Today’s question at Re-create Psychiatry was: What is therapeutic?
Everyone’s reality is different. Their stories are diverse. People have many thousands of different types of experiences. So, a generic label eg. depression, has to be false. Are diagnoses a western construct, enabling us to put people into neat and tidy little boxes? ‘What is happening to you?’ is surely a more appropriate question as opposed to ‘What is wrong with you?’
Medics need to extend their frame of reference beyond medical to social and psychological dimensions. We need to have various ways of understanding illness, not limiting ourselves to the biochemical imbalance model. When we hold very tightly to one way of thinking, then conflict arises.
For some horticulture is therapeutic, for others homeopathy or acupuncture or meditation or yoga or art therapy or music. However modern allopathic medicine has rubbished all other ancient modalities of treatment. The fact that these practices still exist could imply their value through many generations. There is enough evidence in their favour but unfortunately they do have the influence of the pharmaceutical industry behind them.
‘Connectedness’ is definitely therapeutic. Modern medicine doesn’t have time for that. It is much quicker to print out a prescription but often that is not what the soul needs. The ‘evidence base’ for the needs of an ailing soul may be a little bit harder to gather than that for a broken arm.