Here is something for the diary ☺️

RxISK Newsletter (September 2016)

Great resource for detailed descriptions of side effects of psychotropic medication and reduction approaches

Daniels case.

Words alone can not express our sincere thanks, warm appreciation and gratitude for ALL INVOLVED who have made this possible.
A very special thank you must go to a farmer ( a Diary Farmer ) a dear friend who choses to remain anonymous…whose son’s life ended tragically while on psychotropic drugs… and who upon hearing of Garth’s plight was determined that this would not happen to Garth.
…this farmer introduced me to Professor Peter Gotzsche… ( whom the farmer describe as an exocet missile needed to unsettle psychiatry in the State of Victoria)… here in Australia… Peter put up a letter sent to him from Garth at the C.E.P. conference at Roehampton University in London… that got the attention of the international community… Thank you Peter…and of course Dr.Jock McLaren…

On ‎22‎/‎06‎/‎2016 at 9:01 AM, “Philip Benjamin” wrote: >
>On 21 June 2016 at 22:03, Niall McLaren >wrote:
>Follow-up here.
> >garth-daniels-case/
>Niall McLaren
>Brisbane, Australia
>Congratulations Garth, Niall, and all involved in a wonderful >effort to
>free Garth to begin his journey of recovery, and welcome to >Queensland,
>Bernard, Garth, and all!
>So many clinicians who are unfortunately stuck in abusive, >controlling
>systems will see the benefits of the approach described in the >following
>passage. Many would wish for the opportunity to provide the >simple, ethical
>interventions you outline here,
>”While walking through a local shopping centre with his parents, >he turned
>and saw two security guards walking toward them. Their uniform is >very
>similar to that of the Victorian Police; thinking they were police >coming
>to arrest him, Garth panicked, but the guards walked past. His >parents
>tried to settle him, but he remained edgy and irritable for the >rest of the
>day. That evening, he began acting in a way they had often seen in >the
>hospital, saying things like: “My schizophrenia is really bad >tonight, I’ve
>just had a visual hallucination.” His agitation settled after a 90- >minute
>consultation and, the next morning, he was back to normal.” >
>especially compared to the messages about power and institutional >rigidity
>here –
>” Professor after professor has described him as suffering “a >brittle
>psychosis” that requires extreme treatment. He has been seen as >quite
>likely the most dangerous man in the state’s entire history. While >the
>total cost to the taxpayers has been well more than $10 million, >the
>benefits of this prodigious diversion of resources to one (rather >small)
>man have been underwhelming. The cost to Daniels and his family >has been
>The question arises, is there a conventional wisdom that supports >these
>excessive costs for “treatment as usual”, in a system which is >built on the
>authority of those who have most to gain by its perpetuation? >
>The system seems needlessly inhumane, certainly with doubtful >human rights
>concerns at least, as well as adding significantly more strain on >family
>and staff members who carry the burden of ineffective treatment. >
>No wonder many families who hear about open dialogue travel to >Finland to
>find treatment.
>Best Wishes
>Philip Benjamin
>(+61) 0418 887 007
>(+44) 07482 700 287
>”Dreaming is free”, Blondie, 1979

Daniels case.

On 21 June 2016 at 22:03, Niall McLaren <jockmclaren> wrote:
Follow-up here.

My 6 year anniversary off psych drugs: How I made it through the darkest times

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

Video below

Today is my anniversary off a huge psych drug cocktail I’d been on for 20 years. Below the video are additional links about the six year withdrawal process. There are also additional important comments below the video.

In the video I speak to the inner resources that kept me going. I want to add here that I also was privileged to have a safe home and 24/7 hour care when I was bedridden and unable to leave the house for anything at all. Both the home and the care were provided for me by my husband. No one else in my life, including most of my close family had a clue what we were dealing with. I have to believe if they did they would have done more. The fact is there is nothing in society to help those who love us to understand what we are going through…

View original post 731 more words

Suspicious minds: The Truman Show delusion – All In The Mind – ABC Radio National (suitable for children)

In the past, people suffering from delusional beliefs might have thought that they were Napoleon or that the KGB was tapping their phone. These days, many believe that they’re the star of a movie or a reality television show, even when they’re not.

Joel Werner reports from New York on the under-recognised influence of culture on mental health. The Truman Show Delusion.

The episode recreates the creation of delusion in easy top understand form – even suitable for children.

Source: Suspicious minds: The Truman Show delusion – All In The Mind – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Hearing Voices approach training in Australia

Happy new year to all!

Trevor Eyles has offered to come to Australia in February to run his widely respected training workshops on the Hearing Voices approach.

Trevor is originally from the UK and trained as Mental Health nurse, but has been living in Aarhus, Denmark for the past 25 years. He has trained extensively in the use of the Maastricht Interview for Voice Hearers and in Voice Dialogue, as well as Open Dialogue, and seven years ago was appointed Hearing Voices Consultant for the Aarhus district.

In that role he has been running training programmes for clinicians and support workers in Aarhus, across Denmark and throughout Europe, as well as being a Board member of the Danish Hearing Voices Network and an invited keynote speaker at a number of international conferences.

He is now offering a series of workshops in Australia – with series confirmed for Brisbane and Melbourne in the last two weeks of February, with possible additional workshops later in Sydney, regional NSW and Perth.

There are one-day and three-day workshops offered. All are experiential – with participants registering in pairs – a voice hearer and a clinician or support worker, who will together be led through the stages of the approach in a safe, supervised setting where the process can be explored and learned ‘from the inside’, which allows for genuine understanding of the voice hearing experience for both.

The outcomes include an improved relationship with the voices for the voice hearer and the development of the skills needed to systematically take this approach into their work for the clinicians and support workers.

The one-day workshops focus more on the leadership of hearing voices groups, and the three-day workshops on the use of this approach in individual work.

Please find the current flyers attached, and visit for more details and to register.

Best Wishes
Philip BenjaminMHN BEd MMind&Soc

(+61) 0418 887 007

(+44) 0748 270 0287
"Dreaming is free", Blondie, 1979

Brisbane flyer – Trevor 2016.pdf

Melbourne flyer – Trevor 2016.pdf

Web links of interest

List members who haven’t seen it will be interested to watch a recording of a presentation by Chris Gordon, a psychiatrist from Advocates, in Framingham, Massachusetts, and the service manager Brenda Miele Soares there, who have been implementing Open dialogue in dedicated crisis service and recovery services over the past five years:

And here is a post from a Sydney GP highly crititical about the Hearing Voices approach to voices for a number of reasons, mainly to do with skepticism about the value of neuroleptic medication as the mainstay in treatment for psychosis by supporters of the HV approach. Some may want to respond the these criticisms, perhaps with anecdotal reports of the value of the HV approach…

Readers of the ISPS journal Psychosis will have seen the current paper by Jones & Lehrmanm which explores the differential contents and phenomenology of experiences seem to be too often lumped together as "auditory hallucinations". This type of work seems so much more valuable than the opinion expressed in the site above. The abstract for the Jones & Lerhmann paper is available at

APRHA registered heath practitioners can register and access this article on the Medical Observer web site – 7 messages for GPs from mental health patients. These are hardly surprising, but the comments from GPs relate to the time it would take to respond to these…

1. The prescription pad should not be reached for too quickly. Non-pharmacological options such as counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy and exercise should be offered first.
2. Side effects must be part of up-front discussions about treatment options.
3. The potential for sexual side effects should be discussed openly and honestly to help alleviate unnecessary shame.
4. Better understanding is needed if a patient decides to go off their medication.
5. Every general practice should have a practice nurse who has experience in mental health.
6. Patients should not be made to feel like a failure if their condition d oes not improve.
7. GPs should have regular conversations with patients about how their medication is going and whether there is the possibility of safely reducing or ceasing the medication.

These are links to the NIMH web site of interest, the first two referring the RAISE project discussed here recently, with more modern views about psychosis, but unfortunately (as in many large organisations) the older messages, as in the last link, remain – no wonder clinicians families and otrhers are confused and complain about missed messages…

Best Wishes
Philip BenjaminMHN BEd MMind&Soc

(+61) 0418 887 007

(+44) 0748 270 0287
"Dreaming is free", Blondie, 1979

Global map of Hearing Voices Groups and Networks

The Hearing Voices movement global map

There are 35 national networks, over 400 regional, and local hearing voices networks, groups, research & training centres which can be found on this map, They are indicated by different coloured pins. The pin legend and colour codes are list below the map, where you can find addresses and contact details.

The map has been updated in October 2015 at the time of the Seventh International Hearing Voices Congress, with over 700 delegates in Madrid, Spain. Reviews of the conference are available here

The 8th Congress will be in Paris in October 2016 – visit for more details as they are released.

Another very useful resource to explain more modern view of the Voice Hearing experience is from a Dutch advocacy group, which can be read on line or downloaded and printed

There is also a detailed explanation in English about the Anoiksis Dutch service users group and their proposal to replace the inaccurate and stigmatising term "schizophrenia" with the term "psychosis susceptibility syndrome". some of their web site is in English

HV Training Workshops

Finally, some on the list will recall Trevor Eyles visiting Perth for the International Conference on Recovery from Psychosis (2008). Trevor is an English mental health nurse, who has lived in Denmark for the last 25 years, and for the last 15 has been practicing in the Hearing Voices approach, with widely recognised expertise in the Maastricht Interview for Voice Hearers, and in Voice Dialogue. A recording of his Perth presentation is here

Trevor will be in Australia from 13 Feb to 8 March 2016 and has asked me if we can organise a series of workshops and public lectures.

Trevor has a well established training programme he has delivered in many places across Denmark and in Europe in the last seven years, since his appointment as the Hearing Voices Consultant for the Aarhus district in Denmark. In this video he outlines some of his work and describes the workshops in part

Those list members who have met Elisabeth Svanholmer, on her visit to Australia to teach with

Rufus May in April, will appreciate that Trevor’s work with her in groups and individually were important elements in her recovery, and they still work together in the Danish Hearing Voices Network.

Please see the attached information, and please email psychosislinks if you would like to host a workshop or lecture by Trevor while he is here.

Best Wishes
Philip BenjaminMHN BEd MMind&Soc

(+61) 0418 887 007

(+44) 0748 270 0287
"Dreaming is free", Blondie, 1979

Draft flyer – Trevor 2016.pdf

Draft flyer – Trevor 2016.pdf

Successful and Schizophrenic –

Important article by Ellen Saks, Professor of Law and Psychiatry, about her experiences of psychosis