INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ Schizophrenia Researcher To Lecture In Italy

Published: Tue 2 Nov 2004 10:53 AM
EDITOR OF CONTROVERSIAL PSYCHOSIS BOOK TO SPEAK IN ITALY
Dr John Read, coordinating editor of MODELS OF MADNESS: PSYHOLOGICAL, SOCIAL AND BIOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO SCHIZOPHRENIA (Brunner-Routledge, 2004), will present three papers at the World Psychiatric Association's International Congress in Florence next week (10 * 13 Nov.). About 5,000 psychiatrists are expected to attend.
Models of Madness, published in June and already sold out of its first print run, summarises the research showing that schizophrenia is not, as supposed until recently, a medical illness and that hallucinations and delusions are better understood as reactions to adverse life events such as neglect and abuse in childhood, poverty and isolation..
Its co-editors are Dr Richard Bentall (Professor, Clinical Psychology - Manchester University, UK) and the recently deceased U.S. psychiatrist Dr Loren Mosher.
Models of Madness also documents the limited utility and damaging side effects of anti-psychotic medication and shock therapy, and argues that the pharmaceutical industry has an increasingly dominant and negative impact on mental health research and practice throughout the world.
Dr Read, who has already spoken in Canada, the USA and Australia this year to launch the book, commented:
"I am very much looking forward to coming to Florence. Italy has a proud tradition of innovative mental health services which try to avoid a simplistic medical approach to treatment. I am hopeful that our focus on social causal factors, which are still ignored or minimized in the U.S.A, will be well received in Italy."
Dr Read's three papers, all citing his research at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, will deal with: (a) The damaging role of biological causal beliefs in maintaining fear and prejudice about the mentally ill, (b) The role of childhood trauma in causing psychosis, and (c) A New Zealand training programme teaching mental health professionals how best to take trauma histories.
ENDS

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