ABOUT THIS BLOG -- I was once a writer published the old fashioned way. I am trying to relearn that skill after 15 years of silence, exploring a topic that many are scared to explore. Seeking or being involuntary placed in mental health treatment creates a stigma for the patient -- no matter how strong or trustworthy that patient was before treatment, they are somehow deemed weak and untrustworthy. In my 30 years of psychotherapy and 15 years of silence, I've observed that should something go wrong between clinician and patient, the clinician gets the benefit of the doubt. There are advocates and organizations that are supposed to counterbalance this tendency, but I feel even they are flawed. This is a blog about my journey.

Reasons not to support a treatment plan. Criticism of a Good Housekeeping magazine article.


Shots fired last night.

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"What to Say to (and Not Say) to Someone Who is Depressed" by Lisa Bain in Good Housekeeping Magazine. Accessed 9:22AM EST USA.

"Support their treatment plan."

So simply laugh at them when they cry, lie to them, lunge at them and tell them to get over it, tell them to shut up, send them letters months after you stop speaking, advise them to give into temptation, and tell them to throw it up in the air (perhaps, this is a metaphor for 'give up')?

Nonetheless, imagine these messages did not come from a psychotherapist, but rather a family member or friend or even lover/spouse. If your family member, friend or lover/spouse laughed at your pain, lied to you, lunged at you and told you to get over it, told you to shut up, kept sending you letters months after you broke up or stopped talking, told you take an obvious unnecessary risk (perhaps, even gave you bad advice), and then told you to give up --- would you stick around? What personality would you consider this friend, family member or lover/spouse to have? Would you find this treatment acceptable? And if not, then what makes it excusable for a psychotherapist to do to a patient?

While there are other articles that are probably more scientific and also include how these tactics can lead to physical abuse, I ask those reading this blog to direct their attention to an article named  "4 Stages in the Cycle of Abuse" by Sarah Makin at Makin Wellness (accessed May 22, 2022 at 11:22AM EST USA.) Particularly, the fourth section and the fourth topic of the fifth section. (Yep, can already feel the criticism; already at that build stage.)

This Good Housekeeping article has a section about suicide. Is the message sent from the theoretical psychotherapist, friend, family member, lover/spouse suitable for someone depressed enough to consider suicide? Or how about the opposite direction? Or what about mental illnesses or "mental illnesses" that involve sexuality, or control or lack thereof (such as gambling and eating disorders)?

And you wonder why there was such a spike in violence.

Good Housekeeping, I used to really like your publication, but this is not one of your best.

My advice -- if their therapy sounds questionable, it probably is questionable, and if you care about this person, you may at some point, want to tactfully and compassionately explain this to them. Be supportive of the individual, not their treatment plan.