effects of economic inequality on all aspects of our lives, including emotional wellbeing.

They say you’re crazy: How the world’s most powerful psychiatrists decide who’s normal, by Paula Caplan. Da Capo (1996). A classic critique of the process of diagnosing people, from a US perspective.

This Book will Change your Mind about Mental Health: A journey into the heartland of psychiatry, by Nathan Filer. Faber & Faber (2019). Former mental health nurse Nathan Filer examines the stories of people diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia’ in this accessible exploration of current debates in mental health.

Toxic psychiatry: Why therapy, empathy and love must replace the drugs, electroshock, and biochemical theories of the ‘New Psychiatry’, by Peter Breggin. Fontana (1993). One of the earliest and most powerful critiques of psychiatry, by a US psychiatrist.

Trauma and Recovery: From domestic abuse to political terror, by Judith Herman. Basic Books (2015). A classic, profound and moving account of the role of trauma in all our lives, from the personal to the political.

Understanding Mental Health and Distress: Beyond abnormal psychology, edited by John Cromby, David Harper and Paula Reavey. Palgrave Macmillan (2013). The first UK undergraduate textbook to be co-authored with service users and to be based on a non-diagnostic perspective.

Users and abusers of psychiatry: A critical look at psychiatric practice (classic edition) by Lucy Johnstone. Routledge (2022). An accessible overview of the limitations of current practice, illustrated by real-life examples. Updated with a new introductory paragraph from the previous edition in 2000.



Kinderman, P., Read, J., Moncrieff, J., & Bentall, R.P. (2013). Drop the language of disorder. Evidence-Based Mental Health, 21, 16, 2–3.

Moncrieff, J. (2010). Psychiatric diagnosis as a political device. Social Theory and Health, 8(4), 370–82.

Szasz, T. (1976). Schizophrenia: The sacred symbol of psychiatry. British Journal of Psychiatry, 129, 308–16.

Articles both for and against diagnosis as well as service user experiences can be found for free in Journal of Mental Health, 2010, 19(4): http://informahealthcare.com/toc/jmh/19/4



The British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology has published some accessible reports based on the belief that people have the right to choose their own understanding of their distress, which may or may not be a medical one, and their own preferred forms of help. The reports include comprehensive lists of resources. They can be downloaded for free.

Bowden, G., Holttum, S., Shankar, R., Cooke, A. & Kinderman, P. (2020). Understanding Depression: Why adults experience depression and what can help. British Psychological Society www.bps.org.uk/sites/www.bps.org.uk/files/Member%20Networks/ Divisions/DCP/Understanding%20depression.pdf

British Psychological Society (2016). Understanding Diagnosis in Adult Mental Health. This leaflet summarises some of the main debates about psychiatric diagnosis. Available at: https://www.bps.org.uk/sites/www.bps.org.uk/files/Member%20 Networks/Divisions/DCP/Understanding%20psychiatric%20 diagnosis%20in%20adult%20mental%20health.pdf

Cooke, A. (ed.) (2017). Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange or appear out of touch with reality, and what can help. British Psychological Society. The weblink includes the main document, a version for children and young people and training materials. https://www.bps.org.uk/what-psychology/understanding-psychosis -and-schizophrenia

Cooke, A. (ed.). (2017). Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia (revised ed). British Psychological Society. An accessible publication that opens up new ways of understanding the experiences that are labelled as ‘psychosis’ and ‘schizophrenia’. Available at www.understandingpsychosis.net

Johnstone, L., & Boyle, M., with Cromby, J., Dillon, J., Harper, D., Kinderman, P., Longden, E., Pilgrim, D., & Read, J. (2018a). The Power Threat Meaning Framework: Towards the identification of patterns in emotional distress, unusual experiences and troubled or troubling behaviour, as an alternative to functional psychiatric diagnosis. British Psychological Society. The main report setting out in detail the Framework its development, the evidence base and its applications. Available free from: www.bps.org.uk/power-threat-meaning-framework

Johnstone, L., & Boyle, M., with Cromby, J., Dillon, J., Harper, D., Kinderman, P., Longden, E., Pilgrim, D., & Read, J. (2018b). The Power Threat Meaning Framework: Overview. British Psychological Society. A shorter overview of the main report. Available free from www.bps.org.uk/power-threat-meaning-framework


Private therapy Registered counsellors and therapists can be found through various directories, including:

BACP www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists

Black African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN) www.baatn.org.uk/find-a-therapist

Counselling Directory www.counselling-directory.org.uk

National Counselling Society https://nationalcounsellingsociety.org/counselling-directory

UKCP www.psychotherapy.org.uk/find-a-therapist


Clinical psychologists can be found through:

British Psychological Society www.bps.org.uk/psychology-public/find-psychologist/findpsychologist

It is worth checking the Free Psychotherapy Network to see if free or low-cost therapy is available in your area: https://freepsychotherapynetwork.com/organisations-offeringlow-cost-psychotherapy/

A list of groups and other resources that you may find helpful. If you are aware of other resources that we should consider adding, please let us know by email: [email protected]. Thanks.


Political Groups, Advocacy and Action

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prescribed Drug Dependence will address the growing problem of prescribed drug dependence by demanding appropriate services for those affected, proper training for medical professionals, reduced prescribing through adherence to new and existing guidelines, better data regarding the prevalence of PDD and more research into long-term harms associated with PDD.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Psychology – focuses on raising awareness amongst parliamentarians and policymakers of the importance and relevance of psychology, combining research and best practice briefings to ensure that MPs have access to a psychological, evidence-based approach to policy development.


Trauma Related Resources

Information, articles, resources on trauma at:

Information, projects, research from the USA.

Practice guidelines for the treatment of complex trauma and trauma-informed care and service delivery (2012).

The 70/30 campaign.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Trauma-informed information, projects and resources in Australia.

Trauma-informed practice guide and toolkit, 2013 British Columbia.

YoungMinds charity ‘Addressing Adversity’ campaign.

Supporting children during divorce

Podcasts and Interviews

Let’s Talk Withdrawal, hosted by James Moore.

Madness Radio, hosted by Will Hall.

My Own Worst Enemy, hosted by Danny Whitaker.

The Mad in America Podcast, hosted by James Moore.



Formulation as an alternative to diagnosis.

Psychological formulation in ‘psychosis’ Powys, 2014.

The Voices in my Head, TED talk by Eleanor Longden

What is psychological formulation?