My practice regularly has to help refugees from the NHS depression help system. So I feel that I am well placed to speak of the reasons why these failures occur and why indeed they will always be. NHS depression help failure is institutionalised and systemic as it reflects the nature of the NHS.
Listen to this Ninth Audio of the “What makes Good Counselling” series and you can also read the accompanying blog post.
Listen/Download to my audio: Depression and the NHS – not up to task
Read my Depression Help Blog post: Depression and the NHS – not up to task
1: No Counselling model is better than any other
Audio 2: What makes a good counsellor
Audio 3: Positive expectancy
Audio 4: Trance explained
Audio 5: CBT is not the answer
Audio 6: Normalisation
Audio 7: Human Givens Counselling
Audio 8 Five questions
Audio 9: Depression help by the NHS
Audio 10: Two beginning Principles
Audio 11: Feelbetter Counselling
Audio 12: In praise of Scott Miller
We all know the scorpion and frog story.
“A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”
The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”
Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”
So consider the nature of the NHS. It is set up to deliver medical methods and procedures that can be rolled out nationwide. And for hip replacements and emergency stroke treatment and much else, the NHS can deliver. Like McDonald’s hamburgers, the same medical treatment will, broadly speaking, be in Inverness as in Doncaster as in Cornwall as anywhere.
But what if the delivery of depression counselling can never be standardised? What if there is no single counselling approach that is better than other? And horror of horrors, some counsellors are better than others. And that these good counsellors need to be allowed to get on and do their stuff.
The answer is that the NHS cannot cope with that – because it goes against its nature. And so the NHS tries and tries to standardise and to medicalise because that is what it does.