Sami Timimi explores the common factors that influence therapy’s success, the evidence base for psychotherapy, and the over-promotion of CBT.
Wherever you find mental health services to have expanded, you find a parallel increase in the numbers who have been classed as disabled due to a mental health disorder.
The concepts we use have undermined our natural resilience, sensitised us to an idea of our vulnerability, and encouraged us to transfer our agency to practitioners who use a system as if it has scientific validity and is clinically useful.
Professor Sir Robin Murray recently noted that ‘sadly, a few psychologists appear to have been stranded in a Jurassic world where they spend their energies railing against a type of psychiatry which became extinct years ago.’ If true, this would obviously pose a problem for those critics of psychiatry.
There will, of course, be those with pre-existing experiences of severe mental distress, and those who develop severe distress during the COVID-19 outbreak, and it is essential that they are able to access the professional care they need. But the narrative in much of the media that huge numbers of us will need access to these same services only serves to increase the anxiety in all of us, and cast doubt on our ability to cope.