Healing homes: full documentary film here (alternative healing for “serious mental illness”)

My friend and I discovered Daniel Mackler when we were researching Alice’s Miller’s work. Monica from Beyond Meds shares his documentary, Healing Homes,
Some quotes from the video:

“You have to have love to help people. If you do not have love, you cannot help people.”


“If you choose to be [emotionally] dead, you can live a comfortable life.”


“If we show who we are: we cry, we laugh, we get angry, the people who come here to us, they feel it’s normal to show themselves”

Please also check out Mackler’s full video’s Open Dialogue and Take These Broken Wings and check out Monica’s other articles from Daniel Mackler on her blog.

Thanks so much Monica!


Everything Matters

All Daniel Mackler’s films are now available for free viewing on youtube. This is the last one. I’ve posted all of them now. I highly recommend them all.

healingCOMPLETE DOCUMENTARY FILM. “Healing Homes,” recovery from psychosis without medication. An in-depth exploration of the Family Care Foundation, one of the best psychosis-oriented programs in the world, a Swedish organization which places people failed by traditional psychiatry in families, many of whom are farm families, as a start to a whole new life. Interviews with clinicians, clients, and host families.

See Daniel’s other two films as well:

For more information Daniel’s website is here.

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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
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5 Responses to Healing homes: full documentary film here (alternative healing for “serious mental illness”)

  1. Having just spent some time visiting someone I know well, who was recently admitted to a psychiatric ward, I can only say that this video hits home in a powerful way. Thank you for sharing.

    • Casey says:

      I’m glad that you watched it. I’m sorry about your friend. There’s a world of difference in outcomes when you are trying to heal in a natural setting like that farm surrounded in the presence of a family, versus trying to heal in a sterile institutional setting surrounded by dispassionate clinicians.

      You know, Malcolm, I always thought I’d end up in a psych ward…

      Not because I think I’m actually crazy in the sense that so-called normal people believe they are not…but because I just went a little crazy trying to live with other people’s dysfunction/substance abuse – my family of origin’s…and my husband’s.

      The ironic/sad thing is, codependence is a ‘normal’ (as in ‘expected’), understandable, but unhealthy, adaptation to other people’s dis-ease (be it something like a substance addiction, a process addiction, narcissism or other controlling behaviors). Codependence is a type of insanity. A very subtle form of it, but it is true.

      And because people are conditioned not to talk about this stuff (out of fear/shame), we suffer in silence.

      Something dawned on me at the Al-anon meeting Tuesday night, when I saw a woman who normally keeps herself looking really well-dressed, with nice makeup and clothes, instead looking haggard, with no makeup and her clothes were not her usual cheerful style. We pay a heavy price for living and loving these people who are self-medicating with chemicals or who are controllers. These once vibrant individuals get the life sucked out of them trying to deal with their loved one’s problems. And we convince ourselves we have to stay with them because we think we love them and can’t live without them.

      And that’s not true. We just don’t know that. And so we stay in the frying pan, slowly cooking ourselves to death, because we think what is “out there” is worse than what we are dealing with now. Fear of the unknown keeps us trapped in dangerous situations.

      So we who love them get sicker and sicker trying to cope. We get emotionally sick. We get physically sick. We get PTSD.

      What we don’t get is the healthy anger over this injustice that motivates us to cut our losses.

      I’m realizing, now that I’m out of imminent danger, that I’m not going back to where I was…ever. If my husband relapses, he’s getting help or he’s getting out. I’m staying in my al-anon and ACA programs so that I have the support I need. As I share my stories and listen to the stories of others, it amazes me the amount of pain we tolerated and some of us STILL tolerate. Standing where I’m at now, I can see a little more clearly how lucky I am and how I never want to be sucked back in to a codependent role.

      And I’m not saying these chemically addicted people are bad people. They aren’t. They are just not being responsible for their own emotions, their own pain, their own lives.

      For all the people in the psych wards getting various chemical cocktails to manage their intense inner experiences, think about all the people who are self-medicating and altering their moods with drugs, alcohol, sex, food, shopping, thrill-chasing, getting little hits of dopamine or adrenaline to keep the good times rolling and to avoid the emotional lows inherent in life. They are performing a chemical lobotomy, so they don’t have to think the negative thoughts, they don’t have to feel pain or fear, they don’t have to face themselves or the messes they made of their lives.

      I know this, because I was addicted, too. Only mine was a process addiction, not a substance addiction. And I know that as hard as it had been to live without my addiction, I’m better off for it. I am gaining clarity and peace.

      I no longer am willing to take a ride on anyone else’s merry-go-round. I’m enjoying the emotional peace that I have at the moment (yes, I do have peace aside from grieving about some of my more recent losses and concerns).

      I bet there is a huge backstory to your friends condition. I would wager he didn’t get that way on his own…I bet he had a LOT of help. I bet there was trauma…or multiple traumas…in his life that led up to that point.

      I wish him well. I wish you well, too. You seem to be a very sensitive, caring individual and I’m sure this tugs at you.

      I may talk about this some day, but I had a friend too, who spent some time hospitalized, short term, in a psych ward. She’s had two suicide attempts (pills and alcohol, in her case). I did not visit her in the ward (and now I really wish I had), but I spent time with her after that. I was one of the few people that did not treat her as if she was crazy. I treated her as if she was responding quite sanely to the impossible demands of the father of her child (who was abusive) and her parents (who were abusive to her when she was a child). If you live with abuse all your life, what choice do you think you have when the abusers demand you buy into their version of reality and deny your own truth? When they stand over you screaming at you that you are the crazy one…and the only way to get them to stop is to agree with them…you are apt to live up to that.

      I recall thinking in my youth, since I was already branded as ‘crazy’ then it really didn’t matter all that much what I did. So I did everything I could to escape, thereby earning the crazy label even more. After a few failed attempts, I finally succeeded. It took many, many years to escape the long-distance crazy-making though…because of the (very unhealthy) loyalty I felt towards them, my abusers.

      • Casey, it looks like someone should make a video of your life. Thank you for the crystal clear description of co-dependency but I particularly liked the following statement:

        “think about all the people who are self-medicating and altering their moods with drugs, alcohol, sex, food, shopping, thrill-chasing, getting little hits of dopamine or adrenaline to keep the good times rolling and to avoid the emotional lows inherent in life.”

        That certainly expands the universe of people pursuing dysfunctional behaviors.

        My brother was admitted to a psychiatric ward primarily because an underlying physiological condition was not diagnosed. Everyone claimed he was not eating because he was depressed but it turns out he was not eating because the pumping mechanism in his stomach and bowels had stopped functioning. This failure led to his abdomen bursting and his eventual death a few weeks ago from blood poisoning. Once he was diagnosed as ‘depressed’ everyone saw all his symptoms in terms of depression and as soon as he was admitted to the psychiatric ward he certainly started to act like all the other patients there. What a tragedy.

        • Casey says:

          “Casey, it looks like someone should make a video of your life.”

          Now there is a scary thought !!!

          I’d agree only if Winona Ryder could play me. I strongly identify with many of her characters. =)

          I’m so, so sorry about your brother. What a devastating tragedy. My heart goes out to you and your family.

          My sister has a similar problem. I forgot what the official name for her condition is, but she has a constriction on one of her veins leading to her stomach (the celiac artery?). It produces extreme pain and vomiting when she does eat. She keeps dropping weight. This is on top of her celiac disease and thyroid disease. So far, she’s just being treated with an anaesthetic block. rather than actually fixing the underlying problem. They are hoping that she will heal on her own…which is noble, I think…but is the masking of the pain really going to solve the problem? Is her inability to heal because of all the trauma she herself has gone through? That’s never been addressed. I’m convinced there’s a strong link and psyche and soma go hand in hand.

          I think it’s a travesty that people focus on entirely on only one end of the problems and not treat people holistically. It’s like when all you have in your toolbox is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

          Thank you for sharing a little bit of your story with me. I am so, so sorry for your loss. But I know death does not really keep us from those we love. I hope your connection to him remains strong even though he is not physically present to you.

        • Casey says:

          “That certainly expands the universe of people pursuing dysfunctional behaviors. ”

          Yes, I’m afraid it does.

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