Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sometimes I Am Lazy...

I am a very lazy blogger at the moment. And I think I may be having a little bloggy wobble. There are a number of things that I feel I ought to be blogging about, to justify the ‘psychotherapist’ part of the title and not just indulge the ‘confessions’ part.

I really ought to be blogging about the Layard report, which has called for 10,000 more NHS therapists to meet the challenge of our poor emotional well being as a nation. I ought to be blogging about the government’s Skills for Health consultation paper, which is a first attempt at producing National Occupational Standards for psychological therapies. And I ought to be blogging about the UKCP’s excellent response to this consultation exercise.

I really want to blog about the emphasis on Cognitive Behavioural Therapies in the consultation, and the absence of any thoughtful consideration of the very different principles and philosophies of Humanistic Therapies. I want to blog about why CBT is not a panacea, and how the government is in danger of disregarding 70 years of marvellous theoretical developments in Humanistic therapy that have embraced post-modern philosophy and seen sophisticated developments in practice.

But I find that when I get home from work I am tired and my brain is foggy. All I want to do is play Guitar Hero with the children (I have just completed 'More Than A Feeling', level: hard for anyone who is interested.) So instead I blog about things I have seen on TV, tourist induced pavement rage and nice things I do at the weekend. I am sorry for being so lazy. The only other option is to take the word ‘psychotherapist’ out of my blog title and replace it with something else. But I can’t think what.

I go away on Thursday for a few days. Please feel free to chat amongst yourselves and bounce on my bloggy couch. It might be glad to be of use, for once.


Stray said...

I like hearing from the whole of you :)

well, most of you anyway.

And should is a dangerous word for people with your apparently rebellious nature. It will result in but from time to time I expect ...

I would love to bounce on your couch though. And actually I need your professional services on an urgent and important matter: My dog is depressed. I think she is missing her friend. I have taken her to play fetch on the mount, and given her cuddles on the sofa, but she says she just wants to be alone.

What should I do Ms M? What should I do?


Stray said...

Oh - and More than a feeling is VERY good. Well done!

Ms Melancholy said...

Hi Stray, I am certainly not rebellious. Where on earth did you get that idea from? But yes, the shoulds mean that I don't do it. But the wants should mean that I will do it, but I still don't. Then I get confused. As for Ruby, she has the short term memory of a gnat so don't worry, she will forget her friend before you know it. And life will be sweet again.

Jude said...

I like hearing your stories about life too. Don't stop.

Matbe the confessions of a psychotherapist should be that she is ace at Guitar Hero and goes for lovely walks at the weekend.


Dandelion said...

I know just what you mean! I haven't posted anything not labelled Off Topic for yonks. I don't know what's wrong with me.

Did you see the government's response by the way to the e-petition to consider therapies other than cbt?

It may not be a panacea, but it lends itself better to an evidence-base, and consequently is the most efficacious, not to mention cost-effective. Personally, I blame therapists for pushing their costs so high :-)

brumcunian said...

Alternative name... Confessions of a guitar hero mum?

Ms Melancholy said...

Hey, thanks Jude x

Hi Dandelion, I know what you are trying to do there! Provoke me into writing something 'proper' with an outrageously naive statement about cbt...oh, so you actually meant it??? We will have this debate soon x

Well, Brum, it would certainly fit at the moment. And just wait until I am on 'expert' level - I won't be able to talk about anything else.

Ms Melancholy said...

.....and the CBT practitioner at the clinic where I work charges twice as much as anyone else! (I think you are teasing me, dear Dandelion.)

Aaron said...

I have a Wii. I love it. I think it loves me too.

We have wonderful evenings playing tennis, bowling, shooting Germans, and crushing the skulls of orcs and trolls.

Romance, it seems, is not dead.

Miss Tickle said...

Please tell me about humanistic stuff, I do not know about it and want to be educated.

Also, hello!


trousers said...

But your confessions are from YOU - who is a psychotherapist - so they're no less valid or interesting than the stuff about CBT and various other developments.

No small amount of your non-psychotherapy writings are surely informed, whether directly or otherwise, by the insights and experiences you've gained as a professional in your field. It certainly brings interesting insights to your observations of the everyday.

Which reminds me (*tangent alert! tangent alert!*) of something a famous art critic said to us during a talk at art college. "Most of you won't become artists, but most of you will continue to think like artists. And thats fine - I for one would rather there be bus drivers around who thought like artists."

Caroline said...

Oh Ms M - don't give yourself such a hard time. Your blog rocks whatever you post about. Very impressed with your Guitar Hero skills. I have progressed to medium.

I am suffering from bloggers droop and my keyboard is playing up because of the wine spilling thing. Think I need a blogging holiday.

Have fun away x

Reading the Signs said...

Ms M, it really depends on what you want your blog to be. Some people treat it as a kind of public service that they provide and at the other end of the spectrum it's a place for putting whatever feelings and thoughts are jumbling around in the head or a place for distracting oneself. There are thoughtful blogs, playful blogs, literary or confessional blogs or blogs that are a bit like a chat room. As long as you are getting what you want from the process it's all good, I reckon. Well maybe good is the wrong word, but it is what it is and the word lazy doesn't come into it. There's nothing you have to justify. I know a certain poet's blog that has been banging on about American Idol for weeks because it relaxes him. Perhaps he loses the interest of a few readers here and there (me included in those) but he is enjoying himself, so -
Are you?
I hope you have a good break.

Reading the Signs said...

And you might also take on board that you have often and in diverse ways put a good vibe out to many of your fellow bloggers - so x

Ms Melancholy said...

Hi there tygs, I confess that youngest child has a Wii too, but I am staying very loyal to Guitar Hero. And I can't help but wonder how on earth Mrs Tyger is expecting again, if that is your idea of romance!

Hi Miss Tickle, the difference between CBT and the humanistic approach is very interesting, and currently a real hot potato. I will post on this!

Hi trousers, thanks for that. I love the quote. And you are very kind.

Hi Caroline, 'bloggers droop' sums it up nicely!

Hi Signs, thank you for your lovely words. I guess the problem - if there is one - is that 6 months on this blog is not what I expected it to be. And that is fine, it is an organic process....and yes, I do enjoy it and that is what matters. I certainly never wanted to do 'blog therapy' (!) but I like what you say. And now I feel a little bit shy ;)

Dandelion said...

Outrageously naiive? Moi?

I think you have a rather psycotherapist-centric view, Ms M: CBT people may earn more, but they have a quicker turn-around, so the cost of treatment per person is lower for the Trust than, say, 5 years of twice weekly person-centred therapy.

In addition, I recently found out that "CBT" is delivered on the NHS these days by practically teenaged non-therapists with some rather minimal, very general training. Certainly not the university sort, that would cost five grand a year from your own pocket for two years, and have as a pre-requisite the completion of at least two other preliminary courses in counselling and so forth, each in turn costing upwards of a grand. Let alone undertaking any therapy oneself. So you see, "CBT" (as opposed to CBT proper) actually is way cheaper from the NHS's POV.

Dandelion said...

Just thought I'd mention it.

BTW, Aaron, I've just had a Wii myself :-) But as far as games consoles go, I'm waiting for the Nintendo P_00...

Ms Melancholy said...

Hi again Dandelion, the latest ruse is to train people for 10 weeks in CBT techniques and let them loose on people with depression and anxiety disorders. Now, someone remind me why the fuck I paid for 5 years of training, alongside my own personal therapy? I just don't get it. I must be stupid. We will chat later on this one, Dandelion! xxx

swimmer6foot4 said...

Dear Ms M, it's not just "why the fuck I paid for 5 years of training", what about all the damage these 10-week CBT practitioners could be doing to our clients? And guess who will be picking up the pieces - years and years down the line? Yep, us.

I think a deep depression set in shortly after I read 10 Downing Street's reply on the "CBT is your Hobson's Choice" petition. And on top of that we have looming regulation and registration (an area where you and I don't necessarily see eye-to-eye) which looks like being imposed with all the subtlety of a steamhammer. I don't like it. Think I'll go learn how to drive a bus instead.

So anyway, faced with all this horrid stuff, you are merely indulging in the healthy response of avoidance activity (a term favoured by the CBT crowd, I hear).

Myself? I'll wait until Ms Stray has disappeared into her tree house, then I'll sneak over and borrow her Heelys. Meanwhile, I'll focus on the footpaths. Oh! Please may I give a mention the wonderful people at Living Streets who are trying to help us improve our pavements?

yellowduck said...

So, you reckon this blogger's droop is contagious then? I have been so unbothered of late. And I do lurk here an awful lot (because you are ace and I have a secret crush ;)).
Just keep at it, Ms M, you spread sunshine everywhere you go in the blogging world.

That is not corny by the way.

bindi said...

I like the couch metaphor.
But I'm too tired to say anything intelligent about it.

Stray said...

Swimmer! My Heelys will not fit you if you are truly 6' 4'' as I am a size 3 and you would be rather unsteady on little pin feet like that ...

You can just ask to borrow them though :) I am nice like that!

I think blogger's droop is frequently weather related - something nice to do outside instead :)

Oh, as for the CBT - It is probably perfectly safe if you are fundamentally well adjusted and happy as a person and it's only your Thinking and your Behaviour which is a problem. As long as you don't have any Feelings causing you problems then I expect CBT is just right!

And teenagers are just the right people to do it because the world looks so much more simple when you're 19 ... by the age of 30 it's all looking much more complex and that simply wouldn't suit as an attitude for 'fixing' people in six weeks now, would it!


Ms Melancholy said...

Hi Swimmer, great comments. I now share your distaste for registration, having read the initial consultations. The government are refusing to listen to the experts who know best and I feel furious about it. It would be less damaging to allow any tom, dick or harriet to practice than to shoehorn the rest of us into a CBT framework. We will talk more on this one, I'm sure.

Hi Ducky, did you know that the whole of the blogging world has a secret crush on you too? :) Well, you do now! You are my favourite duck in the whole world.

Hi Bindi, thank goodness you are too tired to say anything intelligent! Me too! Let's just play ;)

Hi Stray, good points. I am a size 3 so may I borrow your heelies please?

Aaron said...


It's amazing what one can do with a Wii. Which reminds me of a great Wii You Tube vid I saw a while ago. I'll dig it out.

All, especially Ducky and Caroline!

NO MORE TALK OF BLOGGERS DROOP. Get to your keyboards slackers.

Aaron said...

It's gone



anticant said...

All this talk of thousands of new therapists [where from??] to cheer up the nation is total crap. What we need is a new government with sensible policies and an end to the living nightmare that has been the 21st century so far. I have never known so many people - on and off blogs - who are furiously angry, depressed, and scared at the same time.

Having been involved at the birth of the counselling movement in the 1970s and '80s, my hunch is that the whole project has gone badly off the rails as it becomes more and more bureaucratised. Multiplying the number of half-trained counsellors adorned with fancy bits of paper isn't the answer.

anticant said...

Perhaps something more robust would do the trick - maybe along the lines of my favourite therapy cartoon, where the psychiatrist is glowering down at the glum litle man on the couch and saying "You haven't got an inferiority complex - you just ARE inferior."

PurpleSparkleBright said...

I wonder what type of therapy I'm having? Its not CBT I know. Ms Melancholy: you can blog about what you wish. Badger's blog is not about badgers, or baby duck hats. My blog is not about rainbows. Don't stop: I like your blog. And I agree with you about the weird shortage of therapsits/crap quick fix bidge job by government who can't work out that the reason why the nation is depressed is because of the over worked underpaid bargain hunting debt up to eyeballs, big boys don't cry culture of cash we have got. aaaaaaahhhh I feel better now.

Böbø said...

I used to write worthy insights into my psychotherapy learnings, but I've recently got in with a bad lot and seem to be thinking about Simon Cowell more than I'd ever imagine.

But the thing is to write: Blogger's Droop? Fiddlesticks!

x ♥ x

Lynda said...

Excellent!!! - we have school holidays and I have been beating myself up "you are not on holiday' my brain says .... but PS2 with laughing children just does it for me... thanks for letting me off the hook!

Aaron said...

"Sometimes I am Lazy..." ~ Ms Melancholy

Like when I fob my readers off with a post about videogames for several days?


Liz said...

I keep seeing the commercials for this game. My two sons want it desperately. I'm sure that once we get it, I'll be the one to get hooked on it, not them!

Ms Melancholy said...

Hi Anticant

Multiplying the number of half-trained counsellors adorned with fancy bits of paper isn't the answer. Well, we agree on that one for sure. I look forward to talking to you some more about this.

Hi Ms Purple - yes, wouldn't it be great if the government took just a brief look at prevention instead of cure? Exactly why are we all so damned depressed or anxious. (Affluenza, perhaps?)

Hey BoBo, so glad you are being led astray. It makes me smile ;)

Hi Lynda - glad to be of service! Playing PS2 games with the kids is something I take great pleasure in. And they love it too.

Hi Tygs, yes indeedy. Exactly that. You busy too??

Hi Liz, you must get it! You will love it. And the kids love to see their mum playing and having fun. Much more important than letting the hoover eat your hours with them.

Aaron said...


Just hanging around people's blogs like a damp smell.

That's so pants said...

It happens sometimes when you just don't have that much to say or you do and can't be arsed or can't remember how to make a sentence or where words are kept. At least that's how it is with me. Come back when you feel like it. We'll all still be here.

Medicated Pony Boy said...

Hey Loon - quit beating yourself up. I'm afraid to say that, as in most things, my way is the right way - take a break. Restrict yourself to visiting other people's blogs and lock your blog front door behind you when you leave. Do this often. It feels exactly like a holiday. (only not as good, really - a tad lonely, too. but still)

And remember when you get back, of course, that it is almost entirely irrelevant what you choose to write about in your space because it's, well, YOUR space. I know that this is a bloody obvious thing to say, but you seem to be losing sight of this fact, Shrinky. Take it easy, you're doing fine.

It's true that my breaks from blogging are prompted by my blackly suicidal leanings - but don't let this discourage you. No way.

Also, I have been known to become entirely baffled in the head at times - this is also true. But think about it, please. If a spazbucket like me can see clearly that this is your space and that you need not give the teeniest tiny fuck about what other people may think of what you choose to write about, then it should be easy enough for you to recognise this truth and embrace it. Sheesh. A mentaloid having to set a Mind-Wrecker straight? A terrible world, indeed.

Unless I'm wrong, of course. It happens.

Lovely to see you again, Melancholy. I miss you after a while, goddammit.

TPE xx

(enough with the Guitar Hero thing already)

Ms Melancholy said...

Hey Pants, you sum it up so well. Sometimes I just can't remember where the words are kept, let alone the ideas.

Hey Prozac Pony, it's so lovely to see you back here. Not because you speak a lot of sense - which of course you do - but because I am really quite desperately in lust with you. Don't stay away so long, next time.

Prozac Pony said...

Hmm. And Mmmmmmm.

I was recently most indecently hit on by NMJ - an open invitation, really, to become her lover. (I accepted greedily and with lusty eyes aflame, of course, but I still await her hot loving). Now you seem to be acting in a most lusty and excitable manner, Melancholy. All it would take is for Political Umpire to ask me on a date and I'd feel like I'd hit the trifecta.

I sense there may be something afoot, however. My horsey instincts tell me that if I declare a reciprocal lustiness in your general direction I shall be outed as a most grievously grabby and greedy Pony slag with nary a decent bone in his body. I am half expecting NMJ to appear on these pages and laugh at my filthy weakness.

There is just no WAY that I would otherwise be hit on in such quick succession by two of my favourite fillies (I used that word on NMJ and she still didn't slap me - heightening my sense of suspicious unease)

So, yes. When should I call?

How are you feeling now, Melancholy? Is your head clearing at all? Although I ended up by being a bit of a dick in my last response here - the points made were meant to be serious. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone, silly, and you should write about anything that takes your fancy, whensoever you may choose to do so. Whatever you are comforable with, then that's your level. Easy peasy.

And I happen to think you have the balance about right, as I have said to you before, and that you are really rather good at all of this.

Please take it easy.


Ms Melancholy said...

Hey there, Haloperidol Horsey Boy, I don't want to step on nmj's toes. She is one of my finest bloggy friends, and soon to be famous too, so I can't risk upsetting her. Just let me know when she has done with you....

The Periodic Englishman said...


Anonymous said...

I saw several humanistic counsellors, unfortunatley their therapy did very little to help my anxiety disorder.I eventually got to see a REBT (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy)therapist who also used covert-NLP and EFT . It changed my life, and I now have workhorse tools to maintain and *improve* my mental health,

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