National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home:
The Harmful Psychiatrizing of War Veterans and How We Can Help Instead

Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D.

The psychiatrizing of the United States has devastating effects on veterans from every war from World War II to current wars, isolating them and causing them shame and fear, as well as making almost certain the use of medicalized "treatments" that both fail to help and often cause harm, even suicide. There are low-risk, effective ways that every civilian can help, including The Welcome Johnny and Jane Home Project, which Harvard Kennedy School research has shown to be remarkably effective and which consists simply of having every civilian listen to a veteran's story. Various alternative approaches will be discussed, and all of this applies in many ways to people who have been traumatized outside of war and the military and who have then been told they are mentally ill. The presentation will include performance of excerpts from Paula J. Caplan's play, WAR & THERAPY.