I will make only a series of brief statements to highlight my perspectives:
1. As living beings, we are always influenced by biological, psycho-social and environmental factors, although they may be considered as separate entities in the context of discussion and in highlighting specific influences, but discussing or advocating for one, does not imply negation of existence the value of the others.
2. Service exchange (providing goods and services, including health care) is a part of human society, whereby people do make “living” that includes “profits” that contributes to one’s living existence. All of us are actual potential customers to each other’s as long as we live, even when we die (e.g., burial service).
3. In the context of marketing and profit making, services may be provided that may or may not be beneficial, and that goes for all service providers, medical or psycho-social included. Marketing is universal to the process, but it can be “abused.” Research and advocacy are important to counter balance the process.
4. In the context of professional discipline identification of various services, each discipline knowledge based interventions is going through evolutionary process of change with increased knowledge of the efficacy of specific interventions that are also consistent with evolving cultural and social values and expectations.
5. “Idealized perfect societies” do not exist, where all levels of “disabilities” are fully compensated through idealized social structure and bio-medical and environmental interventions, and where we all have the capacity to experience “happy-spiritual bliss” as living human beings (although many believe in such a reality after death). We all live with “imperfections” and that goes with our current status of “mental health treatment and recovery,” which does not mean we need to be satisfied with it, but work to improve in our individual capacities, while doing what our given roles as service providers are. (And that goes with any vocation that people purse in different fields in life.) In this context neither medical or psycho-social interventions are all “good ” or “bad,” their efficacy and value are determined by individual choices and socio-cultural perspectives based on existing knowledge but subject to evolving change process.
6. Advocacy of a given perspective is a legitimate pursuit -to make a case on behalf of a given perspective, but when it takes a dogmatic authoritarian stance, it may convince some, but may not have a larger acceptance of audience, and may vitiate its own cause or may promote other “negative effects.”
7. All kinds of research studies on efficacy, cost-benefit analysis, negative effects of a given intervention are important in our continued enhancement of knowledge and improving our quality of life, and improving particular discipline service provisions. (All the links provided in this Forum is useful to many of us, depending our own interest.)
8. To advocate and promote a particular discipline perspective, biological or psycho-social perspectives in mental health, one does not need to build its case of efficacy by investing time and effort to tear down and point out deficiencies in other discipline perspectives that are involved in providing services.
9. Granted the dynamics of evolving knowledge base of any discipline or any human service exchange of information or service goods, we all in our own ways review what we know best, what skills we can use to provide services to others to make a living, and what we do not know, which probably is the larger domain for any discipline or service provider knowledge domain. Yes, our knowledge base and practice of skills will need always in a dynamic mode of change with the emergence of “new information.”
10. We are all in some ways involved in exchange of services, either as providers or receivers, or both, our practice of doing reflects whatever roles we are assuming at a given time, and often advocacy role for change for one’s discipline service or social perspective or larger social -cultural change- all which are relevant pursuits, need to be dealt separately, and is probably in practice done this way by all. Mixing the two will be problematic in the actual context of clinical or service provider roles that one may be employed in.
These are just my personal reflections and thought as I was following the discussion thread, and they may be considered vague statements of platitudes, but for whatever their merits, i am taking the liberty to share them.