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No Quesi, hate to disappoint you and Greybeard, but here it is......

You know something, Holybucket?  I spent a disproportionate amount of time yesterday learning about your Dr. Whitley because, as I previously stated, he and I both work with similarly marginalized communities in different capacities.  His work builds upon the work of various local specialists with whom I have a cross-referral relationship.  I thought I should be more familiar with his work. 

Dr. Whitley's specialization is promoting the RECOVERY MODEL of treating mental illness among members of marginalized communities.  He literally "wrote the book"[1] on creating a working definition of "recovery." 

You can see him explain the working definition here:

As you will see, he defines "recovery" as the display of a range of behaviors which he categorizes as clinical, existential, functional, physical and social.  As someone who believes in incorporating "culturally relevant" treatments, he advocates focusing on the strengths, resources and belief systems of the patients.  And one of the subsets of "existential recovery" that he identifies is spirituality.  Since a lot of people are religious, he draws on THEIR BELIEFS as part of a personalized treatment model. 

He speaks specifically about religiosity as a subset of existential recovery which he deems appropriate for some patients as part of his "dimensional" recovery model.  A little after the 4 1/2 minute mark he says:   

Existential recovery refers to regaining of sense of purpose and meaning, and perhaps spiritual or religious, uh, uh, sense of spirituality or religiosity which people, some people are searching for, and which they might lose if they have a psychotic break, for example.  (bold mine)

Not surprisingly, he is also committed to promoting his RECOVERY Model, and he supports specific governmental policies that shift the field of psychiatry in that direction. 

In order to promote the model that he believes will be successful, he examines models of treating mental illness which he deems as not being successful.  In other work, he bashes the first world institutionalization model which became popular throughout much of the industrialized world.  He also bashes the neo-liberal deinstitutionalization model, which left untreated masses homeless in the streets.  And here, he is bashing a GOVERNMENTAL MODEL towards the mentally ill, which was implemented by small sample of atheist leaders. 

I'm not sure if you can wrap your brain around this, but criticizing a governmental policy towards the mentally ill, is very different from labeling the leaders as mentally ill.   Ironically, I think one could make the argument that some of these leaders did in fact suffer from mental disorders.  But that is not the argument that he is making!!!!!

I know you want to find champions for your cause.  And I am certain that there are in fact folks out there who would support your premise.

But Dr. Whitley is not one of them. 

 1. actually, it was just an article
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Graybeard Excellent answer and video May 07, 2013, 09:00:57 AM