Mental Health Training

Effective Therapy, By Hugh Macnab

Posted by on 9 Sep, 2018 in Mental Health |

Effective Therapy, By Hugh Macnab

Effective therapy

I probably seems obvious, but therapists only see people who will go to see them. That
means that they are working with people who are already suffering from some form of
distress – in other words, helpful as they may be at fixing the problem, they become
involved only when itʼs already too late.

Perhaps more people would seek help if therapy could be available when it was really
needed – when the conditions which are causing the distress are active and the individual
is struggling to cope – not later, sometimes months, years or even decades after the event.
Carrying long-term results of distress represents not only a personal tragedy, but also a
loss of potential in our society.

Of course, most people are quite resilient and can cope with a great deal of stress in their
lives, and with support and understanding from family and friends, still recover without the
help of a therapist – they simply do not need a therapist to talk to on a daily basis in order
to cope with life. But, there is a difference between stress and distress in that the latter can
have longer-lasting effects which with a little help at the right time, can usually be avoided.
Think of those who suffer from trauma in childhood who struggle through teenage years
because of it. Or those who suffer stress at work on a regular daily basis and cannot avoid
allowing this to affect family life at home. Or again, those who stay in an emotionally
damaging relationship too long and find it hard to establish a healthy relationship
afterwards. There are many different examples where people suffer the effects of a
distressing event for far too long.

While weʼre talking about whatʼs wrong with therapy, letʼs add a few more aspects.
Talking to someone you donʼt know.

Firstly, you have to talk to someone you donʼt know about things which are usually either
quite painful, embarrassing or personal. While a therapist can offer an independent
viewpoint, and often help with whatever is causing the distress, taking the step to go and
ask for help may still too difficult for many.
Waiting time for an appointment

If waiting for NHS treatment, this can often be quite a few months which means that help is
getting further away from when it is actually needed. People may even resolve their own
difficulties before receiving treatment, or just become disheartened and give up waiting,
preferring to ʻbattle-onʼ on their own. Others can afford to opt for private therapy, which is
good for them – but what about those who canʼt?
Choosing the ʻrightʼ therapy
Good luck with this one. If you are working your way through the NHS waiting list, you will
almost definitely find CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) waiting for you – which may or
may not be best for you. If you are looking elsewhere, there are more forms of therapy on
offer than you can count, and picking your way through this can be very off-putting for
many. Even within the profession, there are many different views on how therapy actually
works – so no surprise that many people finding the choice confusing.
Choosing the ʻrightʼ therapist
Choosing a therapist also can be very confusing, especially if you have never done it
before. If you are receiving CBT from the NHS, you will be given someone to work with
you. While you may respond well to this person, you may not. Then what do you do? Is it
that your case is too difficult? Is the therapist simply not right for you? Is it the form of
therapy you are being offered? Whatʼs wrong, and who knows? People can be put off
simply because the process of selecting a therapist is too difficult.
To medicate or not?

When you first approach your GP for advice with an emotionally distressing condition,
there is a high probability that you may be prescribed some form of medication to ʻsee you
throughʼ. While this may help some people, it may not be right for others. What do these
people then do while they join the NHS waiting list?
Location, location, location.

Although there will definitely be a therapist close to where you are, what if this is not the
best one for you? What if you are recommended someone, but they are some miles away?
Then, even when you contact them, because they are popular, they cannot see you for
quite a few weeks. You have to wait, then travel which costs both time and money. Sadly,
in our busy lives, local availability is often a factor when choosing a therapist – but this is
not the best way to choose.
Does it work?

After all of this, do you actually get better? Well, some will and others will not. Some
therapists measure how effective they are in helping people, others do not. Either way,
virtually no-one publishes their results, usually because helping people is as much an art
as a science and their results are probably not too impressive when viewed by the public.
People are not given vital information about how successful a therapist is, or isnʼt.



Have you ever considered how much personal information a therapist gathers about you,
your relationships, your work and so on. Some people simply do not want a ʻstrangerʼ
knowing about this level of intimate detail. This aspect will prevent some people from ever
seeking professional help.
Effective therapy – designed from experience
Clarity – effective therapy should be able to explain your ʻconditionʼ to you in a simple and
easy to understand fashion. You can be given the ʻbest-of-the-bestʼ treatment and not be
confined to one form of therapy – so you donʼt need to choose.

Performance – therapy which actually works – as measured by users, not the therapist –
with published performance details.

Available on demand – at the time of need – when times are hardest, and it is difficult to
cope. No waiting list.

Choice – to use a particular therapist or not.

Flexibility – to cancel or rebook a treatment session without embarrassment, explanation
or possible cancellation charges. Also, take each treatment at times which suit you
personally, and if you travel you may also like to take a treatment at a different location
from usual.

Location – ideally delivered in the comfort of your own home, where you can also have the
support of a family member or friend if you choice. No travel time or cost.

Easy – where you do not have to meet and tell a therapist the details of whatever is
causing your distress. In fact you donʼt need to tell the therapist anything, and he can still
help you.

Medication – is not affected by this treatment in any way. When you feel you have
recovered sufficiently, with the aid of your doctor, you can reduce or eliminate your

Safe – you are in control of everything that happens. If you choose, you can stop each
session at a moments notice, either permanently if you choose not to continue, or briefly if
you decide to simply take a break and continue later.

Confidential – where you are not required to reveal confidential information – even your
surname can be excluded if you feel this is necessary.

Cost – FREE for everyone suffering from either Anxiety or Depression.
Visit in your own home
Requirements – English only, private e-mail account and access to broadband.
No selling, no advertising, no sponsorship, FREE of charge and available to everyone
A personal social initiative – improving emotional health