G4S are employing Cognitive Behavioural Therapists to deliver “get to work therapy”

This is another excellent, in-depth article from the always-reliable Kitty S. Jones. Here she details George Osborne’s plans to foist cognitive behavioural therapy on jobseekers. She makes the point that this is profoundly unethical. It introduces more conditionality into benefits, undermines the individual’s right to refuse treatment, reduces the medical practitioner to a state official, and is a threat to good mental health, rather than its opposite. And she states points out that the Tories are coming dangerously close to medicalising unemployment as a psychological disorder. 400 mental health professions – psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists from a range of organisation and universities across the UK have condemned it. These have included Psychiatrists Against Austerity. In a telling sentence, she state: It’s not therapy: it’s psychopolitics and policy-making founded on a blunt behaviourism, which is pro-status quo, imbued with Conservative values and prejudices. It’s an approach that does nothing whatsoever to improve public life or meet people’s needs.

She also shows at length how G4S are also the very last people, who should administering any kind of policy directed towards the poor and sick, with a catalogue of crimes and failure behind them across the world. Thee have included the death and brutalisation of people in detention centres, young offenders institutes and asylum seekers being deported, as well as fraud.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has its role in treating phobias, depression and anxiety states. But it is not a panacea, as qualified mental health professional will tell you. The way Osbo is using it, is, frankly, just voodoo. It will only harm, not heal, those already vulnerable.

Politics and Insights


Last April, more than 400 psychologists, counsellors and academics signed an open letter condemning the profoundly disturbing psychological implications of the government’s austerity and welfare reform measures. The group of professionals said that over the past five years the types of issues causing clients distress had shifted dramatically and now include increasing inequality, outright poverty and benefits claimants being subjected  a “new, intimidatory kind of disciplinary regime”.

The signatories of the letter, published in The Guardian, express concern over chancellor George Osborne’s plans, laid out in the latest budget, to embed psychological therapy in a coercive back-to-work agenda. Osborne said the government will aim to give online CBT to 40,000 recipients of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, people on the Fit for Work programme, as well as putting therapists in more than 350 job centres.

The letter stated that the government’s proposed policy of linking social security…

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