I am very grateful for Phil's review. It is true there is no contibution from a nurse to my edited book. However, nor is there one, for example, from a survivor. I don't think the book loses nursing from its frame of reference. Nor, similarly, does it lose its patient centredness. Nursing is the largest professional group in the mental health field and cannot be excluded or ignored if only for this reason. Nurses are particularly involved in the "sharp" end of psychiatry in inpatient wards.
I do not think the term 'anti-psychiatry' is totally without meaning. I'm sorry Phil was disappointed by what he sees as my revisionist line. I do have patients and work jointly with them. This is not paternalism. Critical psychiatry, unlike Phil Barker and Thomas Szasz, recognises the need for a Mental Health Act. However, I'm not happy with 'trading punches' about this. Nurses are not 'scavengers of social work'. They are a discipline in their own right, but we, even psychiatrists, do need to recognise the value of genericism and interdisciplinarity in practice, if that's not "postmodern playfulness", which I do not think it is.
I am flattered that Phil thinks my chapter on Meyer is arguably the most important in the book. I am still developing my thinking about Meyer (eg. Double 2007). I'm arguing for a neo-Meyerianism, not a straightforward following of Meyer. This is not 'resurrecting his ghost'. Lots of people don't have the courage to follow through on their ideas. At least the book interests Phil. The Critical Psychiatry Network is a group of psychiatrists only because there are particular issues for critical mental health within psychiatry. The book is starting to date, for example, the link for the Critical Mental Health Forum has lapsed because that group is no longer meeting. Nonetheless there is still a website athttp://www.critpsynet.freeuk.com/criticalmentalhealth.htm. Officers of the Critical Psychiatry Network are identifiable on the website (www.criticalpsychiatry.co.uk), as are any other members who send me their details.
This book is not about defending the professional territory of psychiatrists, but it does recognise the professionalism of all disciplines in the mental health field. Conferences organised by the Critical Psychiatry Network are open to all. Those I have organised always have had a nurse speaker, including Phil in the past, and there's a nurse (Liam Clarke) this year at the conference in Norwich on 22 June 2009 (details athttp://www.mentalhealth.freeuk.com/Promote.html). As the blurb says, the critical mental health movement is dependent on reformists like me and revolutionaries like Phil working together.