Seth Farber, Ph.D.

Biography

Dr. Seth Farber is a writer, social critic, dissident psychologist (he received his doctorate in 1984),visionary, activist (in the human rights, Green and anti-war movements -- and a supporter of animal rights) and co-founder of the Network Against Coercive Psychiatry (1988). His newest and most important book was just released in May,The Spiritual Gift of Madness:The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement. (The Foreword is written by internationally renowned writer, feminist and human rights advocate Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics and The Loony Bin Trip.)
Dr Farber has had four books published previously, including a book on Jewish critics of Israel, and numerous essays and articles. A critic of the mental health system, he has been a guest on many television and radio shows. His first book Madness, Heresy and the Rumor of Angels: The Revolt Against the Mental Health System (Open Court, Chicago, 1993) contained a foreword by Thomas Szasz. The publication of his memoir Lunching with Lunatics: Adventures of a Renegade Psychologist has been postponed until the time is propitious.(See excerpts below right.) Dr Farber is also an editor of the pioneering scholarly review The Journal of Mind and Behavior. He can be reached at seth17279@​aol.com

Selected Works

e.g. Fiction, History, Magazine Articles, etc. goes here
This revolutionary book tells how the Mad Pride movement developed in the last ten years as the successor to the mental patients’ liberation movement. It includes a Foreword by Kate Millett and interviews with David Oaks, Sascha DuBrul (The Icarus Project), Dr Peter Stastny and Paul Levy, author of Wetiko. Drawing upon the work of theorists like Thomas Szasz, John Weir Perry and R.D. Laing Farber shows how the mad can embrace their “mad gifts” in order to help the long awaited global spiritual transition.
Nonfiction
A work in the tradition of Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing, Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, a challenge to the delusional belief-system known as psychiatry; and a protest against its appalling crimes. Foreword by Thomas Szasz
The contributors are among the leading American Jewish critics of Zionism and of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians: Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Marc Ellis, Adam Shapiro, Phyllis Bennis, Rabbi Weiss and 6 others.
A critique of psychoanalysis and the medical model model of psychology as a form of secularized Augustinianism. Augustinianism, with its insistence on predestination and eternal damnation, was an inversion of the original Christian teaching of human freedom to respond to infinite grace and the promise of universal salvation.
"An important book."
--Thomas Szasz, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, State University of New York Health Science Center; author of The Myth of Mental Illness
(Click on title above to read excerpt from book.)
Excerpt (slightly altered) from essay in Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry (2001, 25th Anniversary Issue) "Against Psychotherapy and Biological Psychiatry"
Articles
(Published by Free Deion Harris Association -- see article for contact information.)
Pending memoir. Non-fiction.
After years of practicing therapy,Dr Farber-- a psychologist in the tradition of his hero, radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing-- concludes that mental illness is a myth and that "schizophrenics," although often troubled, are the vanguard of a cultural revolution. Farber falls in love with Carla, and a few years later with Lily, both "schizophrenics." (Neither were patients of his.) These two crazy women are so intelligent and charismatic that their personalities burst through the stereotype of "mental illness." Farber talks to crazy people in their own language. Psychiatrists call it "schizophrenese" but Farber calls it the language of dreams, of poetry, of magic. Farber's dogged romantic persistence makes us wonder whether he is a brilliant visionary or a crackpot himself--or both. This is an inspiring story, profound in its implications--it is an affirmation of a vision of life beyond the dichotomies of sanity and insanity as we know them.
Organization
Network Against Coercive Psychiatry is an organization comprised of psychotherapists (including psychiatrists), survivors of psychiatric incarceration (commonly known as "mental patients"), scholars and other concerned citizens.