The NHS is a blessing to so many people and a huge part of its service is the best. It is generally staffed by the most dedicated and empathetic people on the planet, and it saves millions of lives every year.
However it is a mixture between a dinosaur and a juggernaut! It has barely changed in its 68 years and getting it to change direction is pretty much impossible: it’s too big and clunky!
And nowhere is this more obvious than in mental health. And that’s not showing any signs of getting better. Just 5% of the NHS research budget is spent on mental health. And yet over 70% of GP’s visits are stress-related. There’s a complete imbalance there and it’s just one of the reasons that mental health problems have been sky-rocketing over the last 20-30 years. The Heads Together campaign should start to force this imbalance to be addressed. However, as pointed out on Monday, it will undoubtedly send many more people down the black hole of NHS mental health provision in the short-term.
Because of this lack of investment, 1 in 5 people have to wait a year for their mental health therapy and 1 in 10 have to wait 2 years. That is completely useless for somebody who is depressed…and putting them on anti-depressants is not going to help…it’s only going to numb the symptoms…along with all of the positive happy emotions too.
However, the most damning statistic (and by the way, all of the statistics quoted here are NHS statistics) is that only 41.8% of people complete their mental health therapy programme. Why? Well surely there’s only one answer to that: they’re not getting what they need…otherwise they’d complete it.
The reason for this is that for the vast majority of people counselling and CBT don’t enable people to solve their problems and in the case of counselling, it takes too damn long! I was in counselling for nearly 18 months after my breakdown. Was that working? 18 months? No it wasn’t and it was only my conventional upbringing of doing what I was told that kept me there that long. Over 65% of my clients have already been to counselling. Over 35% have been to CBT. And yet they still come and see me.
The problem with counselling is that talking about the negative things over and over and over again, doesn’t help us move beyond them. In fact, it potentially further embeds the problem by normalising it. The problem with CBT is that by definition it is teaching you to manage your problem: anger management, stress management. Why the hell would you want to MANAGE your anger or your stress?
I have a young client at the moment who has already spent over a year in counselling, has taken several group CBT courses and is currently seeing a psychotherapist who has more or less told him she can’t help! To be fair, we’ve yet to see if I can help, but the signs are promising!
At The Mark Newey Method, having built deep rapport and provided a safe space (nurtured) for the client to open up, we teach them how and why they are creating the reality they don’t want, we help them heal their negative thinking, we inspire them to believe in themselves and we empower them to go out into the world and make the necessary changes to start living the life they want. Counselling and CBT can’t do that!