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May 11, 2017 by Eliza Galaher, QMHA & Eli Addison, QMHA

Hearing into Healing

#4 in the series An Affirming Flame: Veterans’ Journeys from Trauma to Healing

In the book, Walking the Medicine Wheel: Healing Trauma and PTSD, co-author David R. Kopacz adapts Joseph Campbell’s cycle of the mythological heroic journey to that of the experiences of war veterans. Campbell breaks the heroic journey into four stages—beginning/ending, separation, initiation, and return.

Kopacz writes of this cycle, “Separation is the call to adventure that takes one away from the everyday world. Initiation is the challenge, the trial, and it is the acculturation to a new world, an unknown world. Return,” he writes, “is the journey home, with new knowledge, a new sense of self, and a gift or boon to give to society.” Kopacz remarks about this return, “Society needs the returning hero, but is initially distrustful because the hero has gone where ordinary humans should not go and has been exposed to the mysteries of life and death.”

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April 12, 2017 by Bob Nikkel, MSW

Mad in America to Host Webinar On Oregon’s Innovative Early Psychosis Programs

On Friday, April 28th, from 1-2:30 pm Eastern time (10-11:30 am Pacific), Mad in America Continuing Education will be host a webinar on the Early Assessment and Support Alliance, a one-of-a-kind early intervention project in Oregon for youth experiencing psychosis. The EASA projects are unique in that they build on nearly 2 decades of outcome research and represent a pragmatic blend of models from Australia, Open Dialogue, and others.

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April 10, 2017 by Gina Nikkel, PhD

Hearing Voices Network USA training in Atlanta

Gina Nikkel, PhD and Gail Hornstein, PhD in Atlanta at the April 5 panel discussion “What can we learn from people who hear voices?”

As President and CEO for The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care (FEMHC) I have to admit that I get to participate in some life changing meetings and meet extraordinary people. This past week was no exception.

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April 5, 2017 by Bob Nikkel, MSW

Opening a Dialogue about Early Psychosis Programming in the United States

As a state mental health commissioner and after, I’ve had a long interest in the development of early psychosis intervention services. During my tenure in the state executive position, I worked with a number of community partners to secure $4.3 million from the Oregon Legislature in 2007 to expand the regional Early Assessment and Support Alliance program to about 75% of the state and today, Oregon has 29 programs – more than the most populous states of California and New York.

So when the Schizophrenia Research Foundation announced a webinar to “discuss the paths and barriers to widespread effective care” for young adults and their families experiencing an early psychosis, I jumped at the opportunity to sign up.

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March 30, 2017 by Eliza Galaher, QMHA

Heaven But as a Highway for a Shell

#2 in the series An Affirming Flame: Veterans’ Journeys from Trauma to Healing

Wilfred Owen was a British soldier who fought on the frontlines of France in World War I, and who was eventually diagnosed with shell shock, or in more contemporary terms, post-traumatic stress disorder. Influenced by the poet and fellow British soldier Siegfried Sassoon, Owen wrote extensively, through poetry, of his experiences fighting on the front lines in France. Owen’s writing was revolutionary at the time in that it refused to glorify war, but instead captured vividly the grotesqueness of on-the-ground fighting. For instance, in his poem “Dulce et Decorum Est,” Owen described in gripping detail the horrific effect of mustard gas exposure:

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March 23, 2017 by Bob Nikkel, MSW

April 28 Webinar: Oregon’s signature early psychosis program & outcomes

MIACE-logoOn April 28, 1:00-3:00 pm (Eastern)/10 am-Noon (Pacific) Mad in America Continuing Education will host a webinar on a one-of-a-kind early psychosis intervention project, the Early Assessment Support Alliance (EASA). EASA provides training, research and support for Oregon’s statewide early intervention programs.

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March 21, 2017 by Eliza Galaher, QMHA

PTSD as Soul Wound

The first in a new series An Affirming Flame: Veterans’ Journeys from Trauma to Healing

In his 2005 book, War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation’s Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Edward Tick, PhD, calls for a new approach to addressing PTSD among veterans. Rather than seeing PTSD as simply a stress disorder, he argues that it is “best understood as an identity disorder and soul wound.”

He recounts one Vietnam veteran coming to his office and describing the idea of soul wound like this: “You can feel the connection between your body and your soul when it starts to break. It’s like a thread that starts fraying.” The veteran continues, “I tried so hard during those long nights, the earth shuddering, my hands over my ears. I concentrated to keep that thread from snapping. But I could feel it getting thinner and thinner.”

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March 20, 2017 by Bonnie Kaplan, PhD & Julia Rucklidge, PhD

Discussing Nutrient Formulas Without Naming Them: Who Benefits?

We thank Dr. Rebecca Carey for her essay, so well-grounded in the scientific literature on gut and brain. With respect to her personal experience with her son, we are delighted that he is doing so well. The two of us could easily submit hundreds of other personal stories that are similar, describing lives transformed by broad-spectrum micronutrients (minerals and vitamins). But we won’t.

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March 9, 2017 by Paul Fugelsang, MA, LPC

Update on Open Path Psychotherapy Collective

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a nationwide network of mental health professionals dedicated to providing in-office mental health care—at a steeply reduced rate—to individuals, couples, children, and families in need. Our nonprofit organization currently has over 2,800 therapists in our network, representing 49 states.

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March 7, 2017 by Bob Nikkel, MSW

Victims of Success: an Update from Mad in America Continuing Education

In mid 2016, we asked Dr. Chris Gordon to consider teaching one of the Mad in America Continuing Education online courses. Dr. Gordon is the inspiring psychiatrist in Framingham, Massachusetts who, eight years ago, responded to a request from a person in his program to look into Open Dialogue, an approach to working with early psychosis in Finland. At that time, and unfortunately even now, very few if any mental health professionals in the United States had ever heard of this innovative and highly successful program.

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