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2014 Creative Revolution Conference: "Developing and Expanding Alternatives" JULY 24TH - JULY 27TH, 2014

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The conference is still open for registration. The Choices in Mental Health Committee of MindFreedom International is proud to sponsor this exciting gathering at the Wisdom House in beautiful Litchfield, Connecticut. Author/activist, Robert Whitaker and Mary Ellen Copeland will be the keynote speakers.

2014 Creative Revolution Conference: "Developing and Expanding Alternatives" JULY 24TH - JULY 27TH, 2014

Wisdom House, site of the next Alternatives conference in July


summer 2014 conference graphic

People who are interested in learning about/discussing how to develop new alternatives are encouraged to register.  Also we want to invite those who have developed or expanded alternatives to the mental health system in the USA and in other countries. If you are just interested in hearing about alternatives, you are also welcome.



This is a working conference. We are convinced that these alternative approaches to treatment are safer and more effective than conventional treatment approaches. The sooner we make them available to people, the sooner people will be helped rather than harmed by their treatment. This is an urgent matter that affects many people in many ways.

We have invited four categories of people to participate in the conference:

1. People who are now operating such alternatives.
2. People who want to and are ready to implement any of the alternatives.
3. People who are knowledgeable about potential funding for the alternatives.
4. People who are interested in learning about and/or promoting the alternatives.
In addition to our keynote speakers, Robert Whitaker and Mary Ellen Copeland, we have confirmed experts for our five workgroups.

  1. For Soteria Houses:  Susan Musante (Ex-Director of Soteria Alaska), Amos Meacham (Project Director, Soteria Vermont), Steven Morgan (Former Project Director, Soteria Vermont), Laura-Nicole Sisson (Special Projects & Administrative Coordinator, Soteria Vermont), John Bola (Associate Professor, City University of Hong Kong, Researcher on the Efficacy of the Soteria model). 
  2.  For Peer-Run Respite Programs: Sera Davidow (Director, Western Mass Recovery Learning Community), Chris Hansen (Principal, Intentional Peer Support, Vermont), Gloria van den Berg (Executive Director, Alyssum Peer Respite, Vermont), Roslind Hayes (Assistant Director, Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, multiple respites).
  3.  Sunrise Center/Withdrawing from Psychiatric Drugs, Janet Foner (Chair of the Board of the Sunrise Center project), Joan Mackenzie and Hannah Gross (Board Members), Bob Ketcham.
  4. For Open Dialogue programs, Mia Kurtti (Family Therapist, Keropoudas Hospital, Finland), Ed Altwies (Therapist with the Parachute Project in New York), Amy Morgan (Clinical Director, Advocates, Inc, Massachusetts), Dan Fisher (Director of the National Empowerment Center), Karen Rosenthal (Director of Training, Community Access, NY), Sandy Steingard.
  5. For Hearing Voices Network groups: Lisa Forestell (Director of Community Supports, Western Mass Recovery Learning Community), Marty Hadge (Community Bridger, Western Mass Recovery Learning Center), Katherine Hill (Portland Hearing Voices), Berta Britz (Montgomery County Hearing Voices Network, PA), Jessica Arenella (New Jersey Hearing Voices Group), Gail Hornstein, Tami Gatta (multiple HVN Groups, Queens, NY).

Please note: We have listed the titles that we know of. Please excuse us if we have missed some titles. We are excited that so many experts, titled and not titled, have agreed to be part of our work groups at the conference. All have valuable contributions to make, from years of experience working in mental health alternative places.
We are also planning focused theme meetings, movie night, open mic entertainment, and other events.
This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends, network and meet new people at the comfortable and beautiful Wisdom House retreat center, located in the country in Connecticut.

(registration button opens a PDF file)
register button


Registration includes everything: Conference fee, lodging and meals. Once slots are full, we will announce a waiting list. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. 

There are two easy ways to register:
1. You may print out this registration form by clicking on the 'printer' icon to the upper right. Then mail or fax completed registration form to below address.
2. Or you may pay separately and simply e-mail in this completed form to the e-mail address:

Registrations must be received by June 25, 2014 with full payment, you will get a $10.00 discount.

Total inclusive costs of conference (room, all meals, registration fee: if paid by June 25 2014):

We have Shared room, Shared bath available at the conference.
Shared Room, Shared bath: $390.50 - $10.00 = $380.50

ALSO available:

Shared room with private bath
$473.50 - $10.00 discount - $463.50

Commuter Rates (per day):

$35 for lunch only.  $51 for lunch and dinner.  $61 for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Add $40 registration fee to commuter rates - for one day
Add $80 registration fee - for two days
Add $125 registration fee - for more than two days. 

NOTE:  Though we have posted partial registration fees, we are actively discouraging people from only attending one or two days.  This is a unique conference format that depends in large part on developing small group cohesion for a rich dialogue to unfold over four days.  Having people come in and out of the groups will make this more difficult.  Please take this into consideration and make every effort to attend the entire conference.

Wisdom House in CT



Type or print legibly. List name and organization (if any) as you want it to appear on your name tag.
For commuter rates or for more information about the conference, please email:

Mail, email, or fax registration form to this address:
MindFreedom International
454 Williamette St., Suite 216
P.O. Box 11284
Eugene, Oregon 97440-3484 USA
Fax: 541-345-3737 / email:

Please make your check or money order payable to MindFreedom International,
write on memo line: Creative Revolution 2014 Conference.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

4:00 pm – 7:00 pm  - Conference Registration

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm - Dinner 

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm - Bob Whitaker speaks

7:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Track facilitators introduce tracks to conference by providing brief description of track, name experts present, their program & where it is located

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm - Break into tracks for intros & setting next day agenda

9:00 pm – 9:30 pm - Facilitators from each track may request to have a separate meeting with experts


Friday, July 25

8:00 am – 9:00 am – Breakfast

9:00 am – 9:45 am – Mary Ellen Copeland speaks

10:00 am – 12:00 pm – Track Meetings 

12:00 pm– 1:00 pm - Lunch

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm - Optional Wellness Activity TBA

3 pm – 5 pm - Track Meetings

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Dinner

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Focused Meetings: Frank Blankenship on Landing Zones, Rich Shulman on Volunteers in Psychotherapy, Dan Fisher on emotional CPR, John Bola on Psychological Treatment of Emotional States That Get Labeled as “Mental Illness”

8:00 pm - 9:00 PM Optional debriefing meeting for facilitators 

9:00 pm – Optional Film        


Saturday, July 26

8:00 am – 9:00 am – Breakfast 

9:30 am – 11:30 am – Track Meetings

12:00 pm – 1 pm – Lunch

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm - Optional Wellness Activity TBD

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm - Track Meetings

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Dinner

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Panel of Funders: Gina Nikkel, CEO, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, Bob Nikkel, Board Member Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, Anthony Wood, Executive Director, Ittleson Foundation, Pablo Sadler, Executive Director of the Parachute Project New York 

8:30 pm – 9:30 pm - Optional debriefing meeting for facilitators                     

9:30 pm – Optional Film


Sunday, July 27 

8:00 am – 9:00 am - Breakfast

10:00 am - 12:00 pm – Tracks report

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm - Lunch & goodbyes

Thank you for your continued support.

-Janet Foner, Celia Brown, Al Galves, Florence Brown and Matthew Morrissey


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Lauren Tenney, psychiatric survivor activist from New York State

First involuntarily institutionalized, at 15, Lauren Tenney is a survivor of psychiatry. She has been involved with the user and survivor movement since 1992. Her goal is to help stop forced psychiatric procedures, detainment, and confinement, human rights violations, psychiatric abuse and torture. Of particular concern are the elimination of forced electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) on people of all ages, but particularly children and senior citizens, forced drugging, restraints, seclusion, behavioral interventions, and coercion of any kind. Lauren, a Mad-Activist/ Artist/ Author/ Academic/ Adjunct Professor is coordinating The Opal Project, an outcome of participatory action research she coordinated for field research in the PhD program in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her dissertation topic is: "The Institutionalized "Community." She became involved with WE THE PEOPLE when the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights and MindFreedom International needed someone on the ground in Brooklyn, New York to coordinate a response where Esmin Green was murdered-by-neglect. She now lives in Albany, NY with her service dog-in-training and cat. For more info: and
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