New Category in Treatment & Therapy section proposed
Yes, I send him a personal mail last Monday and he didn't reply and I haven't seen him on the forum, with which he has difficulties because of his eyesight. So I worry a bit, since he could have mailed me by standard mail i.e. without the forum, but he didn't.
Indeed, I have two general ideas for this forum, of which the first, at least, probably appeals to you, Koan:
A. Tracing/Tracking forum members
Many live alone with little help and little money; on the forum most are anonymous and if they are without computer they are out of reach; and most on this forum are really ill.
So... I propose a Tracing/Tracking section, the purpose of which is mainly that people on the forum can keep track of each other, if they like. Of course, this should depend on private mail-addresses (or more) people on the forum privately exchange because they like each other and trust each other (Samuel has mine, and I have one for Samuel at a hotmail-account).
It should not be mandatory and not be public, and it is best if it could be arranged by area/county/country. Also, it really should be based on private initiative and private mail in order to protect people's identities.
Whether it will make a positive difference for some forummember in trouble I don't know (it worked for Koan), but it seems to me to be a good thing to organize, also because I guess that on the moment most members are only known by alias to each other by means of the forum. (So if either the alias disappears or the forum disappears everybody is on his or her own again, apart from such contacts as have been made privately via the forum.)
B. Psychotherapy etc.
Esther12 on another thread wrote about inviting psychologists and medical doctors who are of the Wessely school or believe ME is in the mind to step forward on the forum; Orla started a nice thread on Psychiatry some time ago, and yesterday, I think, an interesting thread on utter lunacy from Liverpool shrinks; there is - what this psychologist strikes as - a mongrel grown from Scientology, Orwell and Maoistic brainwashing that is called the Lightning Process, etc. ad nauseam.
Well... being a (sort of, mathematical in my case) psychologist (of sorts, but with the best possible M.Sc. in it) I thought: The members on this forum surely can roll their own!
There are some legitimate sides to psychotherapy (I am not selling it, rest assured!), that by my lights are mostly enlightened common sense, rational self-help, and the avoidance of wishful thinking, anxiety and supersition (including superstition about what psychotherapy can really do for you - which is not much if you are really ill) and a good list of references to helpful links and bookd; there are illegitimate and dangerous sides to it that deserve to be listed too (see the thread on the Lightning Process esp. ME Agenda's excellent posts); and in fact there is a lot on these forums, by many members, that simply is very good psychological thinking, counselling, advice etc. usually also based on the contributors own experiences with ME and how this is often reacted to by those who don't have it.
Finally, it is also useful to outline how one can defend oneself against psychotherapeutic manipulation and trickery, which incidentally mostly is based on ignorance of the patient about what psychologists and psychiatrists really know and can do (which is preciously little, usually, this psychologist can assure you).
Maybe A and B can be combined e.g. - are you there, o my beloved High Priestess Kim? - into one new Category in the Treatment and Therapy section, called The Phoenix Process of Psychotherapy of the Church of False Illness Beliefs (tm). (I haven't asked Kim, but she and Dr. Yes are clear candidates for moderating/organizing this Open Source Bio-medic Psychotherapy a la mode of the Church of FIBs. If they want to and can, of course.)
As base-text for the Honest, Empirical, Factbased, Open Source, Free Phoenix Process of Psychotherapy of the Church of False Illness Beliefs (tm) I propose dr. Eleanor Stein's "Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists", and - for the more persevering, the material that I gathered in
I am sketching, and both ideas need some working out and mulling over, and some organization, but both seem to me to be what this forum is about, and which is - easily - within its capacities: There are more than 1500 members, and many regular posters are smarter than the vast majority of my professors of psychology. And also they have survived years of discrimination and trouble, about which they know much more than a normal psychologists can know, and which gives them a special insight into what life is like.
I hand it over to you Koan, for some working over, for I am super-pem'd at the moment.
P.S. I will post this too in the thread Esther12 started. And nothing I wrote is meant dogmatically - it just seems to me two good things to try to do ourselves: Keep track of our members and provide our own brand of psychotherapy and teachings (if necessary in various flavours also, if blessed with a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of our Pastor, our High Priestess, and/or resident philosopher, and after discussion on the forums).
Please keep in mind also that the intellectual power and knowledge inherent in the forum as it is now is certainly better and more than is present in the handful of Wesselys, Reeves & Jones's, Whites or whatever their names are, who are all intellectual n-th raters and moral zeroes (or large negatives). What makes them powerful is not their intellect or humanity, but merely the power and influence of their positions that were gained by dishonest careerism.