This is the first of a series of blog posts on the context behind my Physics World article: A physicist’s experience of the mental-health system. There is a lot of backstory. So during the editing process, I sent documents to the editor to help explain some of the views I express in the article. I have decided to add them as blog posts.

This blog post discusses the benefits of therapy and the Alex’s views on it. The post is part of a series of articles on the context behind the Physics World article, “A physicist’s experience of the mental-health system.” Alex begins by noting that therapy helped them become a confident, emotionally aware individual. However, they felt that during the process, they were not receiving treatment, but rather an education to learn a skillset. They believe that listening is not a passive activity, but an active one, and that counsellors are trained to be the best listeners on the planet. The safe environment provided by therapy allows individuals to process their emotions and understand how they build and lead to the person they are. Alex believes that therapy is not a treatment but an education, and that it helps a large proportion of people with mental health problems. The post ends with the Alex’s view that an education can still work as a treatment, but it is much easier to do when used as a preventative measure.

The Physics World article is focused almost entirely on the psychiatric system. In the original draft, I sent two articles – the second was focused more on the psychotherapeutic system, but was only loosely tied to physics. This blog post summarises my views of psychotherapy.

I don’t think therapy was bad at all. Through it, I became a confident, emotionally aware individual. The problem was that during the process it was abundantly obvious that I was not receiving treatment. I was receiving an education (as someone who has been in education my entire life).

In my view, treatments require the person receiving it to do very little work (usually to lift their arm from the pill box to their mouth), whereas education requires the person receiving it to do a lot of work, in order to learn a skillset.

Continue reading