Three weeks ago I was in Washington, DC for the First Summit on Diagnostic Alternatives. It marked what I think is an important turning point for what has been a loud outcry against the DSM-5. The Summit was sponsored by the Society for Humanistic Psychology, which has been a leader in efforts to give the pubic more choices than a biological approach to emotional distress. At the Summit we came up with our mission: “To develop, evaluate, advocate and disseminate alternatives to current diagnostic systems,” and formed working groups. I am proud to be a member of this group. Six weeks from now, 400 or more people will gather in NYC for the 8th Performing the World conference. Diverse in so many ways, what they have in common is a belief in people’s capacity to create and see in new ways—and the fact that they’ve developed many ways to make this possible. They are performance activists. Most are not in the mental health field, but in educations, theatre and other performing arts, youth work, community organizng, and health and medicine. Nevertheless, what they do has everything to do with mental health. What I love about Performing the World and one of the reasons it is so significant is that it is—in practice—a diagnostic alternative. I know from previous Performing the World conferences that it’s an eye-opening and incredibly inspiring experience for psychologists, social workers, counselors and all mental health workers, especially those who are unhappy and disillusioned by what their jobs have become under the medicalization of their fields. And yet, they remain the minority at Performing the World. Good therapists and counselors find ways to support the people they work with to take risks and do something new. I invite them to do the same! Performing the World 2104—How Shall We Become? takes place October 10-12 in New York City. I hope you can join in!
- Social Therapeutics
- What’s New