Monday 26th March 2018 Critical Psychiatry Network Conference

(Added 14th February 2019. Nearly a year on, I no longer believe that CPN members see the ‘core’ problem of psychiatry to be overmedication. See ‘The Myth of ‘Critical Psychiatry”)

Had only met two other attenders before. Very impressed by all sessions, starting with my first (1990) Manchester consultant Phil Thomas, on Positive and Cognitive Therapies being imposed on jobseekers. Phil left early, before I could suggest that The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den do not really promote PT/CT linked to entrepreneurialism, with the former, I think, having a significant element of parody: the most PT/CT-babbling contestants tend to get fired earlier by grouchy, deflating Lord Sugar.

If this confirms, as I think, that the majority in the UK are not signed up to PT/CT, that points to something darker about this policy on jobseekers: the possibility that PT/CT here has a punitive element.

I wasn’t convinced by some of the discourse about neoliberalism. For me, what is introduced into the NHS and other public services are often pseudoliberal and pseudomarketised.

But on the core issue (as I see it), pretty close to my views on medication, and therefore I nudge liberally towards the CPN ‘spectrum of opinion’. Even if some of them gave me a hard time about my continued support for ADD / ADHD prescribing, in the pub afterwards.

About Dr Neil MacFarlane MRCPsych

Independent Psychiatrist providing culturally informed mental health opinion, advice, and a few new facts. Based near London, UK. Main qualifications: BA MBBS MA MRCPsych.

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