"Jan Haaken is one of feminist critical psychology’s most powerful voices. Here again, as in all her books and films, we discover that Haaken, a consummate story-teller, is also a consummate listener. The stories she tells here, drawn from her documentary film work and her clinical experience, reveal over and over the complexities of what it means to suffer and what it means to be human—complexities that defy any simple diagnosis. Haaken’s capacity to hear in these stories what has too often been unheard illuminates for clinicians, activists, and social theorists alike the regressive and progressive socio-political uses-- over its long history--of the PTSD diagnosis."

Lynne Layton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology
Dept. of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School


"This book is a critical read for clinical psychologists, critical psychologists, and those cross-fertilizing feminism with other sectors of critical thought. It also makes a compelling and practical argument to offer a stiffer yet more refined resistance to a mental health field in which psychiatry too often holds the final say."

Kareen Malone , University of West Georgia

Après Coup Psychoanalytic Association

"This is a remarkable book by a remarkable author: psychoanalytic therapist, professor, scholar, and documentary filmmaker embedded in a Combat Stress Control unit in Afghanistan. No other book brings this wide-ranging and up-close access to the politics and experience of PTSD. No other book combines scholarship with experience in this way. A remarkable achievement."

Fred Alford, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus,
University of Maryland, College Park

BANNER for NEC I and II.tif

“I wish that every high school student in the country could watch Necessity. This is a damning portrait of the bankers and builders who crisscross the country with fossil fuel pipelines — and yet it sings with courage and hope. The film offers an intimate look at what happens when people of conscience disobey the law, but stand up for Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and our future.”


- Bill Bigelow, Curriculum Editor, Rethinking Schools,

   Co-Director Zinn Education Project.


“NECESSITY is an important and accessible film that tackles an incredibly complex intersection of legal, ethical and social issues and tells the story in a straightforward way. The film does for audiences everywhere what we try to do for jurors in a necessity defense trial.”


- Tim DeChristopher, Climate Disobedience Center,

   featured in Bidder 70


"Wielding the bristling urgency and incisive candor of past projects…Haaken illuminates the forgotten providers who work amid the ever-present danger of harassment and the daunting thicket of restrictions enacted by government and, all too often, their own medical facilities."   

–-Willamette Week

“…shining a light on the abortion issue from a vital yet neglected angle...it’s also dense with winning personalities and vital insights, such that its 78-minute running time flies by...Haaken allows her subjects to expound on the reasons they do what they do, and to describe a typical day – such as at is – in an abortion clinic."

–-Lenz: Cinema St. Louis

Now streaming on multiple platforms.