Visionary Experience or Psychosis?

The late Jungian Psychotherapist John Weir Perry posited that the psychiatric community often errs in treating visionary experiences as a form of mental illness.

Perry was the author of many influential books including ‘The Heart of History‘ and ‘The Far Side of Madness‘. He contends that that psychiatric labelling and the use of anti-psychotic drugs serve to stifle the valuable integration of life’s mythic dimensions into a wider world-view.

Is Perry correct?  To a degree I suspect that he is.  But what about those psychotic episodes that are debilitating and distressing? Should they go untreated? I suspect not. Interestingly, what Perry proposes is a new approach to the management and understanding of psychosis. And it’s here that he really might be on to something.

You can watch a short interview with Dr. Perry for the ‘Thinking Allowed’ series here:

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