There is nothing wrong with you

Therapy shares the same pedagogical model as modern factory education and, for that matter, the model of pharmaceutical “treatment” of psychiatric “disorders”.

In all 3 cases the welfare (income) of one party (the provider of the treatment) depends on a consensus model that the other (the recipient of the treatment) is inadequate. The recipient needs the intervention to move them from this state of inadequacy to one of passable adequacy.

Naturally, with every contact between provider and recipient the provider does everything possible to create the inadequacy on which his business model, (as well as his power and prestige), depend.

Schools teach inadequacy. This is implicit in the doctrine that it is only possible to “progress” by following the set path of progression and obediently following the teacher’s instructions. On your own you can “achieve” nothing. In reality this is not true at all. Most people if motivated can teach themselves a great deal. It may help to have someone who can point out useful resources. But it is not in reality necessary to submit to the absolute authority of another in all areas of life in order to learn. The imbalance of power inherent in standard education enforces incapacity in the recipients. They are allowed to achieve but only on the terms and on the paths set down for them by the providers; who take the “credit” for the “learning” of their objectified “pupils”.

Pharmaceutical drugs used to “treat” psychiatric disorders often mess up the recipient so much that the recipient has to take more drugs to balance out the effects of the first ones. An almost dream business model. But hardly medicine.

Therapy also depends on manufacturing inadequacy. It depends on people believing that there is something wrong with them. This is why they need treatment. But, in reality, in the vast majority of cases there is just nothing wrong with people who are “in therapy” at all. (Other than they’ve made a mistake and are wasting their money). Therapists are generally very careful to avoid “seeing” people who have serious mental problems, e.g. of the kind that attract a schizophrenia label. The people they do “see” are in reality normal, functioning, souls.

From the moment the client first steps into the “consulting room” the therapist will do everything she can to give the client a sense of inadequacy.  The very fact of being “treated” implies that there is something wrong with the client. This is why therapists are so eager to present their activity as a form of “treatment”, using language such as “clinical”,  claiming that therapy is a “science”, claiming equivalence with people who do have a real training of some kind in a field governed by social science, such as clinical psychologists, and, of course, emphasising their “professional” status. The “professional” status which creates the “right to treat” implies one who needs to be treated. As the therapist “takes up” the position of therapist (the phrase comes from a leaflet about therapy training) so the person entering the “consulting” room goes down to the position of patient. From the therapist’s point of view it is a virtuous circle. Every time the client turns up for a “session” this very fact further confirms their need of treatment, their inadequacy. The effect deepens with exposure.

One of the core tricks of therapy is to explain that the client is likely to be suffering from a hidden trauma from their childhood. The “hidden” part explains why it can’t be seen by the client. The “from childhood” part creates the excuse for months or years of poking about in the client’s memories for the “hidden” source of their current problems.

In therapy ordinary life ups and downs are interpreted as a reflection of something inherently wrong internal to the client. The real world and the present drift further and further away from the client. The therapist’s bank balance swells.

But what is “wrong” with people who are “in therapy”? Nothing. They may have lost a partner to bereavement and be feeling confused and low. Maybe a relationship has ended. Maybe they are parents and are having trouble managing their rebellious son. Maybe they are 22 years old and “don’t know what to do with their life”. Maybe they have moved house and feel a bit at sea in a new location. Maybe they are wondering about their “life direction”. Maybe they feel anxious and stressed. And so on. All normal. Life is not a packaged product that flows off a shelf in a supermarket all ready to “enjoy” with the least possible inconvenience. Dealing with these problems is just a normal part of life. Taking the above list in order here are some suggestions: suffered bereavement;  join a group run by a voluntary association for people in a similar position. Relationship ended? Try dating; or, accept that you will be alone for a while. It’s perfectly normal and may give you a chance to try out some new hobbies. Parents – talk to other parents you know; if you don’t know any then this is a great opportunity to get to know some over a common problem. 22 years and don’t know what to do with your life? Go and get some careers guidance. Your local authority may even offer a free service. Then do what everyone in that position has always done; try out a few different jobs. Moved house and feeling lonely? A not uncommon problem. Most areas will have some kind of voluntary group to help people meet. Talk to your local council. Or simply go and join something. “Life direction” problem? Some people seem to sail through life without ever having any doubts as to what to do. But some don’t. So; you are one of the latter. That’s part of your life. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. Life can have a bit of grit in it. That’s part of the challenge. Going “into therapy” when you encounter some difficulties is like deciding to climb a hill but at the first challenge (a scree, a stream to be forded, some slippery grass) giving up and demanding that someone carry you to the top in a litter, preferably one with an enclosed cabin so you don’t even have to look at life as you are carried to the top. Or, like taking up football but demanding that no one ever tackle you. Yes; you can pay someone to carry you through life in a litter with the curtains drawn, and no doubt you could find people to play non-tackling football but in terms of hill-walking or football it wouldn’t be any fun.

And, here, again, we see how therapy is like the pharmaceutical industry. It offers palliatives to smooth over the rough bits of life. But those rough bits are part of the stuff of life. If you eliminate them you live a soapy, watered down, version of life.

All these people want you to believe that there is something wrong with you because their business depends on this. Because they are making money (or getting power and prestige) out of it.





Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer