Saturday, February 10, 2007


The e-petiton started by Shelia Haugh on the Prime Ministers own website is fast approaching 5000 signatures for alternatives to the Govt's "one size fits all" Cogntive Behavour Therapy approach .

The concern behind the petition is the Govt's favouring of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy CBT which is being singly latched into its mental health get-back-to-work drives to the virtual exclusion of all other types of therapeutic approach.

It has been pushed hard under the banner of "choice" by the partly discredited NIMHE who have morphed more and more into the semi invisible CSIP (Care Services Improvement Partnership) who have also hailed CCBT (the computerised version of CBT (as evidence of "Patient Choice")

The claim that CSIP has become a sycophantic civil service made up of ex Service Users swayed by the original fire of claimed innovation is often reported to UserWatch.

Criticisms that CBT's wide applications are superficial and cannot help emotionally based depressions and the trauma of life events have been voiced by many patients and various therapy practitioners alike.

Users on UK survivors, an open public forum are having their opinions about the e-petition issues too :

" It should also be a fundamental human right to have therapies or assistance that are found helpful to the person.

The trouble with NHS therapies is it is one size fits
all-industrialized medicine, just like a factory."

Says one HERE

This was echoed and added to by another HERE

This User also spoke of the worry of the contradictions in the mental health system that can often define people as "well enough" beyond crisis care only to make them face a social and benefit system inadequately fitted to integrate and understand the continuing stresses they face if they even try to fit into the mainstream of society again ..

CBT application has been defined by up to 10 (maximum) sessions of thinking-based self control therapy (over triggering thoughts that reactivate bad feelings) for the moderate or mildly depressed followed by what ? Work and recovery ? Its the Govt's ideal .

Perhaps in some limited truly mild cases where thought is enough to block the energy of unresolved affect or draw back controlling focus on of some fragmenting patterns of negative thought and feelings, anxiety etc., a little thought-tinkering will do. But not so with large affective energies and traumas revolving through peoples entire systems often for a lifetime who never have any therapy. Several cases of these are known to UserWatch in Birmingham , and further afield there are many many more ...

The difficulty too is, in NHS Trusts the largest part of any therapy-budget will be devoted in future to CBT mainly or drug based control. There are whole sections of patient-type missing out on various form of psychological therapy to help them

CBT is really meant as a cheap measure for the psychologically screwed up"workless classes" on incapacity benefit who in truth do not have the privilege normally to have a therapy that will help resolve emotional pain and difficulties. Some of the incapacity benefit arguments are discussed on the British Psychological website HERE

The CBT applied model flounders around coping with the concept of feelings as the centre of a human being. Cognitive mechanics is all - to tighten the nuts up . UserWatch believes this conceals old fashioned victorianised social stigma and the national UK taboo against openly shown difficult feelings.

Reactive depression, one of the maladies which CBT is supposed to treat, is as its name implies, a reactive event. It is not caused or mediated into existence by "thought". It is caused often by reflex to survive pain and suppressed affect (feelings) which are attributable to various very negative external life events and are not solely residing within the orbit of cortical and neo cortical higher functions of the brain but are stored as suppressed affect in the feeling areas of the limbic system.

That "feeling system" needs re-engaging and resolving by using the internalised past for inner levels of recovery . Tears are part of the journey of the recalled self with that therapy because people with serious hurts when listened to , cry ... They grieve . That is not in the British CBT lexicon . It costs more money too, so the "workless classes" are to be treated to a "spanner for the head over heart" so to speak ..

One example of painful but resolving therapy UserWatch knows of is of a soldier in Northern Ireland. He suffered various life events of pain and loss as an early childhood development which was later added to because his best army mate was shot and killed by the side of him dramatically . He became seriously depressed and self violating until he could find the therapy (not on the NHS) which helped him feel the vulnerable self he had been taught to deny for most of his life . When the soldiering armour gave way to tears and grief over many sessions that built his tolerance up to his own emotional pain for suppressed internal events, he then found he could live with himself and let go of more of the events which were otherwise sending him mad. Ofcourse the British love denial ...... The mental health NHS is based on it ..

Related to the CBT poverty of application though, there have been criticisms of unjoined up mental health services without the capacity to follow through that were voiced in Birmingham after a "Suresearch" (Birmingham University) piece of research commissioned by the Patient and Public Involvement Forum in 2006 showed patients that came through immediate crisis in Birmingham often faced a very hard times indeed beyond .

The defrayal of costs for their support into the community and with adequate choices of therapy-back-ups could have been assured by now if NIMHE had never existed (65 million up to 2006) which has probably cost £80 million now ..

The Govt with NIMHE and its morphling CSIP is targeting the vulnerable with cheap resources and expensive bureaucracy and everyone including Service Users are mixed up contrarily within the new careerist illusory equation. NIMHE was a the career-carrot for many who are playing the game that old timers used to see on the wards. Those who "got well" quicker were those who did the washing up of the tea cups for the staff.

The Govt's approach will fail most patients, because the Govt's approach is anti-local, anti-individual at purchase level, anti depth and partly anti human, and it is systems-delivery driven on the basis of all Top Down planning thought is unlikely to get to the local and personal heart of the problems. Its a Govt of denial .

In fact it recreates the worst of the old staus quo on the wards recasting it into new form of oppression which has bureacratised the patient into a slickly denied Govt partnership of new social madness ...


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