Gabrielle Peacock, MD

Working on the wild side: Depathologising dissociation and restoring dignity without conformity

When I studied medicine in Tasmania, Australia in the eighties, I wasn't prepared for the vast diversity of human experience I would encounter as a doctor. In medical school, humanness was either irrelevant if it was seen as non problematic or pathologised if it was seen as problematic.

I learned that neurotic behaviour was an extension of normal human experience but I was taught that psychotic behaviour was outside the realm of normal human experience. 22 years of practice and 16 years of parenthood has taught me otherwise, and like many others I have explored useful ways of working on the wild side, inspired by Milton Erickson and many of his students most notably my husband Robert McNeilly who studied with Erickson in the 70's.

In this presentation I would like to share my experience of working with human beings with various levels of mastery at dissociation and what the medical model might call psychosis, bipolar, or the dissociative spectrum disorders, and how an approach that honors these individuals abilities in a way that shaman or witch doctors do in other cultures can bring clarity, enlightenment and peace to an individual who feels lost in our western world devoid of such useful cultural guides.

Dr Gabrielle Peacock MBBS FRACGP has a background in general practice with mental health specialty and 12 years experience in Ericksonian and Solution oriented therapy. She works in private practice in North Hobart, Tasmania, Australia and runs workshops in Solution Oriented Family therapy. She is a Clinical Tutor at the University of Tasmania department of Medicine where she teaches Counselling skills to medical students.