© 2019

The Revolt Against Psychiatry

A Counterhegemonic Dialogue

  • Includes dialogues with various leaders in the movement for an intersectional analysis

  • Makes an effort to unify multiple movements into one conversation without oversimplifying discrete critiques

  • Provides an excellent overview of the complex issues involved in anti/critical psychiatry

Palgrave Macmillan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Bonnie Burstow
    Pages 135-148
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 225-243

About this book


“A truly outstanding contribution to critical work in this area. By turns, questioning, thought-provoking, heart-breaking, challenging, yet always positive, and with a real humanistic quality at its heart. So inspiring!”

 —Bruce Cohen, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Auckland, New Zealand


“Defiant, relentless, and radical. A must-read for those thinking about the impact of institutional violence and what it means to be an expert through experience.”

—Jennifer Wemigwans, Assistant Professor, OISE/University of Toronto, Canada, and author of A Digital Bundle: Protecting Indigenous Knowledge Online


“Highly accessible and enormously informative, this book, I predict, will quickly become an indispensable go-to resource both for seasoned scholars and new students. Venceremos, Bonnie.”

—Stephen Ticktin, member of the Medical Psychotherapy Association of Canada


“In this amazing book, Bonnie Burstow gathers together a wide variety of expert global players in the critical/antipsychiatry movement. Passionate, gripping, heart-warming, and at times harrowing.”

—Cheryl Prax, survivor and member of the British activist group Speak Out Against Psychiatry, UK

“Fantastic Work! Burstow demonstrates that psychiatry isn’t a service. It’s a disservice.”

—Irit Shrimrat, co-founder of the Ontario Psychiatric Survivors’ Alliance, Canada

A real eye-opener, this riveting anti/critical psychiatry book is comprised of original cutting-edge dialogues between Burstow (an antipsychiatry theorist and activist) and other leaders in the “revolt against psychiatry,” including radical practitioners, lawyers, reporters, activists, psychiatric survivors, academics, family members, and artists. People in dialogue with the author include Indigenous leader Roland Chrisjohn, psychiatrist Peter Breggin, survivor Lauren Tenney, and scholar China Mills. The single biggest focus/tension in the book is a psychiatry abolition position versus a critical psychiatry (or reformist) position. In the scope of this project, Burstow considers the ways racism, genocide, Indigeneity, sexism, media bias, madness, neurodiversity, and strategic activism are intertwined with critical and antipsychiatry.


Antipsychiatry Studies Critical Psychiatry Studies Mad Studies Critical Disability Studies Critical Psychological Approaches Health and Wellbeing Community Organizing

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationAdult Education and Community DevelopmentTorontoCanada

About the authors

Bonnie Burstow, PhD, is Professor of Adult Education and Community Development at OISE/University of Toronto, one of the world’s leading antipsychiatry theorists and activists, and author of such seminal works as Psychiatry and the Business of Madness.

Bibliographic information


“The value of this book lies in its conversational style, the diversity of the interviewees, and a lively question-response format that invites the reader into the conversation. … I recommend The Revolt Against Psychiatry as a springboard for broader discussion on how we can counter the stranglehold of psychiatry.” (Susan Rosenthal, Mad in America, November 06, 2019)