About Mental Health
Poor mental health provision – a worldwide issue
Our bodies get sick from time to time. We all accept that and most of us have access to competent provision for that. Regrettably, this is not reliably the case for our minds.
Mental health provision, not only in UK but worldwide, is not characterised by the same achievements as physiological medicine. There have been some remarkable successes, particularly at the extreme ends and with pharmaceutical solutions, but the more regular emotional issues like anxiety and depression often seem to pile up. Available services have a poor record of problem resolution.
Typically, the UK’s National Health Service offers a CAMHS service for young people, but their experience is too often an interminable wait for an assessment, sometimes followed by another interminable wait for another assessment. Notwithstanding the quality of some of its practitioners, the system as a whole is failing. In despair, parents then bring their children to private practitioners like me, when it is my pleasure to help them resolve their issues.
The psychiatric profession has become wedded to pharmaceutical solutions. Behavioural listings like DSM were developed to apply the sort of Medical Model used in the physiological world to psychological problems. Many decades on, we have ever increasing lists of pathologies, an ever increasing portfolio of remedies and an ever increasing number of people feeling ill enough to be taking them. We are not resolving peoples issues effectively. So, for many of today’s psychological issues, the process seems to have failed. James Davies delivers some disturbing research in his book ‘Cracked’.
As long as practitioners treat psychological problems as diagnosable diseases within the person to be ‘treated’ either by medication or prescribed talking therapy, a lot of time and money will be spent to no avail, with people continuing to suffer beneath broken promises of cures which do not materialise. Consequently, the queues of distressed people continue to increase. The answer is not more funding but a completely different way of thinking.
The Medical Model
The Medical Model works on the basis that practitioners have done their studies, know what is wrong with us and they will fix it with drugs or prescribed talking processes. It fails to recognise that its own performance suggests that the process may be at fault. An American called Carl Rogers challenged this thinking in the 1950s. He recognised that, for the most part, the means of healing lay within us, so he encouraged clients to talk about themselves and their problems. This approach developed into Classical Person Centred Counselling, and has proven successful with a section of clients, but by no means all. It is an essential primer to therapy, but much more is needed. That gap now tends to be filled by the Medical Model people, who again prescribe pathologically dedicated processes. Whilst some work some of the time, the increasing waiting lists indicate that there is still a massive need to be filled.
I came from a profession which enabled us to get to the moon and which connected anyone with a smart phone to anyone else with a smart phone anywhere on the planet so we could learn from each other. We defined things to three decimal places. I then entered a profession which could not even define itself adequately and therefore was unable to communicate effectively with itself, let alone with its clientele. Despite the efforts of some excellent practitioners, the overall performance of the sector indicates poor progression. By learning from my clients rather than reading tomes of academic material, I have developed a system, based on Rogers’ original thinking, which actually works really well with a wide variety of client issues for the vast majority of the time.
Research has shown that methods used by the British NHS fail half the time. Should a distraught person be subjected to the toss of a coin? No wonder the queues get longer. Even when they do work, the therapy has shown not to last the year out. Those for whom counselling did not work because it was inadequate may walk away from the very process they needed, possibly for ever. But in addition to the harm done by closing off an essential healing route that has caused, research also shows quite a few people are actually damaged within talking therapies.
My mission is primarily to use the successful method I have developed to continue helping my clients. However, I also want to help anyone who is feeling stressed to understand themselves and their emotional landscape better so they can manage their lives more calmly. I hope that other counsellors may also see the simple and somewhat obvious logic of my methods, so that they too can support their clients confidently. Educators will also need to understand that the basic Person Centred Counselling currently taught is merely a foundation.
I am not concerned about what the superstructure which needs to go onto those foundations looks like, but it needs to work a lot better than what we have now. However, the tenets of Soul Centred Counselling is a method which builds well onto Person Centred Counselling,
It is not a prescribed routine, but a way of thinking which consistently develops practice of itself. It is a structure for growth, enabling it to address a much greater range of client issues. A key component of the process is a very specific form of meditation which I often teach separately under the title Meditation Can Transform Your Life: - Mental Health.
Reduced emotional illness = Reduced physical illness
A great deal of what arrives in our hospitals can often be consequences of emotional issues; addictions, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and much of what appears in A&E departments. If all these people could access competent emotional healing in good time, they would not be suffering these physical manifestations. Further, those who have developed physical maladies will be seen much quicker in much less congested hospitals. Competent emotional treatment is key to our overall health.