Dr Bonnie Burstow on ECT as violence against women

Bonnie Burstow, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Adult Education Counseling Psychology at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

We consider Bonnie’s lecture on ECT to be essential listening. Please tune in here. Apparently others considered it essential listening too, for it was broadcast on 55 different radio stations.

We invited Bonnie to be our guest on Thought Crime Radio on April 11, 2011, when we saw her article, “Electroshock as a Form of Violence Against Women” in the journal Violence Against Women. See more of her articles at the Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault website.

Bonnie is the author of two academic books: Radical Feminist Therapy: Working in the Context of Violence and Shrink Resistant: The Struggle Against Psychiatry in Canada and one novel about a holocaust survivor family: The House on Lippincott.

Other activities:

  • antipsychiatry activism (demonstrations, deputations, antipsychiatry addresses, making of the antipsychiatry video When Women End Up in These Horrible Places, antipsychiatry theatre)
  • antifascism and anti-racism activism (speeches, demonstrations, deputations)
  • feminist therapy
  • supervision and training of counselors and therapists
  • organizational as well as clinical consultation for a number of counseling organizations
  • writing of novels

Notable quote illustrating the gang mentality and mutual back scratching going on between psychiatry and obstetrics.   “Post partum depression” is very common after medicalized birth, which has been compared to battery and domestic abuse.   Childhood rage and depression of male children is very common after circumcision.

The intensity of the demands of the occasional woman who is fanatic in her zeal for ‘natural childbirth’… and her uncompromising attitude on the subject are danger signals, frequently indicating severe psychopathology…. A patient of this sort is not a candidate for natural childbirth, and requires close and constant psychiatric support.

— Medical, Surgical and Gynecological Complications of Pregnancy; Staff of Mount Sinai Hospital; Williams and Wilkins, publishers; 1960

Also see: http://members.tranquility.net/~rwinkel/MGM/birthUSA3.html