The man in this video talks sooooo much sense. In the words of a community psychiatric nurse I used to work with (thanks Paul), ‘No one wakes up one day and decides to be an addict.’  Some 10 years later, I look back and realise, never a truer word said.  When I think of the people I’ve encountered in my personal and professional life who have addictions, (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, cake, cheese, chocolate, shoes, bags, sex……) they all have a story to tell; some more traumatised than others.  To add to their traumatic life we often add the life-limiting stigma of the criminal justice system to their traumas too when alcohol and drugs take a hold.

“Our whole approach to supporting people who encounter trauma in their lives requires a massive shake up…..”

Unfortunately the social and health services these traumatised people should be able to turn to for support in overcoming their trauma can be under resourced and over stretched. Adding to that, the whole systems approach is oftentimes blinkered, offering a one size fits all approach that heavily relies on medicating the trauma and its symptoms. This too tranquilising the symptoms rather than addressing and eliminating the originating events/causes.

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As a science-based professional myself I absolutely want a sound, scientifically-based framework and approach to health and therapy, however our health care system is often too slow to embrace innovation and new ways of thinking about how to gift people emotional freedom from their trauma; with egos too often getting in the way of these developments. Many stubbornly holding onto old ways of thinking/working rather than continuously looking for innovation that leads a new path aiming high towards true, profound emotional healing and the gift of a life lived with the best possible mental health. Just the other day someone I worked with basically wrote someone off when they said of them, ‘The (psychological) damage is done, this person will be (mentally) ill for the rest of their life.’  I disagreed and said, ‘It’s not where you start it’s where you finish.’  Now, unlike my colleague, I’m lucky enough to be very familiar with techniques including EMDR and Gold standard Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) which, in the hands of well trained, experienced and compassionate practitioners achieve outstanding, permanent results. Both EMDR and EFT have been around for over 20 years, yet where is the investment in developing the evidence base for these techniques, which can be much more cost effective than medication and current therapeutic approaches that usually address the symptoms and not the causes.  Furthermore, once learned EFT is a no financial cost self-help tool. Our whole approach to supporting people who encounter trauma in their lives requires a massive shake up that effectively supports people truly and permanently overcomes small ‘t’ and big ‘T’ Trauma(s) (see previous blog, childhood trauma and emotional eating as an adult).  Based on the growing evidence base, therapies like EMDR and EFT, in my opinion, need research funding to support their efficacy in showing them as a valid moral and financial direction of travel that saves lives and money.

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