Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and counselling under Medicare Better Access to Mental Health

In the view of the medical model of MIND, under Medicare Better Access to Mental Health you may be defined by your GP as suffering from anxiety or depression, perhaps panic or other disorders. This diagnosis may be informed by a variety of symptoms that you may have like sadness, insomnia, anger, high blood pressure and other physical sensations and discomforts or even illness. Also, poor and conflicted personal or work relationships may be seem as possible indicators that you are affected by some anxiety, stress related mental problems. You then may be given a diagnosis and referred by your doctor to a psychologist for some counselling in CBT for a limited number of sessions (generally up to 10 in a calendar year) and partially or entirely subsidized by Medicare, according to a means-test. Hopefully, you may be helped in overcoming your problems and find better ways of managing your mood by reducing what may seem like external contributing factors to your problems. Along with a better understanding of your condition and other therapeutic approaches, you may be told to work less, drink less, improve your diet and perhaps to increase what may seem beneficial, like doing more physical activity, take more time out and sleep more regularly.

Perhaps you have already tried all those strategies more or less successfully on your own, or under the guidance of a psychologist. Still you have not being feeling any better in the long run, or maybe the perceived benefits did not seem to have lasted long. A psychological medical model will lead as to believe that there may be a system or a better idea outside our selves that can deliver what we truly want: that elusive feeling of inner peace and happiness. Still, behaviours and feelings are not definable in a "scientific" way as what is a "normal" way of being. Many believe that what the Medical Model defines as "healthy" is the only way of well being as individuals and that there is no other way to be. Free from unpleasant feelings and especially depressing or anxious feelings, seems like an ideal form of mental freedom and justify those methods applied to reach that, but freedom can be unsettling if we do not know what else we are avoiding along with our feelings. Often we are unhappy because we are too busy to fight off unhappiness or to repress it. We are so endeavoured to get rid of anger, sadness, sorrow and other negative emotions that we have no space in our thinking to experience positive emotions. With Psychodynamic therapy it may be that by accepting and working with negative feeling, instate of working against them, we may find "our own way" to be happy.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has some value and a place in exposing the incongruence of our experiences when nothing more in depth can be provided. A relief of "symptoms" can be helpful to cope in difficult situations but is devoid of meaning, and as humans, we are meaning seeking creatures. CBT can help us looking of other options for what we do, but when the emotion justify or "explain" an attitude, or when the mind rationalize or "understand" an emotion we are sinking into another problem. It is true that our mind can change our life, but by bypassing our uncomfortable feelings, we may not know what we need to change and why. We may not get the meaning of our emotional experience. We may be shooting the messenger before we hear the message.

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