A recent research has caught my attention, because it reflects experiences that I have made in my clinical practice many, many times about the discrimination clients experience when they need medical care. The University of Leister was involved in a research programme that investigated the quality of care. They found out that
The study by a team of researchers led by Dr Alex Mitchell from the
University of Leicester Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular
Medicine, warns that medical care delivered across most branches of
medicine to those with a mental health or substance abuse diagnosis is
of inferior quality to the usual standard of care. This important
systematic review showed widespread inequalities of care in those with
mental health problems.
If this is your experience as well, how about sending a note/email/letter to your health ombudsman or even Minister of Health with the link of this research attached?
People With Mental Health Problems Receive Inadequate Medical Care, Study Suggests
EFT, short for Emotional Freedom Technique is one of the newer kids on the block. The idea is you tap at certain points of your body and your problems will vanish. According to its inventor Gary Craig, a Stanford Engineer, you can use it basically to cure everything from phobias, depression, fear, panic, negative thoughts, stress, tension, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, social anxiety, to bereavement – Is there anything else that distresses people? Truly it’s hailed as the silver bullet of the 21st Century. Or isn’t it?
If you suffer from severe anxiety or panic attacks, the likelihood is that your doctor reaches for the prescription pad and prescribes a psychotropic drug (psychotropic drug = a drug capable of altering one’s mind, emotions, and behaviours). Only in very few instances will you be referred for psychotherapeutic treatment. Drug treatment seems to be the treatment of choice.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) has for the last 17 years tickled clinician’s – and client’s – hopes that finally a technique has been found that will help those unfortunate people who suffer from the debilitating symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How does it work? In principle, you remember a particularly painful or disturbing incident, make a mental picture of it, and pin this picture on the therapist’s index finger. The therapist then moves his/her finger in front of your face. You follow this movement with your eyes (head remains still) for a certain amount of repetitions. The idea is that after the treatment you have no longer the distressing emotions attached to your memories.
It has been common since the 60s that people visit a counsellor or therapist to talk about the problems and difficulties that trouble their lives. Beliefs like "…It has to get harder before it gets better" reflect commonly accepted wisdom and experiences people had for a very, very long time. These beliefs are now challenged by discoveries made by researchers that focus on what is known as 'positive psychology'. Without discounting the usefulness of traditional therapy that explores the problems people have and assists in finding new understandings or new behaviours, they suggest that a more effective approach would be to ALSO focus on people's strength and virtues.