Gerald Vest    
 Soldier Tattoos in our Warrior Restoration & Resilience Center8 comments
picture18 Sep 2008 @ 12:01
During one of our Therapeutic Field Trips with our soldiers, I took pictures of their Tattoos and posted them on my website. The Army has new rules related to tattoos and they don't limit them as they did at one time. Some of the soldiers almost cover their bodies with this art form.

Anyway, I will be expanding this log when I have more time, but thought you might enjoy seeing how our soldiers express themselves with body art.


[link]  More >

 Ron Lautenbach visits our Warrior Center9 comments
picture5 Aug 2008 @ 23:38
Awakening the Awe by Ron Lautenbach, Ph.D.

Below is a poem by Ron Lautenbach, Ph.D. who wrote about his experience while meeting with the soldiers at Ft. Bliss in our William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Warrior Restoration & Resilience Center. I have invited Ron to be a guest blogger for me this month and we are grateful for his presentation and his service to our soldiers from the Warrior Battalion.

Dr. Lautenbach is a remarkable human being and a world class mountain climber and adventurer. I have known Ron for the past two years during our visits to Munson Senior Center where he and I volunteered our services with the elders enrolled in the senior programs. My friend has been on the Discovery Channel and is on the Kodak Mountain Climbing Team that has successfully climbed numerous mountains throughout the world. As part of my responsibilities for our Center, I serve as Coordinator for our Health Education Program. We introduce a variety of presenters and resources every Friday morning as a means for keeping our Warriors informed about health, education and family issues. [link]

Thank you very much, Ron. I know the soldiers enjoyed and appreciated your thoughtful and respectful message related to "Creating Lifestyle Changes." We look forward to a return presentation soon and hopefully a mountain retreat with you in September.

Jerry Vest, ACSW/LISW

Awakening The Awe

I did not visit you to view values of your valiant, voguish voyages, venomous ventures of vital valor, nor the vitality of your pledges.

I did not try to teach or tempt your mind with technical talk and tempered thinking of theology’s or philosophy’s tiring theorems that are so stinking.

I came naked to an unbalanced truth with dreams and vicissitude to new goals of simple nonsense’s subtle humor and freedom’s discipline of self controls.

I encountered a warm invitation to share souls seeking real serenity - not yet found; but with a passionate hope manifested from serendipity.

I felt your vast agony and anger; and acknowledged it; but I ignored it since I sensed an awesome algorithm of wonder that inspires fresh spirits.

It was reverence for awe that grabbed me as I shared the awful with the awe-struck; and I was challenged to metamorphose reality into awesome good luck.

I felt my mind melting into my soul as my heart appealed to karma’s pleasure to experience your unique program of R & R with positive leisure.

Groriter © 2008  More >

 The Wounded Warrior by Robert Peek17 comments
picture31 May 2008 @ 13:55
"Few soldiers come back from war without terrible images and events in their head," Dr. Fortunato said. Many "suck it up and soldier on" in the combat theater because they have no choice. But when they return home, these issues can percolate to the surface as nightmares, flashbacks and other problems.

Fortunato's program (Warrior R & R Center) uses "rehearsal therapy" to help participants confront their most painful memories and experiences. "The soldier tells the story, as painful as it is, over and over until you've emptied it of its emotional punch," he said. "They are never going to forget the story, but it doesn't have to have the grip on their guts that it did before."[link]

I will be opening a page on my Website that will introduce some of our Expressive Art Pictures by our Warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. I have received their permission to post them and thank them for allowing me to display their creative contributions. 15-Minute StressOut Program Webpage.

This picture, on the front page of my website, was drawn by Robert Peek today in Nancy Schwartz's, Expressive Arts Class, in our Warrior Restoration and Resilience Center, Wm. Beaumont Army Medical Center, Ft. Bliss, TX.

Rob is a remarkable artist, great human being, and professional soldier. He was seriously wounded while serving in Iraq. I have known this Service Member for several months and am honored to be part of his treatment team. Please feel free to comment and I will pass on your notes to our soldiers.

Jerry  More >

 Another Critical Look at the DSM7 comments
picture27 May 2008 @ 13:31
You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.”

In the beginner’s mind there is no thought, “I have attained something.” All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thoughts of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginners mind is the mind of compassion, it is boundless. Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind,
pp. 21-22.

Dear Colleagues and friends,

I believe that as social workers or health professionals, we should begin to examine our use and support of the DSM as it causes more harm than good for our clients and students as introduced in this article and in several logs that I have posted here and on my forum. Many of our schools of social work and Board of Social Work Examiners continue to support this handbook for mental health professionals and present it in classes and for professional examinations as if it is a scientific measurement for mental health disorders. I am hopeful that our profession will abandon the use of this system and share this information with students, colleagues, and clients.

I have introduced my views of this system on my forum and also with our NCN in several logs; however, I believe that Dr. Zur has made the best case for abandoning this flawed system and stop labeling our clients and others. If for no other reason, we should be aware that once a patient or client is labeled with one of these disorders, it remains with them for their entire life. I don't know of any program that is designed to change a diagnosis to 'cured' once they are identified with a diagnosis. And, because these patient labels/codes are not held in confidence and are added to numerous databases with insurance companies and other health resources, we are causing great harm to those who trust us and believe that their records are private or confidential.[link]


Diagnosing for Status and Money - A Critical Look at the DSM and the economic forces that shape it."

In principal, mental health diagnoses can be helpful to clinicians and researchers in their formulation of treatment, research and communication with other professionals. Unfortunately, the DSM has been shaped by economic and political influences rather than by scientific and medical ones. The DSM assigns diagnoses in a biased manner, resulting in more harm than good to our patients, their families and society at large while delivering huge profits to pharmaceutical companies. Women, children, minorities, lower income and older people are the groups most likely to be negatively affected by the biases presented in the DSM.

A newly published article: DSM: Diagnosing for Status and Money
Online Course for 4 CE Credits: DSM: Diagnosing for Money and Power

DSM Recap:

The DSM has been called the billing bible of psychiatry and has become one of the most influential texts in the field of mental health.

The DSM is a powerful tool of social control: its criteria are used to judge who is normal or abnormal, sane or insane or who should remain free or be hospitalized against their will.

Most texts and graduate and postgraduate courses present the DSM as an objective, scientific document. It is neither.

The DSM is primarily driven by the psychopharmacological industry, which reaps huge profits from each new diagnosis that can be treated with medication.

The frame of the DSM is distorted by a primarily intra-psychic-individual focus and tends to ignore contextual factors. It does not address what cannot be solved with a pill. It does not appropriately address patients who, in fact, are wrestling with social problems, such as sexism, racism, or homophobia, or existential anxieties regarding loneliness or death. Unfortunately, using the DSM, the dis-ease of such patients will be redefined as medically treatable maladies.

The DSM perpetuates the myth that the medical-mechanistic model can simply be applied to psychology.

Some clinicians have used the DSM categories as a form of "name calling".

Accordingly, the DSM gives some therapists an illusory feeling of power and superiority driven by the "power to name".

DSM-based research has repeatedly been shown to be of questionable validity and is, in fact, very unreliable.

Since its inception in 1952, the DSM has consistently viewed pathology as residing within the individual. Subsequent revisions in 1980 and 1987 have evolved toward a more firmly biological perspective.

In response to insurance companies' need for increasing specificity in diagnoses and the psychopharmacology industry's need for new markets, the number of available diagnostic labels rose from 297 in 1994 to 374 in 2000. The upcoming DSM V is likely to include hundreds more "new" (and profitable) mental disorders.
DSM is big business, not only for its publisher, the American Psychiatric Association, but even more so for the psychopharmacological industry, which profits from prescriptions written for the ever-increasing numbers of DSM disorders.
DSM pathologizes many normal and healthy behaviors:

Shyness: You are mentally ill if you are very introverted or extremely shy.

Grief: God forbid if you intensely grieve the loss of a beloved one for more than six months.

Depression: You must be mentally ill if you respond to real life issues or injustices with deep sadness and intense despair. (For more, see our online course: Depression.)

Anxiety: You must be mentally ill if your reaction to the existential reality of mortality or loneliness involves profound or debilitating anxiety. (For more, see our online course: Anxiety.)

Lack of Sexual Interest: Lack of sexual interest is often not a mental disorder. Many women may have good reasons to avoid sex that may stem from domestic abuse, overwork or other reasons. Kaschak and Tiefer (2001) discussed Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) as "a textbook case of disease mongering by the pharmaceutical industry..." or what they call the "medicalization industry." (For more, see our online course: Feminist Sex Therapy.)

Spirited Children: DSM casts a very broad net around the ADHD diagnosis, and often includes millions of spirited, strong-willed, and highly gifted and creative children. It results in huge profits for medicating psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies. (For more, see our online course: ADHD: Myths or Facts.)
Online Course for 4 CE Credits: DSM: Diagnosing for Money and Power

Over 90 Online Courses

Email Dr. Ofer Zur
Visit the Zur Institute website.
Phone: 707 935-0655
Fax: 707 935-3918



Do visit Dr. Zur's discussion on the myth of touch by our mental health professions:

I recommend that all of our members and students, visit Dr. Zur's website for the most thorough understanding of the myth of the use of touch by all professionals, health, education, and human service programs. [link]

 More >

 Prototype Health Program for Wounded Warriors6 comments
picture4 May 2008 @ 02:25
Because breathing charts the life rhythms, the way we breathe signals the disposition of our energies. Agitation or excitement causes the breath to be uneven and rapid; but when we are calm and balanced, our breathing is even, slow, and soft. We can also change our mental and physical states by the way we breathe. Even when very upset, we can calm and balance ourselves by breathing slowly and evenly.

When you are aware of your breath, your whole life becomes balanced. Even when you find yourself in situations which arouse great anger, frustration, or pain, you can dissolve the disturbance by just being aware of your breathing, slightly paying attention and making the breath calm, slow, and rhythmical.” Tarthang Tulku, Kum Nye Relaxation,
pp. 40-41

Warrior R & R Center - A Prototype for Soldiers-

This announcement is very good for our soldiers who are suffering and great opportunities for them to receive care and treatment. I am very proud to be part of this health care work with our Wounded Warriors. We are currently engaged in research to validate what we do with soldiers every day. Our Warrior Restoration & Resilience Center is one of a kind as Gates describes and we are all hopeful that our prototype becomes available to every soldier returning from war throughout the world. I have posted a couple of logs describing some of my experiences with the soldiers. [link]

Jerry Vest, ACSW/LISW

US Army Social Worker & Professor Emeritus
Warrior Restoration & Resilience Center
Wm. Beaumont Army Medical Center, Ft. Bliss



Gates Works to Reduce Mental Health Stigma
by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

FORT BLISS, Texas, May 1, 2008 – Seeking mental-health care due to post-traumatic stress will no longer be seen as an obstacle to getting a government security clearance, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced here today. Video

Gates announced the new policy after touring the Restoration and Resilience Center that opened in July to treat combat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The center, part of Fort Bliss’ Beaumont Army Medical Center, uses treatments ranging from group and individual therapy to yoga, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic and hot-stone therapy.

Its goal, officials at the experimental facility explained, is to help troops recover so they can stay in the Army.

Gates told reporters he had an “extraordinary experience” visiting the new center and seeing work under way to help soldiers deal with combat stress.

“They are doing some amazing things here in terms of helping soldiers who want to remain soldiers but who have been wounded with post-traumatic stress disorder,” he said. “It is a multi-month effort by a lot of caring people, and they are showing some real success in restoring these soldiers.”

Gates said he’ll take the idea of possibly replicating Fort Bliss’ prototype program to other posts.

He also noted other techniques being developed in the combat theater to give troops additional tools to deal with the circumstances they face. “These are clearly worth additional attention as well,” he told reporters.

Gates called additional resources and capabilities to treat troops dealing with PTSD just one aspect of a two-part effort.

“The second, and in some ways equally challenging, is to remove the stigma that is associated with PTSD and to encourage soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who encounter these problems to seek help,” he said.

But he acknowledged that not every soldier returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is getting the treatment they need. He cited an Army inspector general report’s findings that troops often forgo mental-health care because they’re concerned it could prevent them from getting a security clearance and potentially could damage their careers.

Gates cited “Question 21” on Standard Form 86, the government security-clearance form that specifically asks applicants whether they have ever received treatment for mental-health issues.

The question asks if the person has consulted with a mental-health professional or other health-care provider during the past seven years about a mental-health related condition.

Respondents who answer “yes” must provide dates of treatment and the provider’s name and address.

“For far too long and for far too many, this question has been an obstacle to care,” the secretary said.

The Defense Department has been working with other agencies for eight months to strike a balance that enables troops to get the treatment they need and the intelligence community to get the information it needs, he said.

“It took longer than I would have hoped, but it is done,” Gates said. “Now it is clear to people who answer that question that they can answer ‘no’ if they have sought help to deal with their combat stress in general times.”

New language for “Question 21” asks if the person consulted with a health-care professional during the past seven years regarding an emotional or mental health condition. It specifies, however, that the answer should be “no” if the care was “strictly related to adjustments from service in a military combat environment.”

Gates directed in a policy letter dated April 18 that the revised language be used by anyone completing the SF 86 form.

A letter being distributed throughout the military explains the new policy and its rationale.

“Seeking professional care for these mental health issues should not be perceived to jeopardize an individual’s security clearance,” states the memo, co-signed by Undersecretary for Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness David S.C. Chu.

“On the contrary,” they wrote, “failure to seek care actually increases the likelihood that psychological stress could escalate to a more serious mental condition, which could preclude an individual from performing sensitive duties.”

The letter urges men and women in uniform who are exhibiting symptoms of PTSD to seek help and makes clear that this is not going to put their security clearances or their careers in jeopardy, he said.

“The most important thing for us now is to get the word out as far as we can to every man and woman in uniform to let them know about the change, to let them know the efforts under way, to remove the stigma and to encourage them to seek help when they are in the theater or when they return from the theater,” Gates said. “So this is a very important issue for us.

“We have no higher priority in the Department of Defense, apart from the war itself, than taking care of our men and women in uniform who have been wounded -- who have both visible and unseen wounds,” he said.

Gates called the new Restoration and Resilience Center an example of new approaches the military is taking to provide that care. “This center here is illustrative of what can be done,” he said.

Thirty-six volunteers participating in the program, all diagnosed with PTSD after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, receive care that combines group and individual therapy sessions with meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic and hot-stone therapy treatments.

“They are all volunteers,” Gates said. “They all come here because they want to.”

Robert M. Gates

Related Articles:
DoD Changes Security Clearance Question on Mental Health

 More >

 Meditation Quotes 7 comments
picture3 Apr 2008 @ 15:46
"How we live, what is happening in our lives, how we are affected by our experience—this is the ground of reality, and the source of spiritual awareness."
Tarthang Tulku, Gesture of Balance

Every day from 3:30-4:15pm, as part of my social work practice with a health care program, I introduce meditation. I begin each session by introducing a short quotation from my favorite authors and teachers. I have learned that the soldiers that I work with, enjoy a progressive body meditation at the end of each day. This is a mindful or "Progressive Body Awareness Meditation" that allows the soldiers to totally relax their muscle, organ and skeletal systems. I originally learned this method from Oscar Ichazo's, Hypernostic System's Training and 40 Day Intensive Program in the early 90's.

I love to play Carolyn Myss's, Chakra Meditation video as it is very relaxing and allows participants to experience deep relaxation, often beyond words.

March 18, 2008

“The real nature of mind is free from concepts. Even though we talk about a space ‘between’, this ‘between’ does not actually exist. There is no specific hole, but in order to point to this experience we use words like ‘space’ and ‘between.’ On the surface level, there may be many manifestations, but on a deeper, more subtle level, the mind is totally open and silent."

To contact this silent place, do not put your meditation or your mind in some ‘place’. Just be open, with no holding and no center. Once you learn to directly contact this higher level of awareness, then, without needing to oppose them, you will be able to control your thoughts and emotions quite naturally, for they will become completely infused by this awareness. When you are able to surrender your concept-bound mind and enter this open, natural space between thoughts, your higher awareness will function without interruption, and your whole world may be transformed.”

Tarthang Tulku, Openness Mind,, p.110

March 19, 2008

“Forget descriptions of meditation and just sit quietly. Be very still and relaxed, and do not try to do anything. Let everything—thoughts, feelings, and concepts—go through your mind unheeded. Do not grasp at ideas or thoughts as they come and go or try to manipulate them. When you feel you have to do something in your meditation, you only make it harder. Let meditation do itself.”

Tarthang Tulku, Openness Mind, p. 31

March 20, 2008

“You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.”

“In the beginner’s mind there is no thought, “I have attained something.” All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thoughts of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginners mind is the mind of compassion, it is boundless." Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, pp. 21-22.

March 21, 2008

“Because breathing charts the life rhythms, the way we breathe signals the disposition our energies. Agitation or excitement causes the breath to be uneven and rapid; but when we are calm and balanced, our breathing is even, slow, and soft. We can also change our mental and physical states by the way we breathe. Even when very upset, we can calm and balance ourselves by breathing slowly and evenly.”

“When you are aware of your breath, your whole life becomes balanced. Even when you find yourself in situations which arouse great anger, frustration, or pain, you can dissolve the disturbance by just being aware of your breathing, slightly paying attention and making the breath calm, slow, and rhythmical.” Tarthang Tulku, Kum Nye Relaxation, pp. 40-41

March 24, 2008

“By means of meditation we can teach our minds to be calm and balanced; within this calmness is a richness and a potential, an inner knowledge which can render our lives boundlessly satisfying and meaningful. While the mind may be what traps us in unhealthy patterns of stress and imbalance, it is also the mind which can free us. Through meditation, we can tap the healing qualities of mind.” Tarthang Tulku, Introduction to Openness Mind."

March 25, 2008

"When you clear away the judgments, criticisms, assumptions, and beliefs about your internal experience, you discover that what is left is tenderness and the ability to feel things deeply. You can be kind to yourself, not because you earned it by achieving goals or living up to an ideal, but because you possess a human heart that, when left to its own devices, comes back over and over to its natural state.

Who are we harder on than ourselves? Deep down, we’re not convinced we’re good enough at anything. Self-doubt is our constant companion. Often, we don’t know where this harsh self-criticism comes from. Our own mind? Parents? Teachers? Lifestyle magazines? We con ourselves into believing thoughts, such as I’m too needy, I’m not clever, I’m ugly/fat/old, I’m a loser, and I’m sure it’s all my fault (my personal favorite). How does one suddenly become gentle without faking it, without using gentleness itself as just another device for self-improvement?"

Abstracted from Susan Piver,


The soldiers in this picture completed a 6 hr. stress management workshop that I administer. This program is sponsored by US Army Community Services, Ft. Bliss, TX. See our website for more information and for forthcoming training programs. [link]  More >

 Our Primary Concern is our Client ....13 comments
picture16 Jan 2008 @ 14:31
Social capital means more than a buzz word, more than invoking the mantra: It takes a village to raise a child. It means being willing to ask: what does it take to build, to restore, to sustain that village? It means building an infrastructure of trust and reciprocity and engagement, often in situations where distrust and alientation hold sway.(No More Throw-Away People - Edgar S. Cahn)

I am starting a group to organize and improve our mental health system in America and use the many scattered resources--organizations, professionals, patients/clients and others to help with the design and plan. This may sound like a very bold plan, but it is important for us to identify, organize and improve health systems when they are flawed, corrupt, and cause harm.

I have been invited to work with our New Mexico professional organization(NASW-NM) to examine the impact of the DSM, Insurance Industry, Big Pharmas, psychiatry/psychology on our licensing requirements in my profession of social work. I have observed that the licensing boards that are appointed by the Governor determine the requirements for professional practice and for supervision, often without discussing them with the schools of social work and professional organizations. Consequently, these boards invariably determine the curriculum priorities that must be taught in order for the students to pass their exam requirments, perhaps without realizing the impact of their decisions.

We have found that students who are taught psychiatric-psychological practices such as the DSM classification system (a flawed, unethical and unscientific program that classifies, codes and labels patients)as described in this log and several of my previous discussions, will pass the test. When special courses on the DSM are not included in the curriculum the student rate of failure is very high. However, why should our profession abdicate our valuable resources--ethics, values, skills, knowledge and best practice methods and replace them with questionable, unethical and irresponsible practices?

Perhaps the answer to this question is that money, power and control rules. I believe that once our public clearly see these corrupt relationships that exist with the mental health-insurance industries, the Big Pharmas, psychiatry and all of the related professional organizations that we can get the suppport to improve the quality of services and ethical health practices for our consumers. It is very unfortunate that these organizations and professionals have forgotten or ignored our primary premise and principles we agreed to when choosing social work as a profession--the dignity and respect we hold for our clients, our primary concern for our client, community and society and, to 'cause no harm!'

I am looking for persons interested in joining this group, provide case examples, secure colleagues and others with integrity, recruit others interested in helping to build a new or integrative health plan, and offer creative ideas that we can put into action plans at the local, state, national and global levels.

All helping comments are invited for sure.


Later this week I will start my new career as a clinical social worker with the US Army, Ft. Bliss, Texas. I am hopeful that I can work with the reintegration program (Warrior Program) for soldiers and their families using 'integrative health practices' that I have discussed in my logs. Thanks to all of you who have supported and joined with us as NCN members and our Global Touch Project.

The picture of Crying Princess was drawn by Ariana, my 10 yr. old granddaughter. I can tell you that I can shed many many tears over the serious wounds and experiences of our Warriors. I'm sorry that most politicians will never know the complete story about the pain and suffering that they have caused our soldiers, their families and our communities. Please thank every soldier you see in the community for their devoted and dedicated professional service to our Country.

I love this short video that Ariana made -- Karate Adventures. She has also introduced several videos discussing Mindfulness and Not being Accidental

Jerry  More >

 Study Finds, Drugs Offer No Benefit in Curbing Aggression11 comments
picture4 Jan 2008 @ 15:17
Most people seem convinced that since the body inevitably shows the "ravages" of Time, similar ravages must therefore affect the mind, the spirit. Not true. What is most important is that in our lives we have learned through the mind, the mind that is our spirit, and that is what will remain even when the body breaks down.
(_Growing Young_, Ashley Montagu)

This "NY Times" article is a remarkable finding by British researchers that will certainly challenge conventional mental health treatment in this country and others. I suspect that the Big Pharmas are clamoring around to see how they can squelch this research and/or find ways to cover up their own studies that were suppose to be scientific and offer evidence based practice methodologies.

This study should also draw attention to all of the other psychotropic drugs and products created by the pharmaceutical companies. Congress and the FDA should call for investigations of their science, for their marketing practices, for their corporate political behavior and their greed. This is not the first drug that has proven to be of little value, useless and harmful to the consumer. It is especially fraught with corruption and abuse because those persons most vulnerable--mental health patients/clients--are not able to determine what is the best treatment for their pain, anguish and suffering. They depend upon psychiatry, mental health programs, and medicine to give them the treatment that has a scientific basis of validity and reliability and offers best practice interventions.

This "NY Times" series of articles also discuss psychiatry and concerns that the public and others should be aware of: [link]

For those of you who have followed my logs related to "Stop Drugging our Kids" and others describing the Big Pharmas' practices, this is just one more headline that will probably be overlooked while psychiatry continues to drug their patients while Big Pharmas go about their business, passing off their research as scientific evidence and paying off their professional customers and politicians. Hmm, I wonder why I am becoming so cynical in my "old age" when I feel as though I am "growing young" and spirited. "But the routine prescription of the drugs for aggression, they concluded, “should no longer be regarded as a satisfactory form of care.”

Finally, I am adding an additional article introduced in the International Journal of Mental Health Systems that describes the failures of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual(DSM) as a psychiatric system or model used to assess or measure depression and schizophrena. This is another remarkable article that questions the validity and usefulness of a system that is commonly used by mental health professionals. The authors recommend other system approaches that can be more helpful and effective for evaluating and treating patients suffering with depression and schizophrenia. "Classification in Psychiatry: Does it Deliver in Schizophrenia and Depression?"


Drugs Offer No Benefit in Curbing Aggression, Study Finds

Published: January 4, 2008

The drugs most widely used to manage aggressive outbursts in intellectually disabled people are no more effective than placebos for most patients and may be less so, researchers report.

The finding, being published Friday, sharply challenges standard medical practice in mental health clinics and nursing homes in the United States and around the world.

In recent years, many doctors have begun to use the so-called antipsychotic drugs, which were developed to treat schizophrenia, as all-purpose tranquilizers to settle threatening behavior — in children with attention-deficit problems, college students with depression, older people with Alzheimer’s disease and intellectually handicapped people.

The new study tracked 86 adults with low I.Q.’s in community housing in England, Wales and Australia over more than a month of treatment. It found a 79 percent reduction in aggressive behavior among those taking dummy pills, compared with a reduction of 65 percent or less in those taking antipsychotic drugs.

The researchers focused on two drugs, Risperdal by Janssen, and an older drug, Haldol, but said the findings almost certainly applied to all similar medications. Such drugs account for more than $10 billion in annual sales, and research suggests that at least half of all prescriptions are for unapproved “off label” uses — often to treat aggression or irritation.

The authors said the results were quite likely to intensify calls for a government review of British treatment standards for such patients, and perhaps to prompt more careful study of treatment for aggressive behavior in patients with a wide variety of diagnoses.

Other experts said the findings were also almost certain to inflame a continuing debate over the widening use of antipsychotic drugs. Patient advocates and some psychiatrists say the medications are overused.

Previous studies of the drugs’ effect on aggressive outbursts have been mixed, with some showing little benefit and others a strong calming influence. But the drugs have serious side effects, including rapid weight gain and tremors, and doctors have had little rigorous evidence to guide practice.

“This is a very significant finding by some very prominent psychiatrists” — one that directly challenges the status quo, said Johnny L. Matson, a professor of psychology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, co-author of an editorial with the study in the journal Lancet.

While it is unclear how much the study by itself will alter prescribing habits, “the message to doctors should be, think twice about prescribing, go with lower doses and monitor side effects very carefully,” Dr. Matson continued, adding:

“Or just don’t do it. We know that behavioral treatments can work very well with many patients.”

Other experts disagreed, saying the new study was not in line with previous research or their own experience. Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, said that Risperdal only promotes approved uses, which in this country include the treatment of irritability associated with autism in children.

In the study, Dr. Peter J. Tyrer, a professor of psychiatry at Imperial College London, led a research team who assigned 86 people from ages 18 to 65 to one of three groups: one that received Risperdal; one that received another antipsychotic, the generic form of Haldol; and one that was given a placebo pill. Caregivers tracked the participants’ behavior. Many people with very low I.Q.’s are quick to anger and lash out at others, bang their heads or fists into the wall in frustration, or singe the air with obscenities when annoyed.

After a month, people in all three groups had settled down, losing their temper less often and causing less damage when they did. Yet unexpectedly, those in the placebo group improved the most, significantly more so than those on medication.

In an interview, Dr. Tyrer said there was no reason to believe that any other antipsychotic drug used for aggression, like Zyprexa from Eli Lilly or Seroquel from AstraZeneca, would be more effective. Being in the study, with all the extra attention it brought, was itself what apparently made the difference, he said.

“These people tend to get so little company normally,” Dr. Tyrer said. “They’re neglected, they tend to be pushed into the background, and this extra attention has a much bigger effect on them that it would on a person of more normal intelligence level.”

The study authors, who included researchers from the University of Wales and the University of Birmingham in Britain and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, wrote that their results “should not be interpreted as an indication that antipsychotic drugs have no place in the treatment of some aspects of behavior disturbance.”

But the routine prescription of the drugs for aggression, they concluded, “should no longer be regarded as a satisfactory form of care.” [link]  More >

 Nicotene and Smoking - Don't get Started!!!52 comments
picture30 Nov 2007 @ 19:54
Nicotene Addiction - Let's Prevent it!!!

All we need to bring to meditation is ourselves, for our bodies and minds are the foundations of meditation. Breath, which is like a coordinator of body and mind, is the essence of being that integrates them.
(Openness Mind, Tarthang Tulku)

If you don't get cancer from smoking, you may acquire chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that affects you in a serious way. As most of us know, when we don't breathe well, we don't relate effectively. Our breath is an integral part of our "Relations Instinct"(Ichazo) and answers the instinctual questions: "Who am I with? Am I safe and secure with who I am with, inside and out? These questions will not be successfully answered when we acquire cardiovascular diseases--most related to smoking cigarettes.

Obvious to many of us, when we can't relate, life feels like it is not worth living. We get depressed and develop feelings of isolation and loneliness. If you doubt that this happens to persons with respiratory illnesses, visit any of your local nursing homes. You will see our elders hooked up to oxygen tanks and most confined to wheel chairs. These residents are unable to express themselves and interact fully with family, friends and others with these attachments, so they can be very uncomfortable and miserable as they live out their lives.

Our health teams introduce our 15-Minute StressOut Program, a nourishing touch partner experience, with the residents and this offers some relief and comfort. We know that physical interaction or touch is not commonly offered in these settings; however, it is a fact of life--humans need to touch and to be touched to meet their basic human need requirements. The consequences for the absence of touch are well documented in the literature. Visit the Touch Research Institute for further evidence of the power of touch.

The Touch Research Institute is dedicated to studying the effects of touch therapy. The TRIs have researched the effects of massage therapy at all stages of ...


Visit the "Six Killers Article" that introduces Ms. Rommes experiences and of others suffering from this devastating disease: [link]

Ms. Rommes has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or C.O.P.D., a progressive illness that permanently damages the lungs and is usually caused by smoking. Once thought of as an old man’s disease, this disorder has become a major killer in women as well, the consequence of a smoking boom in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. The death rate in women nearly tripled from 1980 to 2000, and since 2000, more women than men have died or been hospitalized every year because of the disease.

Smoking is a real killer and my wife and I have personal experiences about the danger of smoking. Even when you quit, cancer lesions may appear years later, so just don't start. Give your kids much love, affection, nourishing touch, and appreciation for not smoking. Give them a $1,000.00 if that will prevent them from starting. Let them take an Oath and make a commitment stating that they will never endanger their life by smoking a drug that is harder to withdraw from than Heroin.

Please pass this article on to your friends and colleagues. Believe me, if you or your loved one has to have their lung removed, have brain surgery, Gamma Knife treatment, and go through all of the cancer treatments known by medicine, you won't ever pick up a cigarette and inhale.

The picture that I am sharing with you is of our young family before we knew the real dangers of smoking. If my partner had not asked that a brain scan be given to her, following lung surgery, by her oncologist, this cancer would likely have moved deeper into her brain and I would no longer have my wife, best friend, mother of our two children, grandmother, and love of my life with me today. We are very fortunate and don't want others to have to go through such a devastating and life threatening experience related to smoking. Just don't start!!!

Six Killers: Lung Disease: From Smoking Boom, a Major Killer of Women [link]

Nicotine and what it does to our Body-Mind-Spirit

I hope that this article and your comments and experiences that you share will serve to help prevent our next generations from using tobacco. Often, teenagers and college students think that they are very cool by smoking and will often emulate their heroes, parents, friends and others who they admire. Young people also may smoke to challenge adults and to break from authority figures, especially their parents. However, the chemicals, especially Nicotine that is included in tobacco are a 3rd. Degree Drug and is as extremely addictive as heroin and cocaine,

The Following article describes the scientific evidence related to this drug:

Nicotine Addiction

What causes nicotine addiction?,/b>

Nicotine is an addictive drug. It causes changes in the brain that make people want to use it more and more. In addition, addictive drugs cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The good feelings that result when an addictive drug is present — and the bad feelings when it's absent — make breaking any addiction very difficult. Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break.

The 1988 Surgeon General's Report, "Nicotine Addiction," concluded that Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addicting.

Nicotine is the drug that causes addiction.

Pharmacologic and behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

What else does nicotine do to the body?

When a person smokes a cigarette, the body responds immediately to the chemical nicotine in the smoke. Nicotine causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate and the flow of blood from the heart. It also causes the arteries to narrow. The smoke includes carbon monoxide, which reduces the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. This, combined with the nicotine effects, creates an imbalance between the demand for oxygen by the cells and the amount of oxygen the blood can supply.

How does nicotine in cigarettes increase the risk of heart attack?

Cigarette smoking may increase the risk of developing hardening of the arteries and heart attacks in several ways. First, carbon monoxide may damage the inner walls of the arteries, encouraging fatty buildups in them. Over time, this causes the vessels to narrow and harden. Nicotine may also contribute to this process. Smoking also causes several changes in the blood that make clots — and heart attack — more likely.

What are the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal?
depressed mood
difficulty concentrating
decreased heart rate
increased appetite or weight gain

How long does nicotine stay in the body?

From 85–90 percent of nicotine in the blood is metabolized by the liver and excreted from the kidney rapidly. The estimated half-life for nicotine in the blood is two hours. However, smoking represents a multiple dosing situation with considerable accumulation during smoking. Therefore, it can be expected that blood nicotine would persist at significant levels for six to eight hours after smoking stopped.

Related AHA publications:
The Effects of Smoking brochure (also in Spanish)
For Your Children: Our guide to help you safeguard your children from heart disease and stroke brochure (also in Spanish)
Quit Smoking for Good brochure
Smoking and Your Risk of Stroke brochure
"How To Avoid Weight Gain When Quitting Smoking", "How Can I Handle the Stress of Not Smoking?" and "How Can I Quit Smoking?" printable sheets from Answers By Heart kit.

Note: Please share your personal experiences with the dangers of smoking to help others from repeating these dangerous addictions to these drugs. And, if this does not deter others from smoking, take them with you for a visit to your local nursing home and do introduce our nourishing touch program.

 More >

 A Story about a Drug Representative of the Big Pharmas32 comments
picture25 Nov 2007 @ 20:05
We should accept things as they are without difficulty. Our mind should be soft and open enough to understand things as they are. When our thinking is soft, it is called imperturbable thinking. This kind of thinking is always stable. It is called mindfulness., (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki)

As many of you know, I have written several logs related to the Mental Health Industry, the increasing use of prescription drugs for treatment, especially for children and youth who are over-diagnosed and identified and labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders(ADHD).

This article describes how a psychiatrist was recruited as a drug company representative, wined and dined, while receiving large sums of money to promote their drugs. He discovered that he was withholding vital information that could be hazardous to the health of his patients and to his reputation as a doctor. He began to see that he was losing his integrity and ethics so he dropped his position as drug representative(dealer) and told his story to the NY Times. This is worth your time to read as he describes how the Big Pharmas and the AMA are in collusion and showing their lack of respect for patients or customers who need help with depression and other mental health "disorders." (Daniel Carlat is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and the publisher of The Carlat Psychiatry Report.)


I have written several logs on the dangers of the Big Pharmas, the mental health industry, and about practitioners who have lost their way. Our helping professionals who close their eyes to corrupt practices and labeling, knowing that their "Code of Ethics" is their guide to practice, are also endangering their clients. "Our primary concern is our client...."

"The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession's history, are the foundation of social work's unique purpose and perspective:

social justice
dignity and worth of the person
importance of human relationships

This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession. Core values, and the principles that flow from them, must be balanced within the context and complexity of the human experience."

I appreciate that you take the time to read these brief posts. Please feel free to respond to my logs/blogs. As a professor of social work, I am interested in learning how students, professionals and others feel about these practices and issues related to our core values.

Note: Photo by Mike Connealy  More >

 Our Relationships11 comments
picture26 Oct 2007 @ 13:52
Our Relationship with All That Is -

Above all else, it seems to me that it is our role as human beings always to join learning to loving-kindness. Learning to learn, learning to love, and to be kind are so closely interconnected and so profoundly interwoven, especially with the sense of touch, it would greatly help toward our rehumanization if we would pay closer attention to the need we all have for tactual experiences. (Ashley Montagu, Touching - The Human Significance of the Skin)

What is mind? Do we have a mind? Where is our mind located? These are some questions for a curious and adventurous human being and perhaps are important questions we can ask our mind during our mediation experience. However, I suggest that once you ask a question, be prepared for an answer by maintaining an open-mind, without any judgment. Accept whatever comes to your 'mind's eye.' In other words, don't censor any thought or observation that appears or arrives in your vision or landscape. Perhaps you may receive a phone call from a distant friend who has something of value to report or announce. A bird may deliver a message to you or your dogs may encourage you to take a walk with them so that you can discover an answer to your questions. Stay open to all possibilities when you are curious and wish to learn more about yourself, your relationships, about your mind or even about your future.

I recall during some of my meditation trainings that there are many forms of meditation and many more techniques that you can use to help your mind become open, accepting, appreciating and allowing for all that exists in our universe and beyond. Today with our Internet, we can add the concept of meditation in a search engine and get more information, assistance and resources than you will have time to explore. Never mind, just be aware or conscious of all of your actions, desires, fears, insecurities, prejudices, concerns and problems. Get to know your/our mind as it includes everything that exists in our universe. We can fill our minds with questions and thoughts or just leave them alone and allow the thoughts to freely pass through on their way to the beyond. These thoughts are like clouds floating in the sky or waves coming into shore. As you observe them, you will discover that our mind is attracted to everything and loves to observe these interactions and relationships.

One of the more important observations and experiences that I have made during the past few months with my meditation practice is that we are all an integral part of Nature. We are not separate from all that is or exists in our universe and beyond. We are connected and united with the whole of all that is. What affects one, affects all. In some instances, and I use this concept only to make a point, as there is No Time in Nature. Our true nature has no time and operates in rhythms and cycles, like Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. As Buckminster Fuller describes, we are all moving through space on Spaceship Earth. Oscar Ichazo reminds us that because we have No Time, there is No Position to be attached to, and without this attachment, there is No Contradiction in Nature. Thus, with awareness and mindfulness of No Time, No Position and No Contradiction, we can experience total Interaction with all that is. All of our 'inhabitants' of fear, ignorance, prejudice, greed, jealousy, impatience, intolerance, etc. can be transcended and we become one with Nature-without judgment.

Furthermore, I have learned that nature is my guide to further knowledge, understanding and appreciation for being human. Every moment and every day will bring new opportunities to engage and interact with God's creation with us as a vital part of the whole.


Photo by Mike Connealy - Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, NM  More >

 Use of Touch & Integrative Methods9 comments
picture14 Oct 2007 @ 14:27
Social capital refers to that willingness to step in. Communities, paralyzed by fear, are themselves a victim of violence. Do nothing and your worst fears will be realized. Residents have to become co-producers of safety. (No More Throw-Away People, Edgar S. Cahn - Creator of Time Dollars and Time Banking.)

Integrative Health Methods can provide a viable option for most persons currently referred to mental health centers and hospitals -, See our Mission Statement for the 15-Minute StressOut Program. [link]

For example our StressOut Program and Forum, reaches out to our colleagues as we make friends around the world. During this past month 39 different countries connected with our StressOut & Home Page and we average over 5,000 clicks a month by all populations around the world. We have many creative social workers engaged in advancing the use of technology through our forums, logs or blogs. I would especially recommend the New Civilization Network as another option for advancing our work. The 13,000 members share their common interests, goals and experiences with us as a network of Global Citizens who recognize that "Improvement for One is Improvement for All!" (Oscar Ichazo-Teamwork, Cooperation and Interaction Training)[link]

Case in Point-- I am interacting about the Cautions and Questions related to labeling and the DSM. Comments by participants usually include other resources to help us meet our goals. For now, I am throwing up a Red Flag!!!

Let's join together to move our profession in a healthy direction with and for those we serve as partners. This is not new, there are volumns written about the value of becoming one with your partner rather than treating them as a patient-- promoting helplessness, hopelessness and dependency. There are many alternatives to labeling and giving humans a psychiatric (#)number and a phony identity based on voting by committee without scientific evidence--reliability and validity tests.

Also, it is a human violation for mental health systems and workers to give the patient records--personal and confidential material and code numbers to others without security and protection measures. These records go beyond anyone's control and labels are rarely if ever changed, should the patient recover from their 'disorder.' When people are in pain or in need of our services, they should not have to accept our program's or system's disregard for their privacy. As one health practitioner stated: "To objectify people and treat them with such a lack of feeling is, in my opinion, a serious disorder of its own."

About Our Forums - Helps us become informed, develops our writing and reporting skills and advances our knowledge-

I have been interacting on the Newstudent forum and recently responded to a question that BT (anonymous) had about labeling his clients as required by his mental health program:

BT, I suspect that I am in the minority and have taken some abuse for stating my opinion in this forum; however, I feel that it is important for us as social workers to speak out and abandon the use of the DSM and let the Psychiatrists and Psychologists live with their unethical and harmful effects of labeling mental health clients/patients.

There are numerous articles and reports related to this subject and I have included many of them as links in my logs on the New Civilization Org. Perhaps this brief excerpt from an article will clarify some of the dangers, but it is well worth your time to visit this program:


All doctors, including psychiatrists, take the Hippocratic Oath, which states "Do no harm." I believe that the DSM-IV diagnosis protocol, itself, violates that oath.

When people are labeled in this way, it does them harm. It is a judgment on their person, their character, and their value. It is a subjective opinion that places them under the control of so-called experts and will haunt their personal record for life.

In the wake of such a judgment, clients often conclude that there is something fundamentally wrong with them. Such a message can injure self-esteem, increase a sense of despair, depress the immune system, and endanger physical health.

We are not numbers. We are not labels. Our problems cannot be reduced to lists and multiple choice. To objectify people and treat them with such a lack of feeling is, in my opinion, a serious disorder of its own.

People already know they have problems - that's why they come for help. They don't need labels, they need understanding. Since emotional issues are a whole-person phenomenon, their causes and healing cannot be reduced to single categories. In fact, labels, by falsely simplifying, obstruct the healing process.

Professionals argue that they need the criteria and a common diagnostic language in order to discuss and act on the many "cases" they have to process. This is itself an indictment of the assembly line mentality of modern health care. If specialists took the time, and treated those in their care as people - not just cases and numbers - greater healing would take place at a lesser cost, without the need for numbers and labels.



How can we trust the DSM when it is controlled by the drug corporations? It is clear that the DSM Board and the classification system is a hoax and our profession continues to support this lack of integrity. Do read this article from the "Chicago Tribune." [link]

BT, you are right to question this sick care labeling system that endangers your/our clients and places them at great risk for life. Your question shows that you hold respect for others and do not wish to harm them. We need more social, health and medical organizations with allied health professionals to come forward and prevent further abuse, neglect and disrespect maintained by these corporations and psychiatry. And, I hope students, teachers and others who blindly follow and teach these labeling practices will put themselves in the 'shoes' of their clients and experience some empathy, respect and compassion. Do No Harm!!!

Finally, this latest investigation by Congress will hopefully improve the reporting, oversight and ownership of the research that is published by scientists. And, with this report I will go on to other important health opportunities, especially those related to children and their families.

Dear gerald,

Congress has given final approval to a bill that will significantly improve the drug review process at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and hold the FDA more accountable, protecting us from unsafe drugs. Thanks in part to your calls and letters, the law includes transparency language that will shine a light on the FDA drug approval process. By opening up the drug review process and documents to public scrutiny, the manipulation of research results becomes much more apparent and thus easier to counteract.

This legislative victory is crucial to public health and safety. Last year, when UCS surveyed nearly 1,000 FDA scientists, one in five reported that they had been asked by their supervisors to provide the public, the news media, and government officials "incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information." When the unbiased research of qualified scientists was suppressed and distorted, flawed data led the FDA to approve drugs such as Vioxx, Avandia, and Ketek, which later proved to be harmful.

This bill requires that the views of drug reviewers are heard and not suppressed or ignored. In addition, the bill also protects scientists' right to publish their research, another way to safeguard the scientific integrity of FDA scientists and their work. Unfortunately the bill doesn't go far enough to restrict conflicts of interest on FDA advisory panels. Nonetheless, the new law will improve the FDA's drug review process and set the stage for similar reforms at other federal agencies.

Transparency is the cornerstone of scientific integrity—it's vital to the work of the FDA and all federal agencies to ensure that the work of scientists is not manipulated.

We will closely monitor the FDA’s performance, tracking whether the public gets full access to the information they need. And we will again rely on your support as we continue to push for similar reforms at other federal agencies where science has been politicized and scientists have been intimidated.

UCS surveys have revealed similar problems at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But as long as scientists and citizens continue to play an active role in the fight to ensure scientific integrity and transparency, I am confident we will prevail.

Thank you for your continued dedication to scientific integrity and all you do to help UCS work for a healthy environment and a safer world.


Michael Halpern
National Field Organizer
Scientific Integrity Program
 More >

 Volunteers Needed for our NCN Global Touch Project12 comments
picture29 Sep 2007 @ 23:50
We can create a beautiful universe. When our problems become our friends and supporters, like gifts or contributions, we no longer have any problems. Then we have freedom from inner conflict; we have inner peace, the highest freedom there is. (Tarthang Tulku, Openness Mind)

Volunteers Needed Throughout the World--Come Join our New Civilization, Global Touch Project - Humanity Needs Us Now!

Global Touch Program-
Our Las Cruces Health Promotion Team with Elders would like to introduce and teach you to give the 15-Minute StressOut Program with Elders—a program designed to give ethical, safe, skillful, and nourishing touch with elders.

Our StressOut Program Experience is often described as {link:

Using acupressure and other skillful techniques, coordinated with the breath to balance our body, mind, emotions and spirit, is a heartfelt or empathic experience for both the giver and receiver of this partner massage.

While systematically applying pressure points and introducing the 'laying-on-of-hands,' we ask that givers and receivers maintain an awareness of their breath throughout the activity. While we refer to our "stressout program" as a chair like massage, it may be more accurate to describe the mindful experience as a partner meditation - relaxing, yet energetic. (See 15-Minute StressOut Program - [link]

During this past year, our volunteers – seniors, NMSU social work, nursing and health science students, caregivers, in-home care workers, senior staff, and others gave over 3,800 “stressouts”(chair-like massage) in nursing homes, diabetic health clinics, day care and in-home care services.


1) Volunteer for minimum of 2 hours per week in one of the settings identified;

2) Participate in orientation and training session;

3) Administer (6)stressouts with friends, family, colleagues, others;

4) Report (6)evaluations of your work.


1) Free Instructional DVD, Protocol & Guidelines for the Ethical Use of Safe, Skillful and Nourishing Touch;

2) Partnership & Certification in our healthy touch organization committed to advancing the quality of lives, health and relationships of elders on a global scale; [link]

3) An exchange of energy, love, respect, and good will knowing that you have contributed through skillful touch to help support the basic human need requirements for elders and others to live a healthy, dignified and respectful life.


Jerry Vest, ACSW/LISW/LMT, Professor Emeritus, New Mexico State University, School of Social Work, (505)524-2379 and email:


Francesca Smith, LBSW, City of Las Cruces, In-Home Services Manager, (505) 541-2460 and email:

SEE ATTACHMENTSincluded in our Homepage – [link]

1) Protocol

2) Ethical Guidelines for Safe, Skillful and Nourishing Touch

3) Partner Certificate (example)

4) Good Samaritan News

NOTE:The American Diabetes Association selected our research article, "Alternative Health Practices in Ethnically Diverse Rural Areas," using the 15-Minute StressOut Program as the primary intervention, with diabetic patients and their families as "Best Practice Research" during the past decade.,(See Abstract No.8--point & click on this link)

Become a Global Partner-

If you wish to be a volunteer, schedule an in-service training program in your agency/community or know of care-givers and others who may be interested in learning our ethical, safe, skillful and nourishing touch program for all populations, please let us know.

We will help you develop your orientation workshop/training program and send you a free Instructional DVD and Power Point Program Outline. We suggest that our volunteers/givers, give a minimum of 2 hours a week of skillful touch-"stressouts." After meeting our requirements and submiting your evaluations, we will add your name to our list of Certified Team Members}. [link]  More >

  Beware of Medical Treatment and Prescription Drugs14 comments
picture18 Sep 2007 @ 17:55
The mind provides us with a vital energy that is responsive to every moment. Developing awareness of this hidden resource is the gateway to real freedom and peace, a true refuge in a crowded and frustrating world. (Tarthang Tulku, Hidden Mind of Freedom)

I am going to introduce some more 'grist for the mill' on the relationship of the mental health industry and the drug corporations or Big Pharmas as they are called. I am also going to introduce the power of the Internet and forums to advance our goals. I will continue to identify the dangers that exist with these powerful corporations while they continue to influence and control their/our clients who wish to participate in our community mental health programs. The psychiatry industry, by virtue of their medical license, have the sanction to diagnose, label, and give every person/patient/client a number that represents a disorder in their DSM handbook.

Today, the NY Times introduced two articles related to the drug industry and their relationship with psychiatry. It is apparent to many of us that the public should be aware of psychiatry, this classification system and why we have such excessive costs of drugs and treatment. Also, the Insurance Corporations are also part of this coalition to control the private records, and to maintain the categorization patients for payment and for auditing purposes, as well.

Abstracted from NY Times article:

Billions of $'s given to doctors by drug companies to prescribe their drugs. How long will our politicians, professional organizations and communities allow this to happen?

Drug company representatives are a major presence. They sponsor Journal Club (where trainees learn to review new data and research), they pay for many of our weekly speakers and regularly offer free dinners for the residents and faculty. They enjoy free access to our mailboxes and regularly detail our trainees in their offices, hallways and in our little kitchen.

This is not uncommon. Meredith Rosenthal at the Harvard School of Public Health reported in The New England Journal of Medicine that the industry spends roughly $15.7 billion annually marketing medications, with $4.8 billion dedicated to detailing individual physicians, or roughly $6,000 to $11,000 a doctor a year.

Studies indicate that most physicians meet with pharmaceutical representatives four times a month.

Studies also reveal that most physicians erroneously believe the representatives do not influence prescribing habits.

When doctors and trainees meet with reps, they change their prescribing habits and are far more likely to prescribe the drugs described, even when they are more expensive or have no benefit over alternatives. They are also more willing to request illogical changes to hospital guidelines that govern which drugs can be prescribed.

Estimates suggest that roughly $1 billion was spent advertising antidepressants to health professionals in 2000.


COMMENTARY; Drug Companies Get Too Close for Med School's Comfort

Published: January 20, 2004
In an 2002 article, Dr. Peterson wrote: ''Despite the lack of evidence of a significant difference in efficacy between older and newer agents, clinicians perceive the newer agents to be more efficacious -- these findings are significant as they highlight the discrepancy between empirical evidence and clinical practices and suggest that other factors influence clinicians' medication choices in the treatment of depression.''

The effect is easy to see in our department. The antidepressants fluoxetine, known popularly as Prozac, and paroxetine, known as Paxil, are now generic and cost patients and insurers pennies a day. Newer, rival drugs including sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro) and Venlafaxine (Effexor) are 5 to 20 times as expensive.

In the last seven years, I have watched our residents prescribe the newest medications almost exclusively.


Do view this short video on "the tragic consequences of drugging our children.


Note: Picture by Mike Connealy  More >

<< Newer entries  Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11   Older entries >>
In these articles, I introduce the basic need for human touch. While there is strong evidence that our society and human family are becoming an endangered species, many governments, such as the USA, pay little, if any attention, to global warming, nuclear stock piles, environment, natural and economic disasters, poverty, abuse, neglect, pandemic health diseases, and growing military-industrial monopolies.

While many of us are aware of these pending and current disasters, organizations such as New Civilization, are hoping to awaken humanity through mindfulness, virtual interaction on the Internet, and forming healthy, respectful alliances to make a difference and change the direction we are heading.

Our health promotion team is a small effort, but hopefully an expanding opportunity, to awaken individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations and commuities to an awareness that touch, respect and love are basic human needs for survival and wellbeing.

Obviously, there are serious considerations for being circumspect and skillful in offering touch as a conscious intervention in the workplace or in a family environment. Guidelines for the safe use of touch include:

- providing the option for participants to self-administer our program;

- receiving permission to touch and reminding participants that contact is always in safe areas;

- having witnesses or partners present;

- teaching the activity to others so that they can be the givers of the stressout program;

- encouraging participants to use the teaching video and study guide (Vest,1995)if the worker chooses not to make physical contact.

Join with us in advancing the use of healthy, respectful and loving touch throughout the world. We are One.

Previous entries
  • Om Ah Hum Mantra

  • 2015-07-06
  • Maintaining Continuum of Awareness for Health, Healing and Restoration #2

  • 2015-05-25
  • Takes Courage to Be Ourselves

  • 2015-05-19
  • Be the Best we Can with a Health Care Plan

  • 2015-05-11
  • Living and Being without Borders and Boundaries

  • 2015-04-26
  • Continuing Awareness develops Mindfulness

  • 2015-04-05
  • Visit our Website for Injured Warriors and Families

  • 2015-03-03
  • A Psychosomatic Engagement with Integrataive and Holistic Health Services

  • 2015-02-24
  • Social Work-A Psychosomatic Engagement with Integrative and Holistic Health

  • 2015-01-02
  • Celebrating Life with Friends

  • 2014-12-26
  • Being One with Our True Nature-Mother Earth

  • 2014-12-12
  • Being One with All that Is, 24/7

  • 2014-11-05
  • We are not our Body or our Mind

  • 2014-11-01
  • Seekers with Truth

  • 2014-10-17
  • Our Master Mind is Blinded by the Light

  • 2014-10-09
  • Awareness and Miindfulness - Be Here Now!

  • 2014-09-29
  • Insights in the Present Moment

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