Dorothea Buck

Seventy Years of Coercion in German Psychiatric Institutions

Experienced and Witnessed

Siebzig Jahre Zwang in deutschen Psychiatrien
Erlebt und miterlebt

Photo of Dorothea Buck
Dorothea Buck

Dorothea Buck was born in Germany in 1917 and can therefore be called a contemporary witness. She had five stays in psychiatric hospitals in the period from 1936 to 1959 and was subjected to various forms of coercion, such as forced sterilization, cold wet sheet packs and forced injections and was never granted a single talk about the origin or meaning of her psychotic episodes. Facing the historical development of psychiatry and its effects on today’s mental health system, she challenges biological psychiatry, which rejects communication with patients, and demands a paradigm shift toward a psychosocial system based on the wealth of patients’ experiences and provides alternatives to psychiatry, such as the therapeutic principles of "Soteria" and Yrjö Alanen’s "Need-adapted Treatment."

Respond of Juan E. Mezzich, President of the World Psychiatric Association

Keynote speech from June 7, 2007, by Dorothea Buck, Honorary Chair of the German Bundesverband Psychiatrie-Erfahrener, at the congress "Coercive Treatment in Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Review", run by the World Psychiatric Association in Dresden, Germany, June 6-8, 2007. Keynote spech in PDF format

Reprinted in: Peter Stastny & Peter Lehmann (Eds.), Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry. Berlin / Eugene / Shrewsbury: Peter Lehmann Publishing 2007, pp. 19-28

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Respond of Juan E. Mezzich, President of the World Psychiatric Association