Friday, October 8, 2010


Many, if not most of the therapies that I write about on this blog, such as sound therapy and Tomatis, are not known in treating schizophrenia or other mental health issues. They are just therapies that I thought had a thread of logic regarding possible good outcomes for Chris, so I went for them. I'm glad that I did. All of the therapies that I write about in this blog have moved Chris forward in some way.

Today's New York Times has an article about Rolfing, that New-Age seventies thing that was the butt of many jokes at the time. Rolfing is painful and can open up a flood of emotional memories, therefore, if introduced at all it might be good to wait until your relative is further along in the healing process.

As with other holistic practices, Rolfing seems to leave the door open for a certain mysticism. Even those who have little use for New Age-type practices like meditation can verge on the metaphysical when discussing Rolfing.

I don't normally recommend things on my blog that I haven't personally experienced, however, there are times when I do. There is a wide array of holistic products and practices that can help. Access to an Assemblage Point shift is out of the question for many due to the fact that there are so few practitioners. Tomatis is relatively expensive. There is no one pathway to healing, and I don't want readers to get stuck in thinking that there is. As long as there is there appears to be no harm from the treatment, then what do we have to lose?


  1. Yes, healing is very individual. Sometimes I think it's really just a matter of time. Sometimes I think it really doesn't matter what you do, as long as you try to stay away from the drugs. Joanne Greenberg and Cathy Penney were both "sick" with "Schizophrenia" for two or three years but eventually recovered and have maintained mental wellness for decades. They would not have been in the "well" group in the Soteria model, which looked for people who improved within 9 weeks to a year; they would have been in the 15% who were still sick, maybe considered chronically sick. This causes me to believe that nearly anyone can recover, even that 15%, given enough time to work it out without psychiatry, and with social support and understanding. The problem is that two to three years can feel like a very long time when no one believes that one can wait it out. If there's reason to hope, you can stick through anything, but the "mental health professionals" aren't giving us any reason to hope

  2. I am interested to know why neither of the two protagonists from Take These Broken Wings in your view would not recover using the Soteria model? Is it just a question of not having enough time? I wrote the producer/director of that film, saying I admired the one person's commitment to long term convalescence. Let's not forget that her family had the $, as well.

  3. Anonymous: Right. They didn't recover after 6 weeks or even after up to 2 years. Soteria pronounced people "recovered" after 9 weeks and a follow-up of 2 years. People who didn't recover in that time frame were still considered sick. SO - they would have been in the "UNrecovered" portion of Soteria, but they STILL recovered, it just took them longer!! Talk about a reason for optimism!!

  4. I wholeheartedly agree that it often seems that it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you stay away from the drugs - drugs complicated everything. I am convinced that Chris would be further ahead than he is today if he had been counseled, if we had been counseled, and told what the ingredients are of a good recovery. Somebody who knew something about this condition (and I maintain that psychiatry knows perfectly well, but has chosen to ignore it) should have sat us all down and encourged us to talk about the ingredients of the crisis. Would have saved us years, agony and money.

  5. Did anyone else hear on This American Life yesterday Ira Glass so carelessly recommend klonapin at the end of a segment? Incredible.


  6. I don't know about this show or the incident you mention, but here's what Wiki says: Maybe he'll join MindFree if we all object?

    Ira Glass (born March 3, 1959) is an American public radio personality, and host and producer of the radio and television show This American Life.

    Due to an encounter with objectors to a segment of his show, Glass became a vegetarian. He discusses this in an April 2007 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

  7. Rossa,

    This American Life is usually a great radio program on NPR. It started out as a quirky story telling kind of program by regular people, with incredible stories to tell.

    Indeed the story yesterday was narrated by a comedian who slept walk, and recounted a time when he jumped out of a (sealed) La Quinta Inn window from the second floor. As Ira was wrapping up the segment he mentioned klonapin as a cure or something. I thought it was incredibly careless and irresponsible. Yes, I emailed him.

  8. Rossa,

    I thought I submitted a comment earlier, but I guess not. This American Life is a quirky kind of story-telling show by ordinary people. They're telling often extraordinary stories or else ordinary stories, and finding interesting meaning. Usually I really really like it. Yesterday, wrapping up a piece by a comedian in which he (the comedian) slept walked his way OUT of a locked window on the 2nd floor of a La Quinta Inn motel room, Ira said that there's a pill to help with sleep walking or sleep activity: klonapin. Yes, I emailed him.

    I hope this comment makes it through now!

  9. The question is, whether Joanne Grenberg and Cathy Penney would have been "sick" after respectively 6 weeks and 2 years in a Soteria setting, instead of in the psych ward setting they were placed in. Drugs or no drugs, a hospital setting alone sends a certain message, that a Soteria setting doesn't send. And all "psychiatric symptoms" also are an expression of resistance. Remove what causes the resistance -- labels for instance -- and there's no need for it anymore.

  10. I'm reading I Never Promised You a Rose Garden now! I'm at the beginning, but from my reading of other sources, it seems that Soteria houses relied on students to staff the houses, and that MDs or experts like Joanne's doctor were not really welcomed. I'm not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, but it seems that in both Joanne/Hannah's case and Catherine's their relationship to their therapist was key. But point taken about the general atmosphere and sickenss and illness, etc.


  11. Marian - I absolutely agree that a hospital setting sends a message drugs or no drugs. Chris's program while not in a hospital setting per se, was part of the hospital system, was staffed by doctors and nurses, and the clients were referred to as "patients." It screamed "there's something wrong with you." Yes, you said it, too. All psychiatric symptoms are an expression of resistance. Now, how come the doctors never shared that basic insight with me?

    B'ham - I love INPYRG. Note that they talked their way through rather than medicated their way through. I think at most "Hannah" took a sedative at night on a few occasions.


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