From the archives
To the degree the mental health system is based on the coercive delivery of services it is based on a model that all too often does more harm than good. Coercion doesnt work. Mental health treatment doesnt have to be coercive but when it is, not only does it not work, it makes things worse. The process of coercion almost necessarily involves traumatizing the person you coerce. It makes the process of “being helped” so aversive and demeaning that not only do people avoid “getting help,” but even the notion sometimes that they need help. Many people I have known find the system as difficult to deal with as the issues they face.
Coercion comes in degrees. It varies from the overwhelming experience of committal to more subtle aspects of how you might be talked to or someone might interact with you. It is, I am convinced, the experience that makes many people with serious…
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