Speakers on World Tapering Day 2022
in order of appearance
Dr. Tom Cant
Dr Tom Cant is a consultant psychiatrist from Torbay, UK. Dr. Cant has worked with the Open Dialogue method for many years; he will explain how Open Dialogue works and describe the process of a network meeting with the client, his network (family, friends) and two facilitators. He will also discus ODDESSI, "Open Dialogue: Development and Evaluation of a Social Network Intervention for Severe Mental Illnesss".
Ewout Kattouw is the author of the book 'Who is crazy? The client, psychiatry or society?' and chairman of the PILL Foundation.
"We are committed to promoting responsible use of psychotropic drugs. In general, we believe that psychotropic drugs are prescribed too quickly, too often, too much and for too long. This is an undesirable situation because of possible negative (long-term) side effects and withdrawal problems."
Dr. Mark Horowitz
Mark Horowitz is a training psychiatrist, working in London as a Clinical Research Fellow in the NHS and an Honorary Clinical Research Fellow at UCL. He has completed a PhD in the neurobiology of depression and the pharmacology of antidepressants at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.
Mark himself has been taking antidepressants since he was a medical student. After using it for 15 years, he tried to come off this medication and he found out how incredibly hard this is, having to wrestle with many debilitating side effects. Mark is currently active in many fields, including lecturing for organisations including Mad in America and working with Prof. Joanna Moncrieff on research, finding evidence that depression is most likely not caused by any chemical imbalance in the brain. www.markhorowitz.org
Dr. Louise Bundock
"My name is Dr. Louise Bundock (MA Cantab MBBS MRCPsych) and I am a psychiatrist living and working in the North West of England. I trained in Psychiatry on the Maudsley training scheme in South London between 2011 and 2015 and have continued working as a psychiatrist ever since. Prior to my training in psychiatry, as a junior doctor I experienced burnout for several months and sought help, which resulted in my taking an antidepressant. Some years later, despite tapering very slowly with the available doses of medication, I experienced a severe and protracted antidepressant syndrome which continues to date. I am very interested in the disconnect between medical knowledge and the lived reality for those harmed by prescribed psychiatric medication."
Nicole is a Physician Assistant residing in Virginia, obtaining a BS at James
Madison University in 2000 and completed the Master of Physician Assistant
program at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2004. Nicole practiced in Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine settings until severe iatrogenic illness from prescribed psychiatric medication polypharmacy and subsequent withdrawal left her unable to work. She is involved in many initiatives around this problem, doing outreach, marketing and distribution for Medicating Normal - The Film; Nicole co-founded
The Withdrawal Project and is part of the core team at Inner Compass Initiative, she serves on the Medical Advisory Board of Benzodiazepine Information Coalition, is a founding member of the Benzodiazepine Action Work Group of the Colorado Consortium, and is an Associate at the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal. In the future, Nicole hopes to practice medicine again with a focus on prescribed medication withdrawal management and also participate in education initiatives around psychiatric drug withdrawal for medical prescribers. For WTD, interviewed Mark Horowitz and Louise Bundock.
'My name is Monique Timmermans. As editor-in-chief of Mad in the Netherlands. I contribute to making international science and knowledge from experience in the field of psychiatry, social justice and psychotropic drugs more accessible.
On World Tapering Day I will talk about akathisia: a relatively unknown phenomenon that can occur when increasing or decreasing psychotropic drugs. I suffer from this condition myself.
Because of my personal experience with psychiatry, I would like to contribute to change. I wrote about my experiences in my book 'Past Long Ago'.
I call myself a “Pondering Psychophilosopher”.'
Dr. Dick Bijl
Dr. Dick Bijl is a Dutch lecturer, author and 'thorn in the side' of the pharmaceutical industry. He wrote a thesis entitled 'Major depression in primary care'. In 2016, he was elected president of the International Society of Drug Bulletins (ISDB).
Dr. Bijl wrote a book called "The Pill Problem: Why do we use so many drugs that don't work and don't help?"
The suggestion that a pill will solve all our problems has been debunked by Dick Bijl many times. Dr. Bijl is the author of hundreds of articles on the subject.
Prof. Floortje Scheepers
Dr. Floortje Scheepers is a professor of Innovation in Mental Health Care, head of the Department of Psychiatry (care, education and research) at UMC (University Medical Centre, Utrecht, Netherlands) and director of science at Phrenos Knowledge Center. Phrenos aims to promote the personal healing, recovery and social participation of people with psychotic or other serious, long-term disorders, by sharing and developing knowledge.
In 2021, Dr. Scheepers was appointed chairperson of the Quality Council by the Board of Directors of the Dutch National Health Care Institute.
Anders Sørensen is a Danish researcher, psychologist and PhD in psychiatric drug withdrawal. Besides his work as a researcher, Anders specialized in helping
people come off psychiatric drugs through gradual, hyperbolic tapering and psychotherapy. He aims at making sense of emotional suffering and symptoms
and helping people regulate difficult emotions, thoughts, and traumas with their own mind.
James Moore has personal experience of psychiatric drug withdrawal and is a keen advocate for greater awareness of the need to taper safely. He hosts and produces the Let's Talk Withdrawal and Mad in America podcasts.
"My name is Eglantyne Drenth-Hoekstra; I have worked in mental health care and addiction care for over 25 years.
I focus on patients with chronic pain who have become addicted to the opiates prescribed to them by specialists and general practitioners. Combining my experience in addiction care and psychiatry and working within an organization that focuses on chronic pain, I have successfully helped patients wean off opiates, always using the 'the patient as expert' as primary point of reference."
Dr. Nicholas Schräder
Dr. Nic Schräder was raised in Hong Kong, studied medicine in the Netherlands and now conducts research at the UMCG (University Medical Centre Groningen, Netherlands).
Besides working with patients suffering from chronic pain, Dr. Schräder has a wide range of professional interests, including the impact of clinical research in the field of medicinal cannabis and cannabinoids. He is convinced that cannabinoids have the potential to change healthcare guidelines in numerous of medical disciplines.
Dr. Rani Bora
Dr. Rani Bora is a holistic psychiatrist and coach; she was born and raised in India, moving to the UK after completing her studies.
Rani is a practising consultant psychiatrist in the NHS. She uses a personal approach to psychiatric consultation, coaching and therapy. Rani believes in the empowering concept of “innate mental health”, a state we all were born into, where every individual - regardless of their circumstance - has within them the potential to be mentally and emotionally healthy.
Prof. Jim van Os
Dr. Jim van Os is a Dutch professor of psychiatry and chairman of the Brain Division of the University Medical Center Utrecht. He is a visiting professor at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, where he was appointed King's College Fellow in 2016.
Jim van Os has over 30 years of clinical experience in treating mental illness
In 2014 he published his book 'De DSM-5 Beyond'; in 2016 he published 'Goede GGZ'.
Dr. Peter Groot
Dr. Peter Groot, psychologist at UMC Utrecht, was appointed Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion because of the very important work he does around the responsible and safe reduction of medication that can cause withdrawal symptoms. He developed so-called tapering strips, which Professor of Psychiatry at UMC Utrecht Jim van Os calls "probably the most important pharmacological innovation in the last 25 years".
Peter is committed to helping patients taper medication that causes withdrawal symptoms when stopped and to make tapering strips available and reimbursed for everyone who needs them. He is driven by his own experiences with tapering off antidepressants.
Dr. Anne Guy (PsychD)
Dr Anne Guy is editor and co-author of The Guidance, which aimed at helping psychological therapists to learn about the potential impact of psychiatric drugs on
the practice of therapy.
The Guidance is endorsed by organisations, amongst others the UK Council for Psychotherapy, The British Psychological Society and the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal (IIPDW).
"A recent survey of 1,200 practising psychological therapists revealed that the majority felt ill-equipped to manage such issues in the therapeutic setting, with 93.1% reporting they would find it ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ to have guidance to help them work more confidently with people either taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs." (https://prescribeddrug.info/faq-contact/)
Dr. Marcos Bicalho
Dr. Marcos Bicalho is a psychiatrist from São Carlos, SP, Brazil. He works for the Araraquara’s public mental health service, where he has been struggling to help his patients deprescribe for more than 15 years. The local (medicalized) culture induces people to use psychotropic drugs mainly to help them cope with economic and personal hardship. In a place where there is very little clear and understandable information available for the population, the challenge is to develop effective ways to raise awareness about tapering psychotropic medication.