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Recordings of the ISEPP 2022 Conference

Recordings of the ISEPP 2022 Conference

Didn't get a chance to attend the 2022 conference? No problem. Recordings of the presentations are available here.

Don't miss out on an amazing lineup of speakers and their thoughts on the failed medical model of emotional distress.

ISEPP 2022 Award Winners Announced!

ISEPP 2022 Award Winners Announced!


During its annual conference this past weekend, ISEPP announced the winners of its three awards:

ISEPP Lifetime Achievement Award - for recognition of sustained and dedicated efforts made throughout one’s career in the struggle to overturn the medical model of human distress. Presented to Jacqueline Sparks, Ph.D. 

Click here to read the citation


ISEPP Special Achievement Award -  For recognition of specific projects and programs developed as alternatives to the orthodox mental health system. Presented to Angela Peacock, M.S.W.

Click here to read the citation


Mary Karon Memorial Award for Humanitarian Concerns - Named in honor of Mary Karon, wife of the late Bert Karon, who had been a lifelong activist psychologist and member of ISEPP. Mary and Bert were in a serious car accident in 2007, leaving Bert in need of constant and daily care. Mary provided that care with the hope of giving Bert the ability to continue in his fight against medicalized psychiatry. Mary died a few years later, making Bert promise that he would continue his work. This award is given to those who show a similar dedication to supporting the ISEPP mission. Presented to the directors and producers of Medicating Normal.

Click here to read the citation

ISEPP’s Executive Director Interviewed

ISEPP’s Executive Director Interviewed


Listen to ISEPP's Executive Director Dr. Chuck Ruby being interviewed about his ideas on the mental health industry on Dr. Ben Rall's Designed to Heal Podcast.



Critical Psychology and Critical Psychiatry Series

Critical Psychology and Critical Psychiatry Series

The Ethics International Press has recently released the first two volumes of a critical psychology and critical psychiatry series: Critiquing the Psychiatric Model and Humane Alternatives to the Psychiatric Model.
Act now to get your copies. Don't miss out on an opportunity to hear from some of the brightest thinkers in the field.


CAMPP Demands Answers From Mental Health Member Organizations

CAMPP Demands Answers From Mental Health Member Organizations

ISEPP's action committee, CAMPP, sent an Open Letter to the five major mental health member organizations in Washington, DC, demanding answers about the flawed medical model of mental distress. The letter was signed by over 150 practitioners and academics of the mental health professions.

The letters (and emails) were dispatched July 8, 2022. There has been no reply from any of the organizations.

CAMPP plans to contact several national media outlets about this effort and urge their coverage.

ISEPP Joins In International Effort

ISEPP Joins In International Effort

ISEPP has joined several other international groups calling for the American Psychological Association (APA) to apologize and provide reparations to the victims and families of the U.S. "war on terrorism." The APA and some of its member psychologists were complicit with the military from the early 2000s on, supporting the inhumane torturous treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other black sites. This was a dark stain on APAs reputation, and they have been very reluctant over the years to admit and atone for their involvement in this human rights debacle.

24th Annual 2022 ISEPP Conference – Virtual REGISTER NOW!

24th Annual 2022 ISEPP Conference – Virtual REGISTER NOW!


ISEPP's 24th annual conference will be held October 29-30, 2022 between 12pm and 6pm U.S. Eastern time.

This year's title is: A Paradigm Shift: From Pathologizing to Valuing Emotions.  

Register now!


Watch ISEPP’s 2021 Conference!

Watch ISEPP’s 2021 Conference!

Click here to watch ISEPP's 2021 conference.

The Destructive Propaganda of the Mental Health Industry: 

How Did We Get Here?

Where Are We Going?

Convened: October 9-10, 2021

Dedicated to the life and memory of Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D.

Since the dawn of civilization, the human species has struggled with the "other," the foreign, the different, the unusual, the suffering, the mad, the crazy, the psychotic, and those deemed "less than," sometimes kindly, many times with great cruelty.

Last year's conference addressed the question: "How did we allow biological psychiatry take a strangle hold of the struggles and diversity of humanity?"

The presentations explored how the so-called "medical model" has insinuated itself through privilege and power into virtually all aspects of our culture, from defining what is "normal" to pushing a diseased brain model of all behavior. Our schools, our courts, our healthcare, our every day life have felt the impact of psychiatry's prejudices.


Introduction to the Power Threat Meaning Framework: A Non-Diagnostic Conceptual System - Lucy Johnstone, Ph.D., psychologist

Dr. Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of Users and Abusers of Psychiatry (2nd edition, Routledge, 2000) and co-editor of Formulation in Psychology and Psychotherapy: Making Sense of People’s Problems (2nd edition, Routledge, 2013) and A Straight-Talking Guide to Psychiatric Diagnosis (PCCS Books, 2014), along with a number of other chapters and articles taking a critical perspective on mental health theory and practice.

She is the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate and was the lead author of Good Practice Guidelines on the Use of Psychological Formulation (Division of Clinical Psychology, 2011). She has worked in Adult Mental Health settings for many years, most recently in a service in South Wales. She was lead author, along with Professor Mary Boyle, for the Power Threat Meaning Framework (2018), a Division of Clinical Psychology-funded project to outline a conceptual alternative to psychiatric diagnosis.

Lucy is an experienced conference speaker and lecturer, and currently works as an independent trainer. Her particular interest and expertise is in the use of psychological formulation, in both its individual and team versions, and in promoting trauma-informed practice.

Eugenics and the History of Mental Mis-Treatments: The "Science of Racial Betterment," the Mentally Unfit, and Utopian Promises of Breeding the Super Race - Okasana Yakushko, Ph.D., psychologist

Dr. Yakushko is a licensed psychologist, practicing clinician, and a professor in the Clinical Psychology program at Pacifica Graduate Institute (Carpinteria, CA). Her initial scholarship focused on xenophobia and such global concerns as trafficking and gender violence. Her recent work seeks to examine the impact of historical forms of scientific ideologies, such as the eugenics movement, on past and contemporary discipline/practice of psychology and other mental health fields. In addition, she traces eugenics based sciences/scientism to such contemporary phenomena as "race realism" (dominant in promotion of White supremacy), "evolutionary psychology" (central to justifications in the "manosphere" and related online misogyny groups), and "positive psychology" (highly popularized psychology efforts to promote ahistorical, biologized and social/emotional control-based views of humanity). She is an author of over 60 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. Her recent books include Modern Day Xenophobia (Palgrave, 2018) and Scientific Pollyannaism (Palgrave, 2019). Her upcoming publication entitled "Shameful Sciences!": Eugenics and Its Evolution in American Psychology is scheduled to be released in 2022. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Board Member of APA's Division 39 (Psychoanalysis), and the recipient of the Leadership Award of the Committee on Women in Psychology (APA) in 2021. 

Domination Code and Generational Carry in
Liberation Psychology - David Edward Walker, Ph.D., psychologist

Dr. Walker is a liberation psychologist, writer, and musician who traces his connections to Indian Country through consulting work with the Confederated Tribes & Bands of Yakama Nation in central Washington state as well as via his music and Missouri Cherokee heritage. His series of critiques of the U.S. mental health system’s checkered role with Native Americans for Indian Country Today (ICT) was well received and controversial. His new book, Coyote's Swing: A Memoir & Critique of Mental Hygiene in Native America, is currently pending
publication at Washington State University Press and slated for 2022. ICT praised Dr. Walker's Medicine Valley novels, Tessa’s Dance and Signal Peak, for dealing “with all the issues of tragedy, psychological healing, and cultural and language revitalization. . . necessary in the
wake of centuries of genocidal efforts to destroy our Nations and Peoples.” An established singer-songwriter, Music Hound’s Essential Guide to Folk Music calls David “a singer-songwriter with a special ability to reach listeners” via “rich metaphors, spiritual themes,
moving ballads, and ambitious fingerstyle guitar work.” You can learn more at

Afrikan Origins of the Study of the Psyche: Disrupting Western Corruption of Mental Health - Kevin Washington (Mwata Kairi), Ph.D., psychologist

Dr. Washington is an African-Centered psychologist licensed in Florida and Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Grambling State University as well as Texas A&M University. He has taught/lectured at several colleges nationally and internationally. NBCUniversal/BEN, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Roland Martin, Essence and many other national and international organizations have sought his expertise on psychological matters. He is a Past President of the Association of Black Psychologists and is currently an Associate Professor and Head of the Sociology and Psychology at Grambling State University and he is the National Director of Black Marriage Day. As a Fulbright-Hays scholar Kevin (Mwata) researched the impact of socializing institutions on the healing or restructuring of post-apartheid South Africa (Azania). It was in South Africa where he researched Ubuntu and how it can inform mental health service delivery to people of African ancestry and others. Much of his work focuses on healing the psycho-spiritual wounds that are present within people as a result of Cultural and Historical Trauma.  Mwata continues to develop healing paradigms for persons of African ancestry who have been impacted by Persistent Enslavement Systemic Trauma (PEST). He is the founder of Ubuntu Psychotherapy which is a culturally sensitive modality for mental health counseling and Psychotherapy for Black men and boys as well as Black/African families. He advances culturally-relevant trauma informed care and interventions to be utilized by psychotherapists, that are culturally inclusive and particularized to the healing of Black and brown people. Through his research and writing he seeks to assist people to live life with power, purpose and passion.

Ethical Psychiatry: Not So Easy, The Struggle to Practice Ethical Psychiatry in An Unethical World - What Is Ethical Psychiatry? A Dialogue Between Two ISEPP Psychiatrists - Joe Tarantolo, M.D., psychiatrist; Grace Jackson, M.D., psychiatrist

Dr. Tarantolo is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, group therapist for over 40 years on Capitol Hill. He specializes in helping patients come off psychotropic drugs.

He published  “Primum Nocere, First to Harm, a Critique Of Neuroleptics and Theory Why they Continue to Be Prescribed” and had a cameo appearance in the film, "Thank You For Your Service” concerning the moral damage of war to American combatants.

Dr. Grace Jackson is a board certified psychiatrist who graduated summa cum laude from California Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Bachelor of Science in biology, as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.  She earned her Medical Degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1996 and completed her internship and residency while in the U.S. Navy.

Since transitioning out of the military in the spring of 2002, Dr. Jackson has extensively researched the toxicity of psychiatric medications.  She has lectured widely in the United States and Europe in an effort to educate others about the limitations and dangers of these drugs. 

An author of several peer reviewed articles and chapters, as well as two books (Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs; Drug-Induced Dementia), Dr. Jackson has applied her knowledge in a wide variety of clinical settings.  Currently, Dr. Jackson specializes in emergency room and hospital consultations where she implements a “target organ toxicity” approach to the optimal use of psychiatric medications.  She is a passionate advocate for holistic and comprehensive medical care of consumers/clients/patients within the mental health system.

Panel: The Medicalization of War Trauma: Who Is Served by This Model? - Mary Neal Vieten, Ph.D., ABPP, psychologist, and Warfighter Advance alumni:

MSgt Troy Drasher (USAF, ret)
Aircraft Weapons Specialist, First Sergeant (“Shirt”)

HM1(FMF) Shannon Book (USN, ret)
Fleet Marine Force Corpsman

Sgt Meeka McWilliams (USA, ret)
Automated Logistics Specialist

SPC4 David Rose (USA)
Combat Trauma Medic, Dustoff Medic

LCpl Douglas Gresenz (USMC)
Infantry Assaultman

Jason Lott
Law Enforcement Dispatcher, Volunteer EMT

This panel includes combat veterans who have survived the medicalization of their emotional response to war. They discuss the impact of DSM-5 labels and psychiatric drugs on their reintegration, the difficulties of withdrawal, and the permanent physical injuries the drugs have caused.

Dr. Vieten is a board certified clinical psychologist and U.S. Navy Commander (retired). She served on active duty from 1998 to 2008, with tours at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Roosevelt Roads (Puerto Rico), and Naval Air Station Patuxent River. In 2008, Dr. Vieten transferred to the Select Reserve, where she has held several positions, including the Officer-in-Charge of the Headquarters Detachment, and Regional Detachment Director for New England, Expeditionary Medical Facility, Bethesda. In 2014, she was recalled to active duty and assigned to the staff of the Navy Chief of Chaplains where she trained over 1,000 military chaplains worldwide in pastoral response to operational and military sexual trauma. She has completed two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Dr. Vieten is the Executive Director of Warfighter ADVANCE, which provides intense training programs, such as The ADVANCE 7-Day for active duty and veteran warfighters with operational stress and reintegration issues. It is a non-medical week-long training program that uses a variety of means to change the trajectory of the warfighter’s (active duty or veteran) post-deployment life, so that rather than an existence characterized by an endless cycle of mental illness diagnoses, medications, medical appointments and disappointments, the warfighter has a life characterized by pride, productivity, healthy relationships, continued service, and advocacy for the same outcomes for their fellow service members.

Her civilian practice, Operational Psychology Solutions, serves clients who are military, paramilitary (e.g., police, EMS, contractors), veterans, and civilians who work or have worked in high-risk operational environments. She actively encourages her clients to pursue trauma recovery and resilience outside of the medical model, and proactively educates them on the dangers of psychopharmacology. With this approach, she has been successful in keeping her clients in their occupations, or returning them to a fit-for-duty status, while empowering them to manage residual symptoms and assist their peers.

Dr. Vieten serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry (ISEPP), and on the Board of Directors for Operation Grateful Nation (Massena, NY).

In Memoriam – Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. (1947-2021)

In Memoriam – Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D. (1947-2021)

Our dear friend and colleague, Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D., died on July 21, 2021 at her home in Rockville, Maryland. Paula was a tireless advocate for those who have been harmed by the conventional mental health industry, especially women and veterans. She has touched the lives of countless people and we can still hear the echoes of her forceful message.

It is fitting that we dedicate this conference to her, given that she spoke for those who have been branded as defective with "mental illness" labels. For decades, Paula stood toe-to-toe with the powerful and entrenched orthodoxy. One of her most notable achievements was when she served on the DSM task force in an attempt to ensure its scientific foundation and to remove the long-standing biases against marginalized and minority groups. She eventually resigned from the task force over that orthodoxy's resistance to change. Still, her voice of justice reverberated throughout the mental health professions and the lay public.

In 2019, ISEPP presented Paula with the ISEPP Lifetime Achievement Award. It states:

Dr. Paula J. Caplan has worked for decades as a dissident psychologist who has courageously challenged the false claims of psychiatry. Since the 1980s she has painstakingly exposed the damaging effects of psychiatric diagnoses. She served on the DSM Task Force in an attempt to ensure its scientific foundation, eventually resigning from it in protest when it became clear that committee members were only interested in maintaining the status quo of regulating natural human behavior. She widely published these diagnostic dangers in her book They Say You’re Crazy: How the World’s Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide Who’s Normal, and in the award-winning Off-Off-Broadway play “Call Me Crazy.” She has also spoken out about how women have been harmed by the system’s misogyny and veterans’ screams of war trauma are silenced. Dr. Caplan’s efforts give consumers of mental health services a true understanding of psychiatric diagnoses and treatment, ensuring the principle of informed consent is maintained. Her activism has shown a bright light and brought to public notice the terrible harms suffered by so many who seek help from the traditional mental health system. Dr. Caplan’s many efforts have immeasurably benefited mental health professionals and the consumers of mental health services. The distinctive life and achievements of Dr. Caplan reflect great credit upon herself and makes her more than deserving of this award for lifetime achievement.

Prescripticide Video

Prescripticide Video

CAMPP (ISEPP's action committee) just released "Prescripticide", a new 12-minute video about how psychiatric drugs increase the risk of violence and suicide. Please view this video and share it as widely as possible so it goes viral!