Saturday, 30 July 2011

Therapy can drive you mad??

UK newspaper The Independent published an article today describing how post-9/11 americans were left worse off after counselling.

According to the article's author, Guy Adams, a huge number of therapists "flooded in" to New York after the 9/11 attacks, "setting up shop" in various buildings. Adams's underlying suggestion seems to be that these therapists were self-serving profiteers. Some elements of the readership have responded by calling therapists "bloodsuckers" and accusing them of practicing "discredited" modalities.

The academics he's quoting are actually saying something different, in my view. They are saying that a blanket approach to large-scale incidents may have mixed results, because inevitably some people will find themselves talking to a counsellor when they're just not ready to do so.
If you haven't actually asked to talk to someone, and you end up kind-of-having-to, then you may be harmed rather than helped. No big surprise there....

I believe that the therapists who went to NY after 9/11 did so with good intentions; hoping to help in the healing of psychological wounds. Maybe the blanket response wasn't required, but it was uncharted territory for everyone.
Perhaps one of the lessons here is that after a critical incident, we need to attend to the basic survival needs first, and then allow those who are affected in their souls to approach the right people - in their own time, under their own steam.


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