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Mad in America: Rethinking Mental Health

The Mad in America podcast, hosted by James Moore, examines mental health with a critical eye by speaking with psychologists, psychiatrists and people with lived experience.

When you hear such conversations, you realise that much of what is believed to be settled in mental health is actually up for debate. Is mental health a matter of faulty biology or is there more to it? Are the treatments used in psychiatry helpful or harmful in the long term? Are psychiatric diagnoses reliable? With the help of our guests, we examine these questions and so much more. 

This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care and mental health. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change. 

On the podcast over the coming weeks, we will have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system. Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking mental health around the world.

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Aug 19, 2017

This week, we interview Dr. Rani Bora. 

Dr. Bora is a qualified Psychiatrist and Mental Health and Resilience Coach. She has studied a number of approaches to mental well-being – both traditional and non-traditional, and she focuses on holistic approaches to supporting people with their mental wellness.

Since deepening her own understanding of the paradigm of ‘Innate Health and Resilience’, she has committed herself to sharing this understanding in her coaching and training and has witnessed remarkable transformation in individuals whom she has supported.

In this interview we discuss Dr. Bora’s background in psychiatry, how she came to move away from more traditional psychiatric approaches and the concept of innate health and resilience.

In this episode, we discuss:

How Dr. Bora graduated from medical school in 1997 and became interested in connecting with people leading to specialising in psychiatry

That Rani found working in India as a psychiatrist very different compared to the UK and there were very few community services with most services delivered in a hospital setting

That after working in the UK, Dr. Bora became interested in self help and personal development

That this led to training in parallel both as a psychiatrist and as a life coach studying Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Narrative Coaching

That Rani came to see that using tools and techniques as a quick fix can be problematic, because difficulties can re-surface once people stop using the tools and techniques

That Innate health and resilience (also known as the three principles) is a new paradigm pointing to the health and wellbeing within all and how the mind works

That the three principles are mind, thought and consciousness

That Rani sees medication and mindfulness as tools but they don’t really address the root cause of emotional distress

That having an understanding about how the mind works can help people to heal from emotional difficulties or trauma

That people are more resourceful than they think they are and Rani helps people to discover that resourcefulness within themselves

Rani’s mentor, US Psychiatrist Dr. Bill Pettit, reminds us that a diagnosis doesn't define a person, only describes symptoms

That people experiencing mental health difficulties are not different to the rest of society, but medicine quite often labels and separates

Rani believes that “you cannot fail at being yourself”

That if people accept themselves with their perceived flaws and limitations and realise that these individual differences

are what make us unique and human, it means less judgement and self criticism

That Rani feels that we focus too much on what is lacking in people and on diseases and symptoms

That we also focus too much on mental illness rather than mental health

That Rani does work with clients who expect medication, but that she often finds other ways to work with people

That Rani wants to know the outcome people are looking for and often finds that the medical model has its limitation in helping people with their real needs in life

That Rani would like the research to focus more on empowering people and what helps people recover

That Rani feels that it’s very important that we also focus on the health of those in the medical community who are supporting others, as the lack of resources can be associated with enormous strain and stress

That Rani would like people to reflect on the fact that they are not broken, even given what happened in the past or what diagnoses they have

There is something at the core of who we are that cannot be damaged by our experiences

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© Mad in America 2017