Our Exhibition

We created an exhibition as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival 2023 around the theme of 'revolution'


Mixed media collage

Patient Diagnosis:

6B40 - Post traumatic stress disorder



Psychology and psychiatry are inseparable from their current social and political context. Rather than challenging the formidable status quo the mental health industry is complicit in maintaining it. These are industries that rely on having the power to label individuals as 'disordered' or ‘maladaptive’ by identifying dissent from 'healthy controls’, and allowing systemic issues and dogmas to persist. The true causes of suffering and ill health therefore remain unaddressed even as mental health waiting lists grow longer. At the foot of the page are the number of Universal Human Rights Articles that this factor violates by being present in our society.


The piece draws attention to the often-overlooked perils of talk therapy. While much is known about psychiatric harms, past and present, psychology continues to be perceived as its harmless counterpart. Portrayed within is Sigmund Freud, known as the father of talk therapy and emblematic of unsubstantiated ideas that shape the ethos of therapeutic ideologies to this day. Psychodynamic therapy, despite its supposed departure from traditional psychoanalysis, continues its legacy of victim-blaming survivors of trauma (particularly ‘hysterical’ women). Widespread reliance on its successor CBT and the resulting off-shoots, such as mindfulness, are heralded as the 'gold standard' in mental healthcare although its promised outcomes do not hold up under scrutiny. Revealing it more so as means of social control that teaches the self-policing of thoughts and behaviours than a legitimate healthcare provision to remedy distress and improve wellbeing.


Shifting all responsibility onto the internal world of the individual allows those in positions of power to turn a blind eye to ableism, poverty, lack of support services, medical malpractice, inequalities, discrimination, and disability. How this is done merely depends on the dogmatic interests of the particular mental health practitioner. The piece exposes how convincing individuals that their difficulties are all in their head amounts to 'magical thinking'. And if patients do not improve they risk being labelled as 'resistant' to expert guidance and discarded from care services.


Individual and societal health and wellbeing can only be achieved by shifting away from dogma, control, and oppression, and towards valuing differences and co-producing support services that meet needs through tailored support and genuine human empathy.

Please note: The diagnosis used does not necessarily reflect a psychiatric diagnosis received by the artist. These were included to reflect the current practice of labelling and how these relate to lived-experience.


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