Dec 4, 2019
This week on MIA Radio we
turn our attention to support for those who are struggling to
withdraw from psychiatric drugs. Recently in the UK, this issue has
become headline news with more and more attention being given to
the work of groups such as the Council
for Evidence Based Psychiatry and peer-led initiatives such as
the Bristol Tranquilliser
December 4 2019, marks the release of guidance which has been
specifically written to support psychological therapists and their
clients in having discussions about taking and withdrawing from
psychiatric drugs. The comprehensive guidance is a collaboration
between psychologists, peer support specialists and psychiatrists
and aims to provide important context and evidence-based support to
psychological therapists, whatever their particular modality.
In this interview, we chat with psychotherapist and
project lead Dr. Anne Guy, Peer Support Specialist Paul Sams and
Professor of Psychology John Read.
- How the project to create guidance for psychological therapists
- The need to address a significant gap in knowledge and
experience, particularly given the numbers of clients who work with
psychological therapists and are already taking or thinking of
coming off psychiatric drugs.
- That therapeutic training previously hasn’t addressed the
intersection of psychiatric drugs and the practice of therapy.
- How a recent survey showed that 96% of all therapists are
seeing at least one client who is taking psychiatric drugs.
- That the guidance is not prescriptive but provides an
opportunity for a therapist to respond to drug issues that other
professionals may not have time available to address.
- The important distinction made between giving medical
information and giving medical advice.
- How the guidance will be launched in Westminster, London on
December 4 2019, and that people can read the guidance and view a
- That next year will see some Continuing Professional
- How lived experience and peer support knowledge has been
applied in developing the guidance.
- How the guidance opens up the conversation such that no go
areas are addressed as part of the overall therapeutic
- That the approach is one of empowerment and supporting
conversation rather than defining or being prescriptive.
- How the evidence-based part of the guidance came together and
that there was a fairly consistent finding that around 50% of
people coming off psychiatric drugs will experience some sort of
withdrawal with around half of those describing the withdrawal
effects as severe.
- That the guidance has provided the chance for psychologists,
counsellors and psychotherapists to work together.
Read or download the guidance here.
View the guidance Q&A here.
© Mad in America 2019