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MCFD and the Psychotherapy Industry

Success of the Psychotherapy Industry: The Birth of Another Sacred Cow

While mental health therapy really benefits its users is uncertain, the psychotherapy industry is very successful in establishing a lucrative business for its practitioners. Its keys to success rely on the following factors:

  1. It gives a ray of hope to explain and solve complex human behavioral problems based on methods that appear seemingly scientific.
  2. It appeals to the curiosity and desire of man to find answers to the unknown and to resolve problems that have no solution previously.
  3. Many people, if not most, fear those with mental health problems and consider them a safety risk. Asylums are built for to confine the mentally ill and segregate them from society. Psychotherapy allegedly serves to mitigate this safety risk and hence the fear level.
  4. It allows psychotherapy users to obtain admissible "expert" evidence to support their positions in court.
  5. It provides an opportunity for politicians to demonstrate that they care about every aspect of life and garner support of voters.

Its success is manifested in the creation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). In 2006, a Standing Senate Committee completed the first-ever national study of mental health, mental illness and addiction. It found an alarming number of challenges facing Canadians with mental health issues. In 2007, federal government created the MHCC with the support of all federal political parties and endorsement of all provincial and territorial governments except Qubec. The MHCC is funded by Health Canada.

Members of the management team of MHCC have a diverse background, such as health sciences, family therapy, non-profit organizations. They have one thing in common, namely, their livelihood, previous and current work largely depends on government funding.

In November 2009, MHCC published a report called "Toward Recovery & Well-Being Summary A Framework for a Mental Health Strategy for Canada" in which the following are stated:

  • Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness (page 2).
  • Each year, about one in every five Canadians will experience a diagnosable mental health problem or illness (page 2).
  • The Commission is calling for the entire mental health community to join together and launch a social movement that can successfully engage all people living in Canada (page 10).
  • Mental health issues must be placed high on the day-to-day agendas of governments, policy-makers, businesses, researchers, schools, and communities (page 10).

If you do not see any problem in the foregoing, let's consider the following scenarios:

  1. The absence of signs of abuse does not necessarily mean that your children are safe. Erring on the side of caution, we must remove them.
  2. You do not have any illness. But this does not mean you are healthy. You must be diagnosed by and receive treatment from our service providers.
  3. Government is calling the entire nation to join together and launch a movement that will engage all people to believe in an ideology, like the Cultural Revolution in China during 1966 to 1976. Whoever oppose or do not support this movement is against the best interests of people.

In principle, these hypothetical scenarios are the same with what MHCC is advocating. The statement "Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness" supports the belief of Paul Lutus that there is no practical likelihood of refutation, no clear criteria to invalidate a claim and clinical psychology can make virtually any claim and offer any kind of therapy. An inescapable consequence is to compel all people to collectively buy the services of mental health service providers by way of tax dollars.

Couldrey, Geoff

In no uncertain terms, MHCC called to build a social movement to engage all Canadians to become a potential clients of the mental health industry. Canadians are told that they could be mentally unhealthy even if they have no mental illness. The entire nation must place mental health issues high on every agenda. All these will translate into business opportunities for mental health practitioners primarily at taxpayer's expense.

Geoff Couldrey, MHCC Vice-President of Knowledge and Innovation, spoke at the launch of Family Smart during National Child and Youth Mental Health Day on 7 May 2011 Saturday in Vancouver, B.C. He alleged that an estimate of 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness each year and claimed that over 70% of these mental illnesses occurred before age 18. Welfare of families and children is used as a marketing focus to garner public support, donations and government funding. Note that MHCC is not a registered charity. It is funded by Health Canada. However, there are 186 registered mental health charities recognized by Canada Revenue Agency in May 2012.

In the winter of 2011, MHCC alleged in a report titled "Healthy Minds Start Here" 10 to 20 percent of young people experience moderate to severe symptoms related to anxiety and 8 percent of Canadians will experience depression in their lifetime (page 3 under the heading "Key issues on youth mental health").

We will leave it to our readers to determine the credibility of the foregoing. If one in every five Canadians experience a diagnosable mental health problem or illness each year, Canada is a dangerous place to live.

Like child protection, no one will oppose effort to enhance mental health. Politicians will embrace promotion of mental health and oblige all levels of government to endorse the creation of agencies and commissions to advocate all Canadians to engage mental health services on terms dictated by service providers. Beyond doubt, the psychotherapy industry (used synonymically as mental health industry) is very successful.

Canadians should not be surprised to see that MHCC is lobbying the government to make law to compel all people to partake in state-run mental health care program. It will be a replica of how child protection law was made when special interests, whose livelihood depends on a state-run program, motivated by financial incentives lobbied government. Another sacred cow exempt from criticism and questioning under a welfare banner is on its way.

It is noteworthy to mention that if MHCC is really interested to improve the mental health of Canadians, it should support revoking child removal authority. Do they know what mental distress parents and children suffer when they are being scrutinized and forcibly separated?

[This page was conceptualized on 20 April 2011, published on 4 July 2012, last revised 24 March 2015, accessible to the public on 14 October 2013.]