The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry, Inc. (ISEPP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization of mental health professionals, physicians, educators, ex-patients and survivors of the mental health system, and their families. We are not affiliated with any political or religious group.
Our mission is to use the standards of scientific inquiry and critical reasoning to address the ethics of psychology and psychiatry. We strive to educate the public about the nature of “mental illness”, the de-humanizing and coercive aspects of many forms of mental health treatment, and the alternative humane ways of helping people who struggle with very difficult life issues.
We believe this is essential since one of the most cherished principles of the mental profession is “informed consent”. That means you should be fully and honestly informed about the problems you are experiencing, and the full risks and benefits of any treatment, before making truly voluntary decisions about your care. Our goal is to fully inform you.
At the heart of our critique is the fact that “mental illnesses” are not literal illnesses like diabetes and cancer. Despite popular media portrayal and pronouncements from medical organizations, decades of scientific research have failed to demonstrate any biological pathology that causes “mental illness”. For this reason, they should not be considered medical problems and traditional medical treatment is not a solution. Treating them as if they were truly illnesses of the body would be a great mistake and lead to much harm.
The experience of “mental illness” is a natural human reaction to extraordinary and painful life circumstances. They have to do with personal, spiritual, political, economic, and existential problems. To help those who are experiencing these problems, we advocate various forms of psychotherapy, support groups, self-help programs, and help with employment, education, housing, exercise, nutrition, and other issues of living. We also urge the ruling out of real diseases that can mimic psychological problems, such as nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, sleep deprivation, and diabetes.
Sometimes the biggest form of help comes from just knowing you are not abnormal and there are others willing to help you in your struggle, understand what you are going through, and appreciate you as a fellow human being. The only way to restore one’s humanity is through humanity.