• Asylum 21.1 Creative Responses to Difficult Times

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Sample Articles

Names, a short play by Simon McCormack

Names, by Simon McCormack is a short play which appears in the Spring Issue of Asylum Magazine 2014, Creative responses to difficult times, edited by Paul Atkinson and Janet Haney of the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy. It has been produced...

Messerschmidt & Me by Scott Farlow

I have never met Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. But I feel like I have. He died in August 1783, a little over 185 years before I was born. Also, he was German and I am not. Messerschmidt grew up in Munich,...

Editorial 21.1 – Janet Haney and Paul Atkinson

The idea of this issue of the magazine arose from a conference on the future of counselling and psychotherapy, organised by the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and held in London in December 2012. As members of the Alliance, we...

Madness: A Beginner’s Guide by annu saini

Madness, for me, is like having sex in a stairwell: it can be difficult, but it yields its own special brand of pleasure and to people watching – and people DO watch – it’s both beautiful and awkward. The echoing...

Fear and Loathing in the Con Dem Nation by Michelle Brown

Like poor Alice, we have tumbled into a looking glass world. As the century embarks on the difficult teenage years, as the future looks bleaker than ever before for almost everyone, a coterie of dead eyed, grinning (and crucially, rich)...

Out of Sight by Meg Kelly

Notes on obstacles to community in a Philadelphia Association ‘community household’ ‘We propose,’ said Hugh Crawford, ‘merely not to silence the unspeakable’ . I lived in one of the Philadelphia Association’s ‘community houses’, the Grove, from October 2010 to March...

Living with Scars by Clare Shaw

I’m someone who lives with the scars of self-injury. I’m not going to waste the next 2000 words on techniques for covering up. That’s not to say they aren’t part of the story – but only the smallest part. My...

We’ll miss him, I guess by Anthony Morgan

… My concern remains that the lived realities of the psychiatric patients about whom Szasz was writing seemed far less relevant to him than those more abstract notions of freedom and responsibility which it was his life’s work to defend....

Szasz’s Unsettling Legacy by Anne Plumb

… What about the ‘hurt’ identified by the organisation of Mental Health System Survivors? Szasz saw no problem there: if people found their therapy unhelpful, they could simply select another therapist. Szasz said some of the people he saw would...

Broken System, Not Broken People by Michael Richmond

The writer Dan Hind recently commented in his pamphlet, Common Sense, that many people with mental health problems who have taken part in occupation movements around the world in recent years have noticed an improvement in their condition. I myself...

DINA’S STORY: Why I absconded from an acute ward

In 2009 I was compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act in an acute psychiatric ward in North Manchester Hospital. I absconded twice within a week during my first month there – fairly soon after my admission – even though I was supposedly on...

Declaration of Mad Independence by Stephen Killeen

I stand here, a soul completely mad, not fearing the punishments and tortures of Sanity, not fearing the Sane System of Slavery and Oppression known as Psychiatry. Not fearing anyone or anything. We suffer. We struggle. We crawl, beaten down in the dark. We crawl...

Latest from Dina's Asylum Blog

Freedom and ‘Gracias a la vida’ (Thanks to life)…

(http://freedomfeens.com/blog/2012/09/08/what-is-freedom/freedom-3)   ‘You can have your life back…’ said Dr Olienka, the psychiatrist in Park House, North  Manchester General Hospital, under whose care I was whilst I was detained under the Mental Health Act 2007 in one of the acute...

Farewell to Christos…

Michael Gordon – Farewell to a Season, Bishop Creek Canyon, Eastern Sierra Nevada (www.commercialfineart.com/fine-art-shopping-other-artists/michael-gordon-farewell.html)   I think I met Christos in 1988 back in Greece…We were friends or friendly to start with… I fell in love with him in 1989...