Our latest interview, as we continue research and story development about the treatment options for mental disorders, was with Daniel B. Fisher. Dr. Fisher has an M.D., Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the National Empowerment Center and a member of the President’s Commission on Mental Illness. He is one of the few psychiatrists in the country who openly discusses his recovery from mental illness. He is a role model for others who are struggling to recover and his life dispels the myth that people do not recover from mental illness.
While in medical school Dr. Fisher was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized several times. Even after graduating with Ph.D in biochemistry at 24, he learned from his own experience that mental health conditions are more interpersonal than neurological.
Dr. Fisher, along with a team of others with ‘lived experience’, has developed a program called Emotional CPR that utilizes many of the same principles as Open Dialogue. He spoke to us about the medical model for treating mental disorders versus the alternative approaches that eCPR and Open Dialogue offer. He also mentions the political, economic and cultural barriers that these alternative treatment programs are facing. Here he describes how some of his views on mental illness differ from the well known psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey.
Do you feel that eCPR and Open Dialogue are viable alternatives to the western medical treatment model?