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INTAR Press Release

November 16, 2004


Contact: Laurie Ahern
Washington, D.C., US

International group gathers to promote non-medical approaches to treating people diagnosed with mental illness

MASSACHUSETTS, US- An international summit of world renowned psychiatrists, people who have experienced psychiatric treatment, family members, psychologists, and other mental health professionals, gathered last week in the United States to counter the belief that people with diagnoses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder can never completely recover.

Practitioners from the International Network of Treatment Alternatives for Recovery (INTAR), came from Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, England, Austria and the United States to share data and research, which they say proves that a non-medical approach to extreme mental or emotional states helps people recover, contrary to conventional wisdom.

"When you look at a person's life experiences and history - rather than looking at these problems as a disease - people get better," stated Bertram P. Karon, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University and author of the book, Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia: The Treatment of Choice, who attended the summit.

"It is our experience that even people diagnosed with the most severe mental illness can lead independent and self-directed lives without lifelong psychiatric treatment."

According to INTAR members, a diagnosis of mental illness need not be permanent. The group also expressed concern over the damage caused by traditional psychiatric treatments.

"We know what hurts and we know what helps people. It is our goal to let everyone else know as well," concluded Karon.

INTAR Summit Participants
Laurie Ahern

Michaela Amering

Karyn Baker

Ron Bassman

Bob Clafin

Oryx Cohen

Sabine Dick

Anne Marie DiGiacomo

Jeanne Dumont

Nazlim Hagmann

Will Hall

Michael Herrick

Iris Hölling

Gail A. Hornstein

Roman Janda

Bertam P. Karon

Anne Krauss

Peter Lehmann

Elaine Levin

Paddy McGowan

Constance Packard

Darby Penney

Laura Prescott

Leon Redler

James J. Rye

Judy Schreiber

Peter Statsny

Chris Stevenson

Philip Thomas

Ann Thompson

Victoria Yoshen

INTAR Committee member unable to attend: Celia Brown