07. Just following orders


Just following orders


One thing that is truly staggering is the unquestioning belief in the intrinsic goodness of the psychiatric method.  When psychotherapists and psychiatrists carry out clearly re-traumatising acts in the name of therapy many do so unquestioningly – blindly – and if the treatments makes a patient upset or justifiably angry (for example putting a victim of child abuse in an anxiety management group sat nest to a convicted sex offended and she complains – or being given ECT against her will etc…) then she is labelled “hardwired nasty” or incompliant.  When a patient complains there appears to be no questioning of the appropriateness but “I’m just doing my job – doing what the psychiatrist has instructed”.

I have frequently tried to reason with well meaning people “just following orders” and it seems impossinle to get through.  Perhaps they do not want to be seen as trouble making / siding with a patients – after all promotion prospects would be reduced…..  But this is supposed to be a caring profession.

What makes this the most worrying is that damaging unquestioned acts are performed by ordinary – basically good people – who just follow orders.







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