Sign a petition

Submitted by S. Forrest of NHS 

Deadline to sign up by: 11 April 2009 

Signatures: 249

We the undersigned petition the Prime
Minister to limit the promotion  & delivery
of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy [CBT]
within the NHS according  to available

Following economist Lord Layards
promotion of CBT on economic grounds, 
the NHS has seen a boom in the funding
made available for the exclusive 
employment and training of CBT therapists
in the NHS. 

However, equal  funding has NOT been
made available for a diverse range of

CBT continues to be aggressively promoted
on the grounds of evidence of  its alleged
effectiveness in treating some forms of
mental distress,  thereby severely and
unfairly biasing public perception of CBT as
a  cure-all when this is patently untrue. 

Published evidence exists that  shows CBT
to have no long-term benefit in treating
common difficulties  such as anxiety or

Further evidence also shows CBT to
worsen  symptoms in people who suffer
from, for example, Myalgic Encephalo-
myelitis  (ME)/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

As CBT is promoted on the grounds of 
evidence of its effectiveness with some
patients, this petition calls for  the
cessation of the use and promotion of CBT
in the NHS where there is  either no
evidence of its effectiveness or where
evidence exists to  show that CBT is
ineffective or deleterious to a patients
wellbeing or symptoms.

S. Forrest of NHS


You must be a British citizen or resident to sign
the petition.

Or, if you’re an expatriate, you’re in an overseas
territory, a Crown dependency or in the Armed
Forces without a postcode, please select from this


4 responses to “PETITION

  1. What is needed in ‘Cognitive Emotional Therapy’ – sorting the emotional roots of mental/emotional distress. This works, where CBT scrapes the surface, and risks re-traumatisation every time.

    Bob Johnson

  2. Mogsy

    Excellent point, trauma blogger. I think narrative therapy is far better than CBT. CBT is potentially dangerous for incest or abuse survivors, because it makes a dangerous assumption that things like dissociation, flashbacks, and trust issues are irrational responses or a pathology. However, in cases of traumatic stress, they are normal responses to often appalling suffering. Often people who have been in car accidents, for example, won’t drive for months or years afterwards, or are very nervous drivers, people who’ve been attacked in a public place won’t go out for months, abuse survivors can be triggered by everything from books to movies to going into a church or playground. or a war veteran can go off into the woods for a few days to reenact the war. I admit that these responses may seem irrational to someone who hasn’t experienced these things, but they haven’t experienced it, have they, so what gives them the right to judge those who have as being disordered. It shows a distinct lack of empathy, which is unhelpful in developing a therapeutic relationship based on trust. In cases of abuse, telling someone they have a disorder-telling someone they have faulty thinking, it reinforces learned helplessness. It also closely resembles the behaviour of the abuser, who may’ve told the victim that they’re crazy, insane, no good, “neurotic”, and so on. And to diagnose someone whose story you don’t know, based on a few appointments, is arrogant. Things like empathic therapy and narrative therapy actually let the person make sense of their experience, because you’re asking them what they’ve experienced rather than telling them without their consent. It’s quick to give someone pills or 10 sessions of CBT, despite the fact that change from the inside takes much more work. Nothing like the quick fix, but the easy way sounds too good to be true, in my opinion.

  3. Trauma Blogger

    Thanks Mogsy. Very well put.

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