Mental health care has a savior complex, or vulgar madness. Because you cannot permanently fix someone else by ‘treating’ them. It is not because you have acquired standard knowledge as a care provider and have complicated letters behind your name that you ‘know better’.

Because if knowing was the solution, nobody would have a problem. Clients are not crazy, they are stuck. Your knowledge and treatment will is not going to change that. It will only create even more powerlessness and shame.

Helping is only possible if the person you want to help also wants to be helped and is part of it and is leading. As a care provider, I think the intention is that a person will be able to live his or her own life in freedom again (but feel free to correct me). The constant factor is the client, not the counselor. Although the latter often also becomes a coping mechanism since the client does not think he can do it without ‘wise advice’ from the outside.

In other words; we keep people captive and don’t “help” if someone has been struggling for 20 years and nothing changes. If people keep coming back, have tried 15 therapies and are not exactly better off, there should be a bell ringing that something is going wrong somewhere in the systems we have set up. Systems that cost a lot of money, money that mainly goes to the parties that benefit from that treatment.

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“Trauma is how you function in life from survival, NOW”

Nikki Nooteboom