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In an effort to reduce the harmful experiences occurring in psychiatric hospitals, compassionate alternatives are being created around the world.
For people who need a respite from their lives, it’s important to ask, “What would you want that to look like?”
One form of crisis support comes from the model of soteria houses, which employ primarily non-medical staff and view extreme emotional distress not as a disease but as a developmental crisis with positive learning potential when provided a safe space.
Two random assignment studies of the soteria model showed that roughly 85-90% of individuals could return to the community without use of conventional hospital treatment.
Similar projects to soteria include John Weirr Perry’s Diabasis House and the I-Ward — both of which existed in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1970s and ’80s. Today, a small number of soteria houses exist in the U.S., Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, and Hungary.
Next, we will discuss the Open Dialogue approach — a crisis intervention technique developed in Lapland, Finland, that has been spreading worldwide.
Open Dialogue has impressive outcomes. After five years, 82% of participants had no remaining psychotic symptoms and 86% had returned to full employment. Only 29% had used psychiatric drugs.
One message is clear: Recovery is not only possible without psychiatric hospitalization; it is also common. After surviving their crisis, what are people doing to heal and maintain balance through their journey? We will explore this question in our next segment.
“LUCID DREAMSCAPE” Written & produced by MARK STURGESS & ADAM CARVER
“SIXTEEN WALTZES, OP. 39: NO. 15, WALTZ IN A-FLAT MAJOR” Written by JOHANNES BRAHMS Performed by MARTHA GOLDSTEIN