“I’ve been seeing a private therapist now for 6 months, and it’s been an absolute revelation. After 9 years under NHS mental health services, this is the first time I actually feel as if I am being heard. This is the first time I feel as if I can speak freely and openly, without negative consequences. This is the first time I feel I am making any progress with my mental health. I released that of course I can’t make progress while under mental health services, because the entire system which currently exists is the antithesis of mental wellness and ‘recovery’. Recovery is not possible for me in a system which demands I be ‘responsible’ and ‘independent’ while simultaneously refusing to allow me to make decisions, or accept I am the authority on my life.
I attend my private appointments now once a week and talk openly about anything and everything I am feeling; about links I have made between my past and my present; about specific experiences which seem central to the understanding I’m slowly building of myself and my life. I feel liberated in these appointments. I do not worry as I do in every excruciating moment of my NHS appointments that I am building a case against myself which I will later be hung with, or providing my therapist with the ammunition to gun me down with a devastating formulation or diagnosis. I know with certainty that when my appointments end, my therapist doesn’t gather up my words and share them with her colleagues, firing out my secrets in emails and letters to ‘professionals’ and ‘team members’ I’ve never even met. I feel safe. For the first time in almost a decade of mental health care, I feel safe …”
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