Can a nonhierarchical organization set its own rules? Can it avoid reproducing hierarchy and exploitation in order to better support its clients and workers? Can it survive, as a consensus-based organization, within the system of capitalism and within institutional settings that expect hierarchy?
This case study examines Alliance Collective, an anti-authoritarian therapy collective of practitioners who describe themselves as “humans with radical values” who “actively oppose the ‘mental health industrial complex.’”
Their internal organizational practices challenge taken-for-granted professional and organizational norms—norms for how to organize the work of mental health provision, how to compensate practitioners and staff, and how to approach clinical supervision.
Alliance Collective is forging new ground as a horizontal health services organization infused with anarchistic values. It is a young experiment, and it remains to be seen how it will evolve as it butts up against external institutional pressures and internal challenges, and its members’ own critical reflection.