Straight Outta State Hospital

I think we need to challenge mainstream cultural delusions about poor prognosis of our people! On this site you will find many stories in my writings that seek to provide shamanic support to help you understand the wisdom being revitalized by the hearing voices movement.

As a psychotherapist, you will encounter references to the eleven years of experience I have running professional groups that encourage participants to redefine psychosis.

I may have attained a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and a license, but as a writer and psychotherapist, I do not like using citations or research to distort the reach of my work. I tend to trust my own lived experience and encourage other diagnosed people to do the same. As a result, I remain vulnerable, meticulous and raw. I am:

  • the male anorexic straight outta Camden,
  • the whistle-blower for the Seattle Housing Coalition,
  • the paranoid schizophrenic of the Montana State Hospital Chronic Unit,
  • the job-hunting, homeless drifter in Fresno,
  • the paranoid servant peppering the olive oil at an Italian delicatessen,
  • and the psychotherapist from the backward in Oakland.

And I am never going back to the private Quaker Prep School where I was raised.

My first publication, Fighting for Freedom in America: Memoir of a “Schizophrenia” and Mainstream Cultural Delusions, chronicles my mid career plight taking on a section 8 management company, police, and black market forces that intermingled to run things. The outcome has been a unique perspective on mental health informed by both sides of the broken tiled corridor.

My work received five-star reviews from authorities such as Readers Views, Readers Favorite, Midwest Book Reviews, and Book Viral Spotlight. It ranked 8 out of over a thousand in the 2015 Book Viral Contest. In 2016 it received an Honorable Mention Award in Reader’s Favorite Annual Contest. It received four awards in 2016 Human Relations Indie Award, including Directors Choice for Outstanding Human Relations Life Adjustment Indie Book and Gold for Inspirational Human Relations Indie Book. In 2018 it was a Finalist in the Top Shelf Indie Book Award.


Sharing the Stories of “Psychosis” or Special Message Crisis

Back when I started writing my memoir, I developed a curriculum that I used in collaboration with participants in professional groups. Not only did I practice sharing my story in these groups, the task became about reconstructing a new definition of “psychosis” with solvable components and eclectic strategies for promoting health.  I developed power points, drafted original documents, refined the power points. and drafted a book I would like to someday publish

Special Messages Groups In Alameda County

In 2014-2015 I authored a local Innovations Grant during which I utilized this curriculum. The grant trained four peer specialists under the direction of a project manager with lived experience to outreach into homeless encampments and local agencies to establish peer-led group therapy. The final findings of the Special Message Project Grant Project can be found here.

A Training For Provider-folk

In the course of the grant, I became a speaker at a host of local venues and I drafted an extensive unpublished write-up. Through collaborations with the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network, I have narrowed my work into training for provider-folk. I believe this training can prepare them to understand the value of Special Message or Hearing Voices Network groups and learn to work with individuals through their psychosis. As a result, I have developed a six-hour CEU credit class and am available to come and train Bay Area Programs in segments.

My Background

I was raised as a faculty rat at a private Quaker School. My family spent the summers in Upstate New York in a town that was built up around the family’s lumbar business. The business had been closed for a generation and therefore I was surrounded by rural poverty and friends that were artificially nice to me. We all appreciated the wilderness that surrounded us and I became mindful of disparities of wealth at a young age.

At Quaker school I never quite fit. I was discouraged from embracing materialism amid a majority that did. Though I graduated with honors, I struggled with learning disabilities. I developed a contrarian relationship with the mainstream that failed to recognize or respect me. I spent my last year in and out of mental hospitals.

As a result I moved to an inner-city commuter campus to hide my history of male anorexia. There I could keep people out of my business. I got most of my social support among the local community with whom I worked and socialized. The locals seemed to respect me more than many of the commuting students who remained connect to their high school cliques. I tended to make friends with older students who were returning to school.

Learn about schizophrenia and psychosis with Tim Dreby


At the current time, I am a board member of the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network.  On the weekends I publish blogs and vie to add to my publications list. Additionally, I speak at local venues and annually at CASRA (California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies) Conferences where I provide segments of my  training.

When I am not engaged in meaningful work or using writing to be thoughtful about the care I provide, I further heal by getting out into nature with my beloved wife, Barbara, and dog, Jayla. This is done daily at the local dog park, weekly at regional parks, and a couple of times a year in our national parks.