Archive for January 2012

Gaslighting (for real)

January 13, 2012

Police and MHS run to Protect Him from the Truth

She called it ‘gaslighting‘ because she’d seen a film called ‘Gaslight’, starring Ingrid Bergman and some actor whose name she could never recall. There was a later remake, but she could never recall the names of the actors in that, nor recall seeing it. She’d heard there was going to be a new one, round the ‘new millenium’, yet she never saw follow up publicity so she assumed it hadn’t been successful.

She could never get the hang of the middle ground of anything. In fact, by 1999 she was pretty much allergic to it. Her husband, now ex-husband, had occupied the middle ground. He had hidden in the midst of ‘respectability’ status, middle class, middle income, middle sized house, middle sized fate, middle range height, middle range dick, middle range body, middle range age, middle range mind, – or was it, really, a middle range mind? She considered him a genius of disguise, or disappearing behind a fog of bullshit and lies.. Was that, really ‘middle minded thinking’?

She hoped it wasn’t.

In 1997, 8, 9, 2000, she told him “I’ll keep smoking while you keep creating smoke. Smoking cigarettes is much healthier for the lungs than your breath restricting fog of smoke.”

She holds to that still. She stopped smoking for just over 3 months last year (August 9th – December 13th) because she began to suspect he’d finally lost his power over her life, lost the power to keep her enslaved to stigma, discrimination, socially isolated, impoverished, unloved…

When all four of her tyres were slashed outside her house overnight in late October she was distressed and upset. But a couple from a kitchen/bathroom furniture shop she waited in the following morning, while her tyres werre being replaced, were the very essence of kindness to her; her best friend arrived the next day with a huge bouquet of flowers a great big hug and a lot of love; the man she was in love with found out on the following Tuesday and came straight round, bought her a take-away, spent the evening with her, and the following Tuesday transformed a part of her property so that everyone who visited remarked on it for months afterwards, even the little 7 year old who brought her mother.

So in fact she really thought the tide had turned.

When, some weeks later, 2 of her friends tyres were slashed; when they fell out over the issue of stigma and discrimination, such that she actually doubted his love for her, a love that had never was, and has never been, in question, so that she hurt him very badly; when the man she was in love with sank under paranoid texts she had sent him when living in terror of a return of the ‘old days’ of lovelessness, friendlessness, companionless, support-less-ness, kind-lessness, protection-less-ness –

And the man she was in love with simply stopped getting in touch, unless she got in touch with him for a practical need, and even then he was less than enthusiastic. By Christmas Eve, when she saw him, there was reserve in his manner; by Christmas Day, she found out why – he’d “found another girl” and thus “could never get in a relationship” with her. Rich – she discovered in that single clause that she had both already been in (‘another girl’) and had never been, would never be, (‘never’) in a relationship with him. Well, since he’d never touched her, had never told her he wanted to, had never told her he liked the look of her, had never told her anything… Talk about distressed confusion…

She took up the cigarettes again immediately and smoked as much as possible. How do you fight the smoke of malice with the smoke of cigarettes? Who knows!

– NB not the malice of the man she’d been in love with obviously – he didn’t have a malicious bone in his entire body: We speak, obviously, in relation to the vindictive violence inherent in the body of this husband/ex-husband who cloaked himself in anonymity as the man who was ‘too good for his own good’ whilst projecting onto his errant wife/ex wife the status of ‘bad – mad witch from hell’ cum ‘pathetic nutter bag lady’.

But this woman did. Perhaps it gave her ‘dutch courage’ just as whisky, beer, cocaine, foundation cream and sexy, seductive girls wear, give it to others.

reminded me of a poem she wrote in about 1994: it will be blogged on, tomorrow.

Mental Health Context: Mother & Daughter Exchange

January 11, 2012

Child Dives From Mother's Protection

Background to the story:

Daughter is 20 years old, at university. Mother is single, on an income, after tax, of £8,400, and works in the arena of mental health awareness and arts. Daughter is one of two, the other two years older. Each daughter entered adolescance with a vengeance at the age of 13.

The older daughter appears to have moved into adulthood over the last couple of years and only the arrogance and disrespect of youth create mother daughter tension nowadays.

The younger daughter remains very very angry and distressed in relation to her mother and vis a vis what she, quite understandably, sees as a disrupted, substantially deprived and distressing childhood.

The mother is keenly aware of these factors in her children’s young lives and has long mourned her powerlessness to prevent and compensate for their suffering. Her marriage was devastating in its destructiveness and ended in mental health diagnosis and imprisonment for over 12 months over 13 years.

Her ‘illness’ had involved no violence or law breaking on her part, though on two occasions it had included half hearted efforts to end her own life.

It had, though, included assault and gross sexual indecency and violence on the part of her husband and what appeared to be, though was not provably, 3 attempts to murder her, by the husband. No one was aware of any of these things because what understanding a couple of police had begun to unravel was erased by a local sergeant and transformed into the ‘case of the mad woman’.  This had completely disempowered the woman, since henceforth she had found herself ordered by mental health services dictat to deny the truth and to assert her own madness as responsible for everything. She was stripped of her career, assigned ‘madness status’ and held, effectively in solitary confinement under loose ‘house arrest’. It was made clear to her that if she asserted a story that implicated her ex husband in any unflattering story she would be taken back into custody and held in an institution for the  mentally ill until she agreed once more to play the part of a mad woman.

Which was quite mad making.

She had spent 6 years in almost complete solitude other than her children who she feared infecting with her ‘bad/madness’, and in a state of comatose depression she cared for them ‘immaculately’ – doing all those things for them that she was able to do and none of those things in addition that they craved and needed, like being happy, like being light hearted, like bringing joy into their little lives. She tried to but of course it was all too evident that it took effort, that it didn’t come from the heart. The only thing that came from her heart was overwhelming love from her children. They felt that love as smaller children. At thirteen they just saw how appallingly she had failed them.

She couldn’t disagree, so she took the blows uncomplainingly, the punches, the kicks, the screams, the swear words, the accusations, the judgements…

Until she could take no more. Until friendship had begun to float towards her once more. Until the love of caring friends woke her from her coma. Until she began to see that this kind of masochism wasn’t ever going to help her beloved children.

And then she made a break. Then she started to stand up. Then she began, once more to stand tall. Then she began to grow.

Tomorrow I will be transcribing a flow of exchanges between the younger daughter and the mother. I will be inviting visitors to suggest constructive criticism and innovative ideas for the mother to assist the daughter to feel happier and more secure and more at peace with her life, herself and her mother. That way we really will begin to place the adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ into a context of practice.

Thank you so much for your interest.

Narrative Practitioner, Expert by Experience Perspective

January 5, 2012

I wanted to create a third blog to encompass an opportunity to share commentaries in relation to reading the two blogs ‘Beneath the Throne’ (talkheals) and ‘Silencelol’ (gracelol).

They will begin to fall together best by reading both.

They may read better from the bottom up, ie from october to January onwards, rather than from the most recent back. Each reading provides a trail of cues and clues to more than one tale.

There is a range of focii and a range of emotive states expressed and described/referred to within the texts. The Silencelol is the blog to visit for expressive and narrative dynamic. The Talkheals/beneath the throne blog is the one to visit in order to acquire an ‘overview’ of the context within which the blog ‘silencelol’ plays out its more localised unfolding contents.

The reader is left to hazaard a guess as to whether the entire blog/s, from start to finish (not that the finish is in sight at the moment) is/are subtending from a previously prepared script and narrative and being released, knowingly, bit by bit, either in order, or out of order..

If out of order, the blog readers will at some point be invited to place the entries into a coherent and satisfying order to produce a complex and rich tapestry of text, with beginning, middle and end.

The blog visitors are invited to collaborate in the text by contributions of action or word, in direct relation and contribution to the blogs or outside of it in such a manner that it later gets woven into the story in a determining fashion, ie shifts outcomes, adds in surprises, provides ‘highs’ as well as ‘lows’ and so forth.

This is a Pollock Painting or a Sistine Chapel Painting of meaning, not a Hard Times by Dickens, or War and Peace by Tolstoy. To appreciate the art of it you will have to treat it as that, look all over the canvas and start to tie together the landscape in your mind.

I hope you enjoy it 🙂



Quote, Unquote, from Guardian: Psychiatric Therapies

January 5, 2012



More than one in ten Americans takes Prozac; the US comprises 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes two thirds of psychological medications. Photograph: Stone/Jonathan Nourok/Getty

The New York Times recently led with a front-page splash about psychiatry’s propensity to prescribe pills, “Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy”. That news is already widely known in the mental health field, but it has vast ramifications for Americans trying to maintain their sanity in our market-driven and medical system for delivering mental healthcare.

What does the turn to drug therapy mean for the mass of Americans?

Mental illness has not decreased with the change from talk therapy to drugs. In fact, as Robert Whitaker’s book diagnoses, mental illness in America has become an established epidemic. So-called miracle drugs like Prozac are taken by 11% of the population – and Prozac is only one of the 30 available antidepressants on the market. Antidepressants are accompanied by anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic drugs. Xanax, America’s leading anti-anxiety medication, is so ubiquitous that Xanax generates more revenue than Tide detergent, reports Charles Barber in his Comfortably Numb.

Anti-psychotics drugs alone net the pharmaceutical industry at least $14.6bn dollars a year. Psycho-pharmaceuticals are the most profitable sector of the industry, which makes it one of the most profitable business sectors in the world. Americans are less than 5% of the world’s population, yet they consume 66% of the world’s psychological medications.

Do these psycho pharmaceuticals work to restore mental health? Actually, the evidence is overwhelming that they fail. Antidepressants, the most popular psycho-pharmaceuticals, work no better than placebos. They work 25% of the time and stop working when the user stops taking them. In addition, they may actually harm patients in the long run. They disrupt brain neurotransmitters and may usurp the brain’s organic soothing functions.

Psycho-pharmaceuticals are less effective in the long run than talk therapy. Talk therapy, like drugs, does change brain and body chemistry; unlike drugs, though, talk therapy has no side-effects. Instead, talk therapy gives a patient tools that usually help to solve future problems. The latest research is most clearly expressed in both Irving Kirsch’s Antidepressants: The Emperors New Drugs and Gary Greenberg’s, Manufacturing Depression, both published last year. Kirsch is one of the world’s leading psychiatrists; Greenberg is one of the world’s most prestigious psychologists. Their views are echoed by many voices in the field of mental health. Why is prestigious and extensive research so widely ignored by doctors and patients alike? Our market-driven healthcare system gives us clues.

All 30 of the available antidepressants have suffered lawsuits within five years of their appearance on the market. These suits are often settled with large payments and gag clauses. The new generation of anti-psychotics are the latest case in point. Anti-psychotics were the single biggest targets of the False Claims Act. Every major company selling anti-psychotics – Bristol Meyers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca – has either settled investigations for healthcare fraud or is currently being investigated for it. Two recent settlements involving charges of illegal marketing set records for the largest criminal fines ever imposed on corporations. Their corporate logic is expressed in the words of Dr Jerome Avorn, a medical professor and researcher at Harvard: “When you are selling a billion a year or more of a drug, it’s very tempting for a company to just ignore the traffic ticket and keep speeding.”

There is also the widespread practice of paying physicians and psychiatrists heavy subsidies to recommend psycho-pharmaceuticals to their colleagues in small meetings at which a drug company representative is present. If doubt or criticism of the discussed drug is expressed, the doctor’s stipend stops. Another legally acceptable tool is to publish praise of a company’s drug in a scholarly article, which is often written by drug company personnel and simply tweaked by the physician whose name appears on the article. The physician is paid handsomely for such a service.

Under the pressure of legal settlements and embarrassing disclosures, eight pharmaceutical companies began posting doctors’ names and compensation on the web. ProPublica compiled these disclosures, totaling $320m, into a single database that allows patients to search for their doctor. Receiving payments for publishing articles written by drug companies is not illegal.

Two doctors, Dr Joseph Biederman and Dr Timothy Wilens of Harvard University Medical School, illustrate the close and cozy relationship between medical “scholarship” and drug companies. Drs Biederman and Wilens netted $1.6m each from drug companies for their work in recommending powerful anti-psychotic drugs for children. Biederman, Wilens and other extremely well-rewarded child psychiatrists are in part responsible for giving children the diagnosis of paediatric bipolar disorder for which anti-psychotic drugs like Risperidal and Zyprexa are used.

Experts agree that there is no long-term improvement in children’s lives from taking anti-psychotic drugs. In fact, these drugs have a substantiated pattern of metabolic problems and rapid weight gain that often leads to diabetes. The use of bipolar diagnoses and bipolar medications is one small example of how market-driven mental healthcare works in the United States. It illustrates the transformation of US healthcare into a system dominated by some of the richest corporations in the world.

Caring about profit is first, and that is why psychiatry has turned to drug therapy.

Good Candidate?

January 4, 2012

Guidance for applicants

  1. The application form is designed to ensure the recruitment panel has the appropriate information to assess each candidate fully and fairly.
  1. We will write to you within 7 days of the advertised closing date to inform you if you have been shortlisted for interview.
  1. Decisions are made on the basis of the person specification for the post (contained in the job description).  When completing the form you should attempt to give clear, concise information, which demonstrates your experience and skills in each area detailed in the person specification.
  1. Curricula Vitae will not be considered.
  1. Your cooperation in completing the Equal Opportunities form would be appreciated, as the feedback we receive will assist us in monitoring and implementing our Equal Opportunities Policy.  All information will be strictly confidential.  The form will be detached from your application to ensure anonymity and will not be seen by the selection panel.  Your application will not be affected if you choose not to complete part or all of this form.
  1. Shortlisted candidates will be expected to attend a test centre and interviews.
  1. We will take up references only when we make a conditional offer to the successful candidate. Please tell us if you wish us to check with you before we contact your referees.  Both references should be work-related and include your current or most recent employer (or equivalent).
  1. We will treat this form in the strictest confidence. Only our administrator and members of the recruitment panel will see it.
  1. Successful candidates will need to declare any spent or unspent convictions. A CRB check will be necessary following recruitment.
  1. If you have difficulties in completing this form please contact us.
  1. Candidates who consider that they have not been fairly treated should write to:

Chief executive- Revolving Doors Agency, Units 28 & 29, The Turnmill, 63 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5NP within 14 days of the closing date or 7 days after interview.

Application for employment

Please type in black



Director of Service User   Involvement




First   Name: Janie Surname:   Greville

199   Easemore Road, Redditch, Worcs., B98 8HF


Telephone   Numbers: Daytime:   07828777647 Mobile:01527456612



Employer   name and address:


Worcestershire   County Council; Mental Health Trust, ‘Big Recovery’ Reformation
Job   title: Expert   by Experience Consultant
Dates   of employment: From   November 2010
Brief   details of responsibilities:


Chairing   Culture and Strategy Group, member of the ‘Overarching Steering Committee’   for the Big Recovery Project; sitting on the joint commissioners board as an   expert by experience rep, etc etc
Reason   for leaving and period of notice required: No   reason to leave yet, notice of leaving not applicable since all the work, as   entirely typical of Worcestershire County is based on expert by experience   perspective is rewarded by biscuits coffee and travel expenses. Oh – and a   smile and a thank you and taking notice of what I say. So the reward is being   listened to. I can’t eat that.



Dates Institution   name and address Course   details and qualification obtained


Victoria   School for Girls

Trent   Polytechnic

University   of Leeds

Middlesex   Polytechnic

NEW   College, Bromsgrove

New   College Redditch

New   College, Redditch & Orchard Place Day Services for the mentally   distressed.

University   of Birmingham/Mind

Worcestershire   Mental Health Trust/Mental Health Action Group


7   O levels, 2 A levels

BA   (Hons) Fine Art

MA   in the Social History of Art

PGCE   in Art & Design Education

Counselling   Skills, Level One, Active Listening Skills

C&G   award in Adult  Teaching and Learning   skills.

Computer   skills – CLAIT

‘Train   the Trainers’ : Expert by Experience training for training others in mental   health awareness whilst protecting the self.

Mental   Health First Aid course

Do   you have any relevant professional qualifications (including membership of   any professional bodies)?  If so,   please give details:

I   have ample relevant experience. I am a professional speaker and writer, I am   an experienced organiser, my training furnishes me with an ample   comprehension of marketing strategies. I am Director for the group   MissionMiraculus which ran an excellent anti stigma campaign in 2010. A video   of an interview with me, filmed by flexible films, is available on YouTube. I   have suffered the revolving door syndrome in many ways, though not in the   criminal arena, at least, I have never committed an illegal act. However, I   have experienced the behaviour of one who has and I have compassion for it.   In relation to revolving door homelessness and imprisonment within the   forensic sector I have ample experience at second hand, let alone 3rd   hand to compensate for my shortcomings of experience and I am easily able to   adapt my imagination to encompass this area.





CAREER HISTORY – Please provide details of your previous employment, both paid and voluntary starting with the most recent.


Dates Organisation   name & location Job   title and brief details of responsibilities. Please give reason for leaving.
2 years

overlapping teacher of art


Open   University

Teacher   of Art, West Midlands.

Expert   By Experience Critic and Contributor to Reform.

Director   of MissionMiraculus to bring this about (concept formed in 2000, realisation   of group feb 2009, move to public identity August 2009),

Reform   EbyE consultancy in Worcestershire from 2010

EbyE   education work at Birmingham University, 2008-2012


Lecturer.   I left because of a move elsewhere and because it didn’t suit my disposition   at the time.

I   taught in a variety of schools across this 16 year period. After my first   appointment I found that I preferred Supply Teaching. Because I was more able   than could be appreciated in a tenured role, I found that I was accused of   arrogance in my first post, despite the deputy head acknowledging my   capacities were well beyond those of the head of faculty. At this time that   was the problem – I was in my twenties and a youngster on probation. Yet I   had the vision and the instincts of a leader.

By   moving to supply teacher status I was afforded much greater autonomy. Staff   knew that I either went my way or just – went. Once I began they fully   appreciated what I contributed, as did the children, and I was never ever out   of work. I never had to call anyone, I was the first port of call for every   good school in the town of Redditch, and highly valued by staff and children in   a school in Bromsgrove, one of whom has kept in touch with me ever since I   left (and she left, for university) – that was 19 years ago. I regard this as   the greatest testimony to my teaching and my personhood that I could ever   wish for. Particularly in view of later developments in my life.



Please   use this section to tell us why you are applying for this post and how you   meet each of the criteria in the person specification using examples from   your paid and voluntary work. You should address each item of the person   specification in turn. The competencies will be tested at the interview stage   but you may like to refer to these in your answer too.
Please continue on up to one additional separate   sheet if necessary



Please   give the names and addresses of two referees, one of whom should be your   present or most recent employer or supervisor.
Name: Name:
Address: Address:


Telephone   No: Telephone   No:
Email   address: Email   address:
Position: Position:
Would   you prefer us to check with you first before contacting your referees? ¨  Yes       ¨  No



The   information in this section will not be used to shortlist candidates for   interview.  We may wish to discuss this   information with you in confidence at interview.
Do   you have a health problem or disability which is relevant to your   application?  If yes, please provide   details below:


¨  Yes       ¨  No
Is   there any specific support or arrangements you would need in order to do this   job?   ¨  Yes       ¨  No
Are   you registered disabled?   ¨  Yes       ¨  No
Do   you require a permit to work in the UK?   ¨  Yes       ¨  No
Have   you ever been convicted of a criminal offence?   ¨  Yes       ¨  No



I   confirm that to the best of my knowledge the information given on this form   is true and correct. (Please type name if sending electronically, or sign   paper copy).






Revolving Doors Agency recognises that people who experience mental health problems, homelessness, or who are in trouble with the law may face prejudice and unfair discrimination.  Like other people, they may also face discrimination on the basis of their race, gender, sexuality, disability or other factors. We believe that it is an important part of our responsibilities to do all we can to identify and eliminate prejudice and unfair discrimination against people who we seek to serve.


Revolving Doors Agency resolves that it will:


  • Seek to understand and make explicit the ways in which prejudice affects its client group.
  • Adopt and monitor working and recruitment practices that challenge and seek to eliminate such prejudice.
  • Seek to persuade others with whom we work to act likewise.


The feedback we receive from this form will assist us in monitoring and implementing our Equal Opportunities Policy.  All information will be strictly confidential.  This part of the form will be detached from your application to ensure anonymity and will not be seen by the selection panel.  Your application will not be affected if you choose not to complete part or all of this form.

1.  Post applied for:             

  1. 2.   How did you hear about this post?    

¨ The Guardian website       ¨  Guardian newspaper        ¨ Other (please specify)…………

3.  Gender:                                         ¨ Female        ¨ Male           ¨ Transgendered

4.  In which year were you born?                ……………….

6.  Do you have any dependent children?             ¨ Yes              ¨ No

7.  Do you have a disability?                                                ¨ Yes              ¨ No

8. To which of these groups do you consider you belong? (tick one box only)

The classifications below correspond to those recommended by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

    A.  White

    ¨   British ¨   Irish ¨   Any other White background

    B.  Mixed

    ¨  White & Black


¨   White & Black


¨   White & Asian ¨   Any other Mixed background

    C.  Asian or Asian British

    ¨  Indian ¨   Pakistani ¨   Bangladeshi ¨   Any other Asian background within C

    D. Black or Black British

    ¨  Caribbean ¨   African ¨   Any other Black background within D

    E.  Other ethnic groups

    ¨  Chinese

¨   Any other ethnic group ¨   Not known

Please email your completed application to:


Or post it to:

Human Resources

Revolving Doors Agency

Units 28 & 29, The Turnmill

63 Clerkenwell Road

London EC1M 5NP

Of Course, Talk doesn’t always heal…

January 2, 2012

It can be used as a weapon too. As can silence/absence. It is why children are sent to the naughty chair, it’s why murderers are sent to solitary confinement instead of hanging with them: physical pain lasts but a moment, enforced and unwanted solitude kills in a very slow, very torturous way.

Then again, talking in ways that undermine or annihalate the identity of the other, continual criticism, for example, laughter when the other didn’t indicate they were joking, and isn’t amused, instructions always to serve never to be served, always be a paragon of virtue, hide in the shade so the other/s can collect the credit for that…

…this is dangerous talk indeed. If it starts, for example, at the age of two, it gets positively murderous.

You have to have the agility of a kangaroo, the versatility of a chameleon, the mind of a detective and fugitive, the strength of a giant, the confidence of a lion, the wisdom to see when it’s safe and when it’s dangerous to reveal this true self – that’s a learning, and sometimes it can take 14/2 years to truly learn the arts of survival until it’s a beautiful art.

Welcome to 2012. Janie Greville begins a project called ‘Getting to Know Me: Here I Come!’ The subtitle will be ‘Repute in relation to Truth – A Response’.

Watch out for it, it’s all about how talk heals. Truthful talk that is.

So, I’m not worth listening to then..

January 1, 2012

…I’ll keep on going, I’ll keep on going til I find the right ones. Never mind the crappy weather, I can see a bright horizon, never mind my snarling dragon, I’m back on the life drive happy waggon, it’s foggy right here and I can’t see a thing but I know it’ll clear if I just ride on…I’ll see you on the other side:

Be there..

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