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What Others Say about Dr. Peter Breggin
For many decades, Peter R. Breggin MD has successfully taken on and spoken truth to many of the most powerful pharmaceutical corporations, government agencies and medical societies in the world. He has done this through his scientific work, books, media appearances, public education efforts, and his participation in the legal system as a medical expert against drug companies as well as against leading lobotomists, electroshock doctors, and drug advocates. The many voices of appreciation that reach him daily through telephone messages, emails and social media are testimonial to the millions of people whose lives he has touched in a positive manner.
The following sources of support for Dr. Breggin’s work are divided into four sections:
I. Individual Endorsements of Dr. Breggin’s Professional and Reform Work
II. Endorsers for Dr. Breggin’s 2013 Book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal
III. Advisory Council Members of Dr. Breggin’s Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, who lend their names in support of Dr. Breggin’s organization and lifetime reform work.
IV. The book, The Conscience of Psychiatry: The Reform Work of Peter R. Breggin, MD
I. Individual Endorsements of Dr. Breggin’s Professional and Reform Work
Prozac’s worst enemy… His background is pure establishment: Harvard College, Case Western Reserve Medical School, a teaching fellowship at Harvard Medical School. But early in his career, he became deeply disturbed by the treatment of psychiatric patients, particularly the many long-term residents of mental hospitals who spend their lives in a drugged-out state… He has earned impressive academic credentials, published a string of books and shown up on Today and The Oprah Winfrey Show… In 1971 Breggin declared his rebellion, launching the Center for the Study of Psychiatry in Bethesda, Maryland, as a way to push for reform. … Many patients rave about the doctor. “He’s a wonderful person,” says one satisfied customer. “He cares so much about his clients. He gave me the will to get better.”
Time magazine profile of Dr. Peter Breggin
Dr. Breggin in one of the most amazing, wise and compassionate human beings I have ever known…He is a warrior of course, but at his core he is fueled much more by love, kindness and genuine compassion than anger.
Candace Pert, PhD, PhD, researcher, professor and author Molecules of the Mind
Breggin’s courageous, compassionate writings serve as a much-needed antidote to the genetic determinism and pro-drug bias of modern psychiatry and psychology.
John Horgan, author The End of Science and The Undiscovered Mind
Dr. Peter Breggin is the Conscience of Psychiatry. The truths he tells are important not only for patients and professionals, but also for the general good. … He has made a difference in the fields of psychology, psychiatry and mental health [and] to many patients whose treatment has been less destructive and more helpful.
Bertram Karon, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Michigan State, and APA Psychologist of the Year
Much of today’s psychiatric science is based on wish, myth, and politics. Breggin addresses this self-serving pseudoscience head on.
Loren Mosher, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Former Chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia, the National Institute of Mental Health
Nowhere does the false medical thinking that there is a drug cure for all common diseases do more harm than in the modern psychiatric argument that mental illness is easily diagnosed and then cured by a side effect-free drug. Nowhere is the correct psychiatric thinking more evident than in the books by Peter Breggin.
William Glasser, MD, psychiatrist, internationally known therapist and theorist, and author of Reality Therapy
There is nobody quite like Peter Breggin when it comes to rooting out the lies and misstatements and outright deceptions of psychiatry. Thousands of people have seen the light about psychiatry thanks to his many passionate books on the subject. He has remained a dedicated, absolutely incorruptible critic and thorn in the side of official psychiatry for more than 40 years. But the main thing to say is that Peter Breggin is one of a kind. For all his fierce criticisms of official psychiatry, he remains dedicated to empathy and understanding of the suffering of others, offering his expertise and his very human qualities of warmth and genuine caring-- some might even call it love.
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ph.D. former Director of the Freud Archives, author The Assault on Truth: The Suppression of Freud’s Seduction Theory, Dogs Never Lie about Love, and When Elephants Weep.
Dr. Breggin passionately captures the heart of psychotherapeutic healing. A prolific and provocative writer, his thoughts are powerful, imaginative, inspirational, and wise.
Clemmont Vontress, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Counseling, George Washington University and ACA Counselor of the Year
His work probably has had much more direct impact on the understanding and behavior of practitioners and patients, perhaps more than all the other theorists combined” [comparing Dr. Breggin to R.D. Laing, Thomas Szasz and Erving Goffman]
Thomas J. Scheff, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California-Santa Barbara
Peter Breggin is the leading voice in this country exposing psychiatry’s betrayal of the fundamental essence of what it means to be human.
Eileen Walkenstein, MD, psychiatrist and author of Beyond the Couch and Your Inner Therapist
Breggin has been a brave pioneer in not only pointing out but also meticulously documenting the way that the “Emperor” of traditional mental health treatment is naked. His relentless raising of questions and documentation of false advertising and cover-ups by drug companies and various forms of abuse of patients by a variety of therapists is invaluable and irreplaceable.
Paula J. Caplan, PhD., author of They Say Your Crazy and Visiting Scholar, Pembroke Center, Brown University
I have known Dr. Breggin and have been familiar with his reform efforts in psychiatry since we first worked together on patients’ rights issues in 1971. I was glad to join his distinguished Board of Directors at that time… I have had the opportunity to be reminded of his continuous and highly successful efforts on behalf of some of the nation’s poorest and most vulnerable people, including state mental hospital patients, the institutionalized mentally retarded and those exposed to potentially damaging treatments. … Dr. Breggin is a leader in social reform.
U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes (Dem-Ohio)
I have been on the Board of Directors of the Center for the Study of Psychiatry since 1971 and have remained in touch with Dr. Breggin’s reform efforts ever since. Dr. Breggin is a champion of patient rights and honesty in psychiatry. … He is responsible for many advances ins the field of medicine in the last two decades.
U.S. Senator Steve Symms (Rep-Idaho)
The National Commission on Psychosurgery and Senate hearings on psychosurgery were the direct outcome of Dr. Breggin’s efforts. Psychosurgical operations on patients came to a halt largely as the results of Dr. Breggin’s efforts educating Congress and the public. … I am aware of his ongoing efforts on behalf of the mentally ill, the retarded, prisoners and others who have few enough champions in this society. … It is rare indeed for a psychiatrist to devote himself for so many years to such difficult public issues.
U.S. Congressman Ronald V. Dellums (Dem-California)
II. Endorsers for Dr. Breggin’s 2013 Book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal
Endorsements for Dr. Breggin’s books demonstrate the enormous support for his work. The following statements endorsed Dr. Breggin’s 2013 book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal (2103). They demonstrate not only the value of that book in the eyes of his fellow professionals, but also of his whole body of work:
I don't know anywhere else to get this information, at least not compiled in this easy-to understand way. This book is the culmination of Dr. Breggin's lifetime of work, and it is chock-full of facts, practical recommendations and wisdom from experience working with children and adults. His person-centered approach is a breath of springtime air for those tens of millions of people who have tried “treatment as usual” and not been helped, and wonder what to do now. Daily, people come to my office after having tried pills, more pills, newer pills, different pills, and pill combinations, with no real relief, or things have gotten worse. Now they are on medicines and they can't get off, or they are afraid to try. Those people need answers. Breggin has answers.
Douglas C. Smith, MD, psychiatrist
Former clinic director, Juneau, Alaska
Peter Breggin has written a unique, brilliant, and comprehensive book that every mental health professional should read and “prescribe” to their patients and families! Dr. Breggin is a true pioneer in identifying the dangers of psychiatric drugs, being the first to warn us decades ago that treatment of the mentally ill would devolve to the shameful status it reveals today. Professional and lay populations everywhere have come to recognize that we are a dangerously over-medicated society, urgently in need of a fix, and Dr. Breggin’s new book provides an intelligent way out of this quagmire.
Fred Ernst, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
University of Texas - Pan American
Peter Breggin shows us the wave of the future. The polluting of our mind and souls goes beyond the Gulf Oil spill. Dr. Breggin gives us the vision to see the damage and the tools to start the cleanup.
Timothy D. Evans, PhD, Private Practice Tampa, Florida, and Executive Director, Florida Adlerian Society
In this exceptional, easy-to-read, highly informative and thought provoking book, Dr. Breggin continues to be the conscious of psychiatry and leading expert in the field of psychiatric drug withdrawal. This groundbreaking work will empower patients, their family members and mental health professionals. It is a must have for all those wanting the most accurate, up to date information regarding collaborative, empathetic, effective and safe psychiatric drug withdrawal.
Wendy West Pidkaminy, LCSW-R
Adjunct Professor of Social Work, Syracuse University
Our culture has increasing need of a new language to counteract and clarify the ascendant role of psychotropic medication in our society. Peter Breggin has provided us with that language. In Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal he has created a truly concise and eminently practical guide for evaluating the effects of psychotropic medications and finding ways to withdraw from them. It is a superb summary of the knowledge he has collected over a lifetime. This is invaluable knowledge for those clients of all ages who have ended up addicted to these medications. The guidelines in this book can lead to the recovery of their lives.
Tony Stanton, MD
Adult and Child Psychiatrist
Private Practice, Poulsbo, WA
As people become more empowered and able to inform themselves about the effects of pharmaceuticals, practitioners will be called upon to wean their patients off of damaging medications. This book will provide that guidance. Thank you Dr. Breggin for having the courage to oppose conventional psychiatric thinking and the caring to improve the quality of life for individuals who are ready to experience their own innate healing instead of reaching for a pill to mask the symptoms.
Melanie Sears, RN, MBA
Author, Humanizing Health Care and Choose Your Words
Dr. Peter Breggin has written an invaluable reference for mental health professionals and lay-persons alike who are seeking a way out of dependency on psychiatric drugs. He describes the many dangers of psychiatric medication in straightforward research-based and contextually nuanced terms. In this book, Dr. Breggin systematically outlines how to safely withdraw a patient from psychiatric medication with rich case examples drawn with the detail and sensitivity to individual and situational differences that reveal not only his extensive clinical experience, but his clear, knowledgeable, and compassionate vision of a more humane form of treatment. Dr. Peter Breggin has again demonstrated that he is a model of what psychiatry can and should be. This is an indispensable text for both mental health trainees and experienced practitioners seeking a practical alternative to the dominant drug-centric paradigm.
Gerald Porter, PhD
Vice President for Academic Affairs
School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute
The field of mental health counseling is rooted in principles and practices informed by empathy and client empowerment. Using these core elements of counselor education as guiding principles, Dr. Breggin challenges the status quo of psychiatric practice and provides practitioners with an alternative vision that raises both controversy and consciousness. This book underscores the counselor’s ethical imperative to be informed, critical professionals in regard to psychiatric “evidence-based” treatments. Amidst the swell of public resistance to the growing use of psychotropics, Dr. Breggin’s bold work bolsters the ability of counselors to contribute to the professional discourse that surrounds the complex decisions clients make concerning their journey toward healing and wellness.
Kathryn Douthit, PhD, LMHC
Dr. Breggin has created an invaluable resource for both treatment providers and treatment recipients. His authoritative knowledge of these issues creates a position of confidence for clinicians, while empowering those individuals and families receiving care. This important contribution to the field will create a powerful ripple-effect, aimed at ultimately improving the treatment outcomes for those in need of compassionate and effective treatment.
Robert Foltz, PsyD
Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology
Chicago School of Professional Psychology
A pill is a poor substitute for human connectivity and compassion, and Dr. Breggin’s new book is the first step toward understanding the insidious nature of foregoing the call to comfort one another during times of hardship. Some sufferings cannot be fixed with a magic wand, or magic mantra, or magic pill. I urge everyone to read this book, slowly and mindfully. There is, perhaps, no more important message for those who wish to help heal and those who desperately seek such healing.
Because a pill is a poor substitute for human connectivity and compassion, this book provides insight and guidance to empower therapists who are willing to play a much greater role in helping their patients make decisions about taking, and not taking, psychiatric drugs, without fear they have to enforce "medication compliance."
Joanne Cacciatore, PhD, LMSW, FT
Bereavement Trauma Specialist
Assistant Professor, Arizona State University
Clinical Director and Founder, MISS Foundation
This is a warning. Your psychiatric medicines are dangerous. Further, withdrawal from the medications can trigger horrendous consequences, additional psychiatric symptoms, and even death. In Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients & their Families, Dr. Peter Breggin addresses very important issues regarding the use of psychiatric medicines, and the termination of these medications. Counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychotherapists will find Dr. Breggin’s material helpful for understanding the adverse drug effects, feeling empowered in helping adult patients and the parents of child patients make decisions about medications, for monitoring their patient’s drug experience, and in assisting families concerning the issues of patient withdrawal from medications.
Douglas W. Bower, RN, LPC, PhD
Dr. Breggin provides a novel and comprehensive blueprint for prescribing doctors, therapists and patients to join in a collaborative effort to stop taking psychiatric medications. It is a book that patients, therapists and physicians will all want to read.
Stuart Shipko, MD. Psychiatrist in Private Practice
This is such an important book. Describing the problem of withdrawal from psychiatric drugs in detail, and providing clear advice regarding how to deal with this problem as Peter has done so well in this book, is long overdue. For decades, the belief system that is mainstream psychiatry has denied the existence of withdrawal problems from the substances they prescribe so widely. In reality, withdrawal problems with psychiatric drugs is a common occurrence. Because of psychiatry's reckless denial of this real and common problem, millions of people worldwide have not had the support and care they desperately need when attempting to come off psychiatric drugs, often been erroneously advised that these problems are confirmation of the existence of their supposed original so-called 'psychiatric illness.' Dr. Breggin's book is therefore both timely and necessary.
Terry Lynch, MD, physician and psychotherapist, Limerick, Ireland; author of Beyond Prozac: Healing Mental Suffering Without Drugs and Selfhood: A Key to the Recovering of Emotional Well Being, Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental Health Problems
As a physician who specializes in addiction medicine and drug withdrawal and written widely on them, I recommend Dr. Breggin's book to every health professional who deals with anyone taking psychiatric drugs. He gives highly useful information and reasons for stopping or avoiding them. It’s an excellent one-stop source of information about psychiatric drug effects and withdrawal. Prescribers, therapists, patients and families will benefit from this guidebook.
Charles L. Whitfield MD
Best-selling author of Healing the Child Within, and recently Not Crazy and Wisdom to the Know the Difference
This is a needed book. Thoughtful clinicians, including psychiatrists, other prescribing physicians, clinical psychologists, social workers, and other therapists, frequently think their patients should be withdrawn from psychiatric medication, but they are not sure. In addition, they do not know the best way to help the patient to safely withdraw from psychiatric medication. … Peter Breggin has more experience in safely withdrawing psychiatric patients from medication than any other psychiatrist. In this book he shares his lifetime of experience. All of our patients deserve the benefit of our obtaining that knowledge.
Bertram Karon, PhD
Professor of Psychology, Michigan State University
Author, The Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia
Former President of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association
In his new book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and their Families, Dr. Breggin takes on a subject and practice that draws both anxiety and hope from all parties: withdrawing from psychiatric medication with the goal of avoid medication-induced chronic brain impairment. His person-centered principles of respect, concern, empowerment of individual choice, providing as much comfort as possible during withdrawal, encouraging a supportive environment, and careful attunement to clinical monitoring, provide the necessary conditions for the journey of withdrawal to be an experience of personal transformation. At the same time, Dr. Breggin’s lifelong career in this field mitigates against a naïve and Pollyannaish romanticism of this process. He explicitly, and regularly, addresses the dangerousness of sudden and unsupervised withdrawal, and instead, encourages a collaborative approach centered on the utmost respect for a patient’s choice and pace in this journey, while very sensitively discerning and weighting the damage that could be done without withdrawal in relation to the discomfort of the withdrawal. Dr. Breggin equalizes the authority of all parties in this process, thus dethroning the dictatorship of the prescriber, but not excluding him or her.
I have been waiting for a text like this one to recommend to numerous families that come to me distressed and vulnerable to authoritative voices that box them into the false dilemma of either taking medications that have severe side-effects for themselves or for their children, or being tagged as medically noncompliant and/or neglectful. Dr. Breggin should wear a large “B” on his chest and a cape as this text is a crime fighting text that will certainly contribute to expanding options for countless individuals seeking liberation from chemically induced violence.
What is also very important here is that Dr. Breggin’s person-centered approach is not a militant enforcer of withdraw, which would merely adjust chairs on the same sinking ship. On the contrary, he emphasizes that attunement to the patient means encouraging autonomy, responsibility, decision-making, and pacing are vital to a successful experiences of withdrawal, a stance quite different than what has typically been the case to date. Again, this isn’t an argument of polarization of patients against prescribers, but an invitation to a collaboration of shared power in mutual dialogue about how to handle suffering in life.
Dr. Breggin notes that “The best way to avoid psychiatric drugs is to forge ahead with creating a wonderful life.” We do this through the power of intimacy and love, which can alter more than brain chemistry; it can alter how we are with each other in the world in more communal ways, thus nullifying the need for medications to orchestrate our lives. In Dr. Breggin’s book, the possibility of liberation has come.
Todd DuBose, PhD
Associate Professor, Chicago School of Professional Psychology
III. Advisory Council Members of Dr. Breggin’s Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy
In 2010 Dr. Breggin and his wife Ginger created the nonprofit (501c3) Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy. Professionals and reformers join the Advisory Council to lend support to Dr. Breggin’s work. Some of these names also appear above as endorsers.
The detailed credentials of the following Advisory Council members can be found on www.empathictherapy.org:
Advisory Council Members
Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW ~ Psychotherapy
Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD ~ Neurology
Bart Billings, PhD ~ Psychology
Doug Bower, PhD ~ Counseling & Clergy
Pat Bracken, MD ~ Psychiatry
Bonnie Burstow, PhD ~ Psychotherapy
Joanne Cacciatore, PhD ~ Bereavement Trauma Specialist
Dorothy Cassidy, MEd ~ Special Education
Ted Chabasinski, J.D. ~ Patients' Rights Attorney
Tony Coates, MBChB MNZAP ~Psychiatry
Ty C. Colbert, PhD ~ Psychology
Michael Cornwall, PhD ~ Psychology
Carolyn Crowder, PhD ~ Psychology
Thomas P Cushman, PhD ~ Counseling & Education
Nadine De Santo, EdS ~ School Psychology
Anthony DiGiovanni, MD ~ Psychiatry
Mathy Downing ~ Drug Safety Advocate
Kathryn Douthit, PhD ~ Counseling and Human Development
M.N.G (Graham) Dukes, M.D. ~ Medical Ethics and the Law
Timothy D Evans, PhD ~ Psychology
Alberto Fergusson, MD ~ Psychiatry
Robert K Ferrie, MD ~ General Practitioner & Psychotherapist
Robert Foltz, PsyD ~ Psychology
Mark Foster, DO ~ Family Medicine physician
Thomas Garcia, LMHC ~ Addiction Counseling
Pamela Glasner ~ Author
Howard Glasser, MA ~ Psychotherapy & Education
William Glasser, MD ~ Psychiatry
Robert J Grimm, MD ~ Neurology
Miles Groth, PhD ~ Psychoanalysis and Existential Analysis
Ross Halpern, PhD ~ Psychology & Chronic Pain Specialist
Walter E. Jacobson, MD ~ Psychiatry
Adrianne Johnson, PhD ~ Counseling & Education
Bob Johnson, MD ~ Psychiatry
Daniel Johnson, MD ~ Psychiatry
Lucy Johnstone PhD ~ Psychology
Bertram Karon, PhD ~ Psychology
Jennifer L Kinzie, MS, LMHC~ Counseling
Stanley Krippner, PhD ~ Psychology
Brenda A. LeFrançois, PhD ~ Psychology
Terry Lynch, MD ~ Psychotherapy & General Practice
Mary Maddock ~ Advocate & Psychiatric Survivor
Joanna Moncrieff, MD ~ Psychiatry
Jodi Weinstein Mullen, PhD ~ Counselor & Educator
Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD ~ Psychology
Bob Nikkel, MSW ~ Counseling Administrator
Donna Pierre, MD ~ Family Doctor
Brian J Pidkaminy, MA, MBA ~ Military Chaplain
Wendy West Pidkaminy, LCSW ~ Social Work
Mark D. Popper, PhD ~ Psychology
Gerald Porter, PhD ~ Counseling & Education
Dee Ray, PhD ~ Counseling and Education
Elizabeth Root, MSW ~ Social Work
Gayle S. Rozantine, PhD ~ Psychology
Olga Runciman, BSc, RN ~ Psychiatric Nurse
Jay Salwen, MD ~ Radiology
Melanie Sears, RN MBA ~ Psychiatric Nursing
Michael Shaw, MD ~ Obstetrics & Gynecology
Stuart Shipko, MD ~ Psychiatry
Rebecca Shipman Hurst, MA ~ Human Services
Douglas Smith, MD ~ Psychiatry
John A. Snyder,EdD., Psychologist ~ Insight Oriented Psychotherapy and Supervision
Tony Stanton, MD ~ Psychiatry
Jeanne M. Stolzer, PhD ~ Child Development and Family Studies
Barbara F. Streets, PhD, LP ~ Counseling
Grace Karen Sweet ~ Advocate
Hemant Thakur, MD ~ Psychiatry
Philip Thomas, MD ~ Psychiatry
Michael Guy Thompson, PhD ~ Psychoanalyst
Sami Timimi MD ~ Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Tom and Diane Vande Burgt ~ Advocates for Military and Veterans
Dr. Cheryl van Daalen-Smith RN PhD ~ Critical Feminist Nurse & Professor
Frank van Meerendonk ~ Consumer Activist
Clemmont E. Vontress, PhD ~ Counseling
Orly Wahba, MA ~ Educator
Don Weitz ~ social justice activist and psychiatric survivor
Piet Westdijk, MD ~ Psychiatry
Robert E. Wubbolding, EdD ~ psychologist, counselor
Barbara Harris Whitfield, RRT CMT ~ Author
Charles L Whitfield, MD ~ Addiction
[for the most up-to-date list go to www.empathictherapy.org]
IV. The Conscience of Psychiatry
The book called The Conscience of Psychiatry is an exciting journey through Dr. Breggin’s reform work. Media reports and testimonials dating back to the 1950s documented how as a college student he led the Harvard-Radcliffe Mental Hospital College Volunteer Program, when his reform work was covered newspapers and the Saturday Evening Post. The Conscience of Psychiatry documents his many successful scientific and educational campaigns. These include his successful international effort to stop the return of lobotomy and psychosurgery in the 1970s; his work with his wife Ginger to stop the racist and eugenic federal program aimed at inner city children called the Youth Violence Preventive Initiative; and his continuing efforts to tell the truth about the dangers of psychiatric drugs and shock treatment. He continues to focus on stopping the infliction of psychiatric drugs on helpless children, soldiers and veterans, nursing home inmates, and the elderly.