In 1969, at the age of 25, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the second time in three years. The first diagnosis, schizophrenia, paranoid type was followed by a second hospitalization and the diagnosis schizophrenia, chronic type. My treatments included electro- shock, insulin comas and massive doses of medication. After I recovered from my "treatments" and began addressing the identity issues that had triggered my excursion into "madness," I entered graduate school, earned my doctorate and have worked as a licensed psychologist in a state hospital, in private practice, been a consultant to numerous schools and state agencies and have been the executive director of a 7-county comprehensive mental health center. I worked as a clinician and an advocate and was able to hide my psychiatric history for more than twenty years.

More than 10 years ago I chose to identify myself as a psychiatric survivor in order to draw from all of my experience and be fully genuine in my relationships and work. Currently I work as a psychotherapist with Behavioral Health Specialists (BHS), a private psychotherapy group. I also teach Community Mental Health in the graduate school at Sage Colleges. Prior to joining BHS, I worked for 9 years at the New York State Office of Mental Health Bureau of Recipient Affairs doing self-help project development, education and technical assistance. I am a former two-term president of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy and continue to serve on the Board of Directors. I have been an elected member for five years on the American Psychological Association's Expert Taskforce on Serious Mental Illness. With other ex-patients and allies, I was a founder of the International Network for Treatment Alternatives for Recovery (INTAR), which held its first meeting of alternative practitioners and psychiatric survivors in 2004.