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Peter R. Breggin, M.D. Honored by the Annual Florida Adlerian Society 
Dr. Daniel Eckstein Presented the Award

     I am honored to have been chosen to present the Florida Adlerian Society Annual social interest award to Dr. Peter Breggin.

Social interest is not simply conforming to prevailing social norms nor is it compromising telling one’ own personal truth in exchange for peer approval. “Rebellious social interest” is the lived lifetime our recipient has demonstrated throughout his illustrious career. Our real life action hero’s has been called “the conscience of psychiatry.” He has helped sleigh dragons of his own profession through such provocative book titles as: Medication Madness: The role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime (2008), and Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Their Families (2013).

Our Harvard trained psychiatrist has been as a medical expert in criminal, malpractice and product liability suits, often involving adverse drug effects such as suicide, violence, brain injury, death, and tardive dyskinesia. He began testifying in the early 1970s and has been qualified in court more than 85 times since 1987.

Permit me to paraphrase some of my own writings about our lifelong psychiatric encourager.

“The subtle value of encouragement is often missed completely because it tends to be private, not public. And, although there are identifiable words and behaviors correlated with encouragement, in many ways it is best manifested by an attitude that non-verbally communicates caring and compassion. “Our recipient modeled those virtues last year when he quieted a crying baby by pausing in the midst of his presentation and simply holding and providing the powerful pacifier of love.

“To encourage requires a subtle shift of focus in a world in which people are too often bombarded with shortcomings about, and deficiencies of, their parents, their birth disorder, their culture, and in the spirit of our physician recipient, their chemical imbalance necessitating correction by better living through chemistry.

Encouraging individuals like our kind physician have the ability to perceive a spark of divinity in others and then to act as a mirror that reflects goodness to them.

Such successful encouragement is felt emotional experience that Dr. Breggin transformed into cognitive decisions like speaking out against electric shock therapy. The paradoxical “profound simplicity” of encouragement is that it is an attitude that inspires and empowers as our recipient did here both last year and again this year at this conference.

He bucks the trend of his own profession by actually talking to his patients instead of medicating them. Our recipient Masher healer is a trendsetter who throughout his long and illustrious career has helped his patients translate their too often broken dreams into a living reality. He has consistently inspired others to seek the “more” dimensions of life. Dr. Breggin is a true healer; one helps us to remember our dreams, one who touched our hearts with a phenomenal ability to see beauty in all things. He inspired us to new heights because of his ability to assist us in seeking, and ultimately believing, that we will indeed rediscover our own personal heaven. The Biblical quote is: “Well done in thy good and faithful servant.”

The Florida Adlerian Society is honored to present its annual Cameron W. Meredith social interest award to Dr. Peter Breggin.  

Dr. Daniel Eckstein, March 2, 2013.
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