“Negotiation and the Power of Finding Alternative Options

Total freedom for everyone is a dangerous myth.  In pursuit of absolute freedom, we will all end up feeling like “slaves” of one kind or another.  The answer to feelings of “oppression” is for everyone to always have plenty of options.

So, when negotiating with anyone, including psycho-social service professionals and including clients, one should always solicit at least 2 alternative options from the other person, and always suggest as least 2 options of your own, and always negotiate at least 2 compromise options in any difficult negotiation situation.

Person-to-Person Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a modern therapy that has the objective of achieving as much “psychological flexibility” as possible.  It basically aims to undo the obsessive, compulsive and addictive patterns that result from past trauma and too much worrying about further future traumas.  So, modelling “psychological flexibility” in one’s own behaviour, and actively contradicting one’s own obsessions, compulsions and addictions makes complete sense.

Peter K. Gerlach, author of the “Break the Cycle” programme, gives a good explanation as to how “addictive personalities” gets passed down from one generation to the next, so I recommend studying his work and working through his programme.

John Bradshaw, author of “Healing the Shame That Binds You”, also has much to say on the subject of “addictive personalities”, their roots in “being excessively shamed”, and how to recover.

Another therapy that is calling out for more attention is Schema Therapy which explains that we see the world through “filters” (called “Schemas”) that have arisen as a result of past traumatic experiences, and the way that one sees the world has to be adjusted if one is ever to recover.

Then there’s my invention which I call “Modality Therapy”.  In this therapy I have found it extremely simple and helpful to label, as well as possible, everyone’s “operational mode” (though perfection in such labelling is not required).  See Appendix 3 for full details.

Then there’s my variation of the “Open Dialogue” group therapy process which is a facilitated group healing process.  See Appendix 4 for my “Open Dialogue Group Guidelines”.”



Speaking of Open Dialogue this is something I am greatly in favour of myself.  I have noticed how carers are treated and feel that this could work in some cases.  Maybe this and other choices of care should be available to patients that do not get better under the current system.  I believe that open dialogue could ease the pressure of emergency services and there are people who would like to be involved in negotiating with the patient –  I believe it can work and it should not be just the police and MH professionals involved here.  People like my guest blogger could also play an important part in helping.

Today has been a very quiet day – I have not spoke to Elizabeth but did speak to her during the week and she sounded quite happy and positive.  I hope to go down and see her in the near future.  I am getting back into routines now that Xmas has gone and have dragged  myself back to the gym again.  I used to take Elizabeth along to the local gym but now I go to one in London which is very nice.  The problem is there are many nice places that sell good food in the surrounding area of the gym and I am leaving late in the evening.  It is too tempting at times.

I am extremely happy to hear some positive news about Chy Sawel and hope soon there will be another meeting in London.

I am looking forward to going to the Dragon Café as well –  I have heard some extremely good reports about this.

Then I hope to really put an effort in to raising funds for Chy Sawel .  I would like a specialist centre set up in the UK looking at how best to treat those who are not getting better and being affected by physical health.  This would hopefully involve Dr Walsh who I met a year ago and was most impressed.  There are other things as well that need to be looked into as many mental health patients have suffered from trauma and automatically given the drugs rather that decent care and because of this they do not get better.  There has been important research done on PTSD and this needs to be looked at closely together with tests to see if someone can metabolise the drugs as otherwise they can do more harm than good.  I think that a different approach needs to be given to some patients and that there is no choice.  Some patients prefer to go on acute wards and take the drugs and for others this kind of care is not working.  As my guest blogger says with the right approach it is sometimes possible to talk someone down whilst suffering from psychosis.  A fellow patient and there are many who wish to help – they should be allowed to help in such circumstances in my opinion.  I think a former patient could have a very important role to play and I as a mother would be delighted to have this kind of involvement for my daughter alongside the professionals.   The right kind of peer support is what is needed.   Wrong diet can also affect someone’s behaviour and in the right environment – a peaceful location then I think this is the way forward as from what I have seen of the acute wards they are not peaceful locations and I do not believe in any case they should be used long term.  They do not suit everyone.

£25,000,000 for MH professionals to work alongside the police at police stations – well why not include some former patients themselves to assist.  Some patients would be excellent in a situation of crisis of another patient and I have seen time and time again on the wards patient looking after patient and there are some that have no fear of helping others and may well offer the right approach down to their first hand experience.  



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