The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) is sponsoring the conference. "By biopsychiatry we mean the practice of using psychotropic drugs, i.e. antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs - as the primary modality of treatment," explained Al Galves, ISEPP Executive Director.
"That treatment approach is based on the belief that mental disorders are caused by chemical imbalances, genetic dynamics and brain disorders", Galves said. "We don't believe that. We understand that everything that goes on in the human body involves chemistry and genes but we don't think those things cause anything. Rather, we believe they are mediating variables. What is important and causative is how people are coping with their lives, how they are thinking, feeling, reacting, perceiving and intending. Those are the important variables and that is what treatment should focus on. So our conference is going to be filled with plenary speeches and workshops on how to help people in ways that are safe, humane, life-enhancing and effective. The drugs don't meet that test. They aren't very helpful. They don't address the causes of symptoms. And they are very harmful, causing "side effects" such as mania, sexual dysfunction, loss of conscience, uncontrollable restlessness, increased risk of suicide and violence, tardive diskinesia, cognitive impairment and early death."
Thomas Szasz, the author of The Myth of Mental Illness is the featured plenary speaker. Also speaking will be Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Illness: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America and Paula J. Caplan, author of When Johnnie and Jane Come Marching Home: Helping Our Returning Veterans.
For more information and registration go to www.PsychIntegrity.org.
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The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry is a nonprofit organization acting as a vast network of professionals and individuals concerned with the impact of mental health theories and practices.