Life on Mars


From: Andrew Phelps <>


Cc: Friends

Subject: [S-ACC] stereotypy and lived experience

Date: Tue 12/17/13 04:28 PM



The recent remarkable interest shown by several people posting deserves comment. We've been talking "Goofy" because the Austin Alternatives experience casts our advocacy in that framework. We did not get to present - in a sufficient manner - the concern for "Overcoming Stereotypes: Occupying our Behavior." And that is the result of a developing shift in the way the system engages the client/survivor movement.

Pat spoke to pulling back and doing grassroots training for "peers." Peggy spoke to the ongoing dysfunction of the "Alternatives" arrangement - the present point being that that is now enhanced as "behavior management" is being accommodated further. We need to ask what to do so that we may extend the mission for "grassroots advocacy." For the "Work Group" related to S-ACC, that plainly means we need to listen to one another more fully, and deconstruct the process of stereotyping.

Tracy and Janice have each stepped up in an extraordinary way, in that regard. Others have also sought to post, with good intent and yet have not fully engaged the problematic of "stereotype deconstruction." Myself, Pat, Drake, Pamela (in alignment with Maria and Mike) do not have that full "Austin Alternatives experience" we sought, on which to build - not as Mickey, not as Donald, we have only the Goofy portion. Others, who were not directly involved in putting forward that workshop, obviously face similar "lived experience" difficulty.

I write the above so that people who post will understand that "critical engagement" - while requiring sensitivity - is not, in general, disrespect. My own "grassroots advocacy" may be represented in the flyer HERE for an event which took place at the same time as those in Austin. In general we need to work at "sensitivity" in regards one another and to challenge the role of "diagnostic behavior" in regards the service provider process. Direct engagement with "culture change" in mental health stands to help construct a new dialogue structure for our activism