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akerle's picture

back to earth

I really enjoyed Adi Flesher's story about his father at the end of class on Monday and I have been thinking about it for a while now. The tasks Paul assigned us also highlighted an aspect of this class that I have found particularly frustrating. For all that we have been able to discuss ideas of mental health in the abstract we have not been able to put them into practice. Everyone of our suggested 'treatments' for each case is no different from what would happen to a lucky patient under the current mental health programme. We can think of the mind, the self, the human experience in different (neutral?) abstract terms but how is this changing our notions of mental health in practice? Have we really departed in any fundamental way from age old notions of what it means to be sick or healthy? Have we decided on truly new and innovative forms of treatment? I'm afraid that we are making the same mistake the mental health profession makes by separating the mind (higher abstract thought) from the body (real practical answers).

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