Friday, September 29, 2017

So What Are You Going to Do About It...?

The Solution Is...
How you see the problem has a lot to do with how you see the solution. As a result, the human rights perspective defines the solution differently from common mental health approaches.

1. Disease model psychiatry  

Medical model psychiatry tends to sees the problem as a diseases, illnesses, biological malfunctions and genetic malformities. As a result, the medical model solution is all about typical medical interventions like drugs, hospitalizations and high-tech procedures (e.g., electroshock, transcranial stimulation, lobotomy).  The medical model believes that these kinds of approaches correct or mitigate the damage caused by malfunctioning biological processes or tissues. 

2. Conventional 'talk' therapy

Conventional talk therapy tends to see the problem as psychological or relational dysfunction.  Talk therapy thus focuses on raising awareness about maladaptive thoughts, behaviors and patterns of relating.  It also focuses on learning and practicing new ways of thinking, feeling acting and relating in the real world. 

3. Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care tends to sees the problem as traumatic life experiences or the retriggering of them.  This kind of care thus focuses on repairing the damage of that trauma has done - not just emotionally and bodily, but also across all affected life dimensions (e.g., social, economic, spiritual, etc.)  It also works on becoming aware of triggers and learning how to manage them in ways that limit the likelihood of harm to self or others. 

4.  Human Rights 

Human rights sees problems as inherent in the human condition.  In other words, the main problems that affect human being arise not from ways we are abnormal or different from each other, but from needs, circumstances and human responses - like fear and want - that affect all of us. 

The human rights model is therefore highly proactive in its vision of a solution.  It says there are certain things that we know all of us need in order to feel well, live well and be well.  We may not know the particularities in a given case, but we certainly know the generalities across neighborhoods, communities and nations.  Our focus therefore should be on prevention.  Nobody gets a free ride, but everybody should have access. Otherwise, people without access to will become anxious or depleted and break down. They may also lose faith and start doubting the good will of those who control access, which may lead to urgency, intensity, conflict and extremes.

The human rights model also stresses the importance of human relationships.  It sees the quality and tenor of our social interactions as critical to individual and social well being.  From a human rights perspective, human beings are a 'family' - with every one of us entitled to dignity, voice and equality before law.  Integral to the solution proposed by human rights is learning how to treat each other this way. 

That's all for hour #7 

The next how we will say more about the next slide below: 

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