10th September 2023

An innovative workshop will be held on Sunday 10th September

Lived Experience

The Biomedical Model Vs Open Dialogue

This one-day workshop led by Satu Beverley discusses the effectiveness of the treatment of mental illness under the Biomedical Model and Open Dialogue. Satu questions the value of medications and ECT as the only way of treating mental illness based on the belief that mental illness is caused by a deficit in the brain.  The deficit has not been identified nor is there any evidence that it exists. Medications do not cure the mental illness; they only hide the symptoms and control the patient’s behaviour and give an illusion of healing. Concern arises also from the medications’ side effects and contribution to the development of chronic mental illness, diabetes, kidney failure, heart conditions etc. Like suicide they significantly reduce one’s life span. The Biomedical Model focuses on an unknown physical deficit and how to hide and control symptoms of mental illness instead of identifying the deficit and eliminating it.

Open Dialogue approach acknowledges that there may be a physical course where the psychotic episodes e.g. hallucinations take place due to lack of water, food or sleep. However, when the patient is given more food, drink, or opportunity to sleep the symptoms disappear. It is important to rule out a physical course, such as a tumour in one’s brain which can be eliminated before the diagnosis of mental illness is made. Open Dialogue believes that mental illness is caused by problems, bad things in our environment. One becomes mentally ill when the pressures of the life’s present and past challenges accumulate beyond our skills to deal with them. In order to solve them we need to find ways to identify the problem/s and learn skills to eliminate or minimize them. We can do this through Open Dialogue in the clinical social support network meetings by talking and accepting others’ support. Mental illness is different from physical illness, it relates to the interaction of our mind with our body, especially our feelings.

Venue: Novotel, Brighton Beach
Price: $25* (Consumer & Carers concession)
Price: $120