Luddite Health Promotion

“… under the cover of a narrow definition of ‘Evidence Based Practice’, we find that we are stuck delivering standardised interventions to people reduced to numeric codes from diagnostic manuals.”

From the blog of the Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network comes an article (dated 2016) called “Luddite Health Promotion“, written by Ed Lord.

The blog’s editors say:

“… it seems clear that for authors such as Ed … there is something about records, measurement, coding, categorisation and technology – technology in a broad sense – which troubles us greatly.”

… when Henry Ford first started to employ workers to his new assembly line, he was recruiting people who had experience in building whole cars. They were craftsmen, mechanics and engineers. But he wanted them to just tighten a bolt… and pass it on down the assembly line. He had to employ approximately 1000 workers to keep 100. The other 900 left, disgusted, demeaned, humiliated.

… When Ed asks whether psychiatric nursing is part of a ‘Fordist factory’ he is asking us whether we also feel demeaned and humiliated. We may or not feel that the knowledge that was forgotten across Ford’s employees was important. But what are we losing? And what is lost for the people we work with?”

Here’s an extract from the article concerned:

“…. as bio-medical psychiatry has come to the fore, under the cover of a narrow definition of ‘Evidence Based Practice’, we find that we are stuck delivering standardised interventions to people reduced to numeric codes from diagnostic manuals. Distress in a particular person, in a particular culture, in a particular time and in a particular place is reduced to a problem of individual mental hygiene abstracted from its context. Care in the modern world has been characterised as moving from ‘the sanctuary to the laboratory’ (Peacock and Nolan 2000), and this is what we see in mental distress that is no longer an aesthetic and existential crisis, but a technical problem of neuro-chemistry and genes …”

You can read the whole article here.

Luddite Health Promotion
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1 Comment

  1. Steve Meade

    I’m a psychologist and met Lucy Johnstone when attending one of her PTM workshops in Australia. She was genuine, insightful, and her challenging of traditional psychology is overdue. While the PTM model was being presented, I was completing my own series of books, The Reactive Alien, which was very aligned with PTM. After Lucy’s workshop, I was inspired to synthesise the trilogy into a more accessible volume – Reactivity: An Evolutionary Solution to a Biogeographical Dilemma (available at Amazon.com) – which I believe fills in many of the gaps that PTM is itself being challenged over.

    Reply

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