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Mental Health: Supportive Relationships Key

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Message Grant Lawrence

...Therein lies the key. According to Bentall, the evidence supports a treatment model that relies on supportive relationships rather than pills. “What works is being kind and listening to people, encouraging them to be optimistic and treating them with respect"....He says that psychiatric diagnoses are less reliable than star signs (“at least with star signs you can agree on who has which sign. Psychiatric diagnoses are unreliable and largely invalid”) and that patients are more likely to recover in countries where there are virtually no services: “If you’re going to go mad, do it in Nigeria because you have a better chance there than in London....
Psychologist Richard Bentall, author of "Doctoring The Mind: Why Psychiatric Treatments Fail,"says that psychiatrists dish out drugs but ignore the value of good relationships.
As a licensed mental health counselor, I firmly believe that the key to alleviating most mental health problems is found in having or developing good relationships.

Drugs, many times, have serious side effects and often result in an undesired state of mental and emotional functioning.

Still there are serious mental health problems that do require the aid of drugs. But the use of psychoactive drugs as the first treatment of choice is not helpful for most people.

The reason counseling is generally not offered as the first treatment option for most mental health conditions is that it requires more up front money from the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry will not get rich off the counseling sessions. So generally, here in the United States, a medical doctor spends a few minutes with the patient and prescribes a drug for a mental or emotional disturbance. The Doctor demonstrates professional care for the malady and the patient thinks that he or she is being cared for.

People want it easy. Doctors want to think the drug will do the trick and patients want to think they can give themselves or their children the drug and everything will be OK.

But life is sometimes nasty and brutish. It is important that we go through these experiences and try to learn and develop a higher mind and heart from them. A counselor can help a person or their children develop life skills and understanding to cope with tough times. The relationship developed between the counselor and the client is the source for healing.

Unfortunately, prescription drugs are often not very effective and can easily get you hooked or worse.

Grant Lawrence 

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