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The DSM Disaster


Sometimes I wonder why I put so much effort into what I do.

Why did I take four years to become a counsellor? When that was over, why did I embark on yet more study? Why did I look for cutting edge techniques in psychotherapy? Why found a mental health charity? Why found an integrated counsellor-coaching academy and why now embark on launching the Breakthrough Happiness and Resilience Programme and Fusion Foundation?


The answer is….


because our mental health system is currently in disarray. Our emotional health and well being has been medicalised and, last year alone, over 47 million prescriptions for antidepressants were written in the UK despite the government improving access to psychological therapies.


Psychiatrists, and some would argue, the pharmaceutical companies, have increased the number of official mental health disorders from the 106 listed in DSM II in 1952 to 374 in 2013.


It was very exciting to hear psychotherapist and author Oliver James speak recently about the new challenge to DSM V and the medical model in relation to mental health.


There is now a major sea-change against the labelling of people with psychiatric disorders and the heavy and increasing use of pharmaceuticals, for which there is no evidence of efficacy above and beyond placebo. In the world of mental health, the dam is about to burst….and about time too.


Psycho analytically trained James made a surprising statement which sits very comfortably with Fusion thinking and shows how old school therapy is shifting and changing with the exciting findings emerging from neuroscience.


He referred to the ten years of research and billions of pounds and dollars of funding dedicated to finding the bio markers for mental illness. No link has been found and it is looking likely that none will be discovered.


Surprise, surprise…seems that who you are and how you are is 99% due to environmental factors such as family, culture and life experience. Bowlby was right. We are largely the products of our received parenting.


James also stated his understanding that perception is malleable, not fixed. The brain is neuroplastic. We should let go of self limiting thoughts and beliefs for our emotional wellbeing.


This will come as no surprise to Fusion Therapeutic Coaches...

Frances Masters MBACP GHGI FRTC






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