Why and How to Withdraw From Psychiatric Drugs

Course Catalog

Research does not support the idea that “chemical imbalances in the brain” are the cause of mental illness. Yet today, 25% of Americans, including millions of children, are taking psychiatric drugs for conditions ranging from ADHD to schizophrenia. Research shows that psychiatric drugs are not effective (barely better than placebo). Instead, the drugs have significant side effects that are often disabling and sometimes life-threatening. Furthermore, the drugs do not address the underlying causes of the individual’s suffering and impairment such as childhood or adult losses and trauma, emotional conflicts in the family, poor self-discipline, difficulties focusing and persisting, real life crises, and self-defeating attitudes.

The majority of today’s practicing psychiatrists are trained to prescribe drugs, and not to provide therapy. Some psychiatrists are interested in assisting patients with medication withdrawal, and returning to a practice model that centers on empathic therapy. Others, however, are hostile to the idea, which means that in order to help the tens of millions of people currently taking drugs and who need help in regaining their physical and mental health, family practice and other general practice health providers, along with psychologists and other types of therapists will need to be trained to assist. While many of these health professionals have maintained for many years that psychiatric drugs were more harmful than helpful, few are trained specifically in what to expect when patients begin the withdrawal process, how to differentiate between medication withdrawal symptoms and underlying psychological issues, and how to effectively engage families and friends to help those affected.

To develop this unique and outstanding program, the Wellness Forum Institute has partnered with psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D., a leading promoter of empathic therapy and a pioneering researcher in the toxic effects of psychiatric drugs and how to withdraw from them. Participants will learn guidelines for prescribers, therapists, patients and their families involved in psychiatric drug withdrawal, with emphasis on a collaborative effort that is empowering to the patient and family.

The course fills an important need.  Although there are many books and classes that address aspects of drug withdrawal, there are no formal and comprehensive training programs that teach practitioners, patients and families “the whole story” – the actual causes of psychological issues, the consequences of drugging, and effective methods for helping people to extract themselves from “the psychiatric mill.”  Conscientious professionals have had to seek knowledge from diverse sources to “piece together” the body of knowledge needed to help patients with their mental health issues, and patients and their families have often had little to rely upon for solid information and encouragement. Finding one’s own way as a professional, family member or patient can be a difficult, time-consuming, expensive, and incomplete process. This is the first comprehensive training program that addresses all aspects of this issue.


Program Objectives:

  • Reframe conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADHD and other “mental illnesses” as psychological conditions rather than biological illnesses
  • Inform clinicians of the true nature of various psychological conditions in order to treat them effectively
  • Inform clinicians as to how biological psychiatry became the preferred method of treatment
  • Familiarize clinicians with manifestations of drug toxicity as subtle as lethargy, loss of interest in themselves and others, and emotional remoteness, as well as severe and life-threatening adverse reactions such as addiction, suicide, violence, neuroleptic malignant syndrome and serotonin syndrome.
  • Help clinicians learn how to withdraw patients safely from psychiatric drugs through patient- and family-centered collaborative care, while also helping therapists, patients and families empower themselves to participate in the process.


Who Should Take This Course:

  • Psychiatrists who are interested in returning to a practice model centered on talk therapy rather than pharmaceutical intervention and who want to assist patients in withdrawing from psychiatric drugs
  • Family practice and internal medicine physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners and any other prescribers who want to assist patients in withdrawing from drugs.
  • Any prescribers and health professionals who want to learn about non-pharmaceutical and effective ways to help patients with psychological issues
  • Psychologists, social workers, counselors, family therapists, clergy and others who offer services to people with psychological issues and who want to gain greater understanding of the effects of psychiatric drugs, and how to help patients who wish to withdraw from them
  • Individuals and family members who seek to have a better understanding of their own psychological conditions and to learn how to help themselves, and/or who have affected family members or friends
  • Government employees, lawyers, judges, clergy, coaches and teachers and others who are in a position to advise patients and families in respect to psychiatric drugs and better approaches to helping with psychological conditions

 For more information or to schedule a phone call to talk email pampopper@msn.com


Why and How to Withdraw From Psychiatric Drugs