Job centres to overcome mental health barriers to work | Wales – ITV News

What do readers think of this?

This Writer has grave concerns. Is this a programme that tries to brainwash people into thinking that they’re healthy when they’re not – like the DWP’s own work capability assessment?

Your comments are requested.

The ‘Press Pause to Play’ programme was piloted in Swansea towards the end of last year, helping people with anxiety and depression through a combination of psychology, physiology and neuroscience.

Run by a specialist stress and anxiety management company, the programme reportedly saw 50% of participants successfully run to work.

By partnering with the Department for Work and Pensions, the company – ‘Start Smiling Again’ hope to achieve similar results across Wales by rolling the programme out to a number of job centres in South Wales.

Source: Job centres to overcome mental health barriers to work | Wales – ITV News

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

46 thoughts on “Job centres to overcome mental health barriers to work | Wales – ITV News

      1. loobitzh

        Hi again Mike.

        I realise Ive dumped quite a few links here I hope my reasons are understood..

        This video Is a gold mine.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpHl9kuccc

        Some years ago I was a psychology student and part of the curriculum covered Research and Ethics. Which included Statistical Analysis.

        There are stringent statistical tests and requirements any research must adhere to in order for any claim of statistical significance, or even to suggest a coorelation to be taken as validated.

        Any psychological study must also follow a validated research method.

        To make false or misleading claims about a study, its research method or outcomes is considered to break with the code of Ethics

        I realise you are busy but Please Please Please click on this link.

        here is the link again:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UpHl9kuccc

  1. Neilth

    I’m involved with a charity, All Youth Matters, who have been working with job centres in South Wales, particularly Rhondda Cynon Taff, to help people with learning difficulties particularly Autistic Spectrum Disorder who have problems in finding work.

    Nearly all the people they have worked with want a job but perform badly at interview and at presenting their positive qualities. This problem has worsened since the last coalition government attack and destruction of Remploy who used to give this sort of support.

    My own involvement was by mock interviewing the students in what were as realistic conditions as I could make it.

    The learners who managed to complete the course report that they felt they had benefitted and in fact some (not many, sadly) have found jobs.

    We were able to identify many of the supports the learners will need, eg help with form filling, support at interview, support while settling in to a job etc

    In my view the majority of those I ‘interviewed’ were capable of holding down the right sort of job. Sadly a small number would probably never be successful in paid work though they had been able to contribute positively in some ‘work’.

    As I understand it some of the latter were moved off JSA to a more appropriate benefit for their circumstances that took the pressure to ‘look for work’ off them.

    Outside agencies with the right agenda ie true honest support for the client without an element of compulsion (no do the course or be sanctioned) seems to me to be a no brainier. Some people need specialist help and support. Many of the learners I met had anxiety issues and poor self confidence etc and the course seemed to help them.

    Unemployment generally affects peoples’ self image, anxiety, depression, mental health and interactions in the community and any attempts to help them work on themselves in those areas are a good thing if they don’t come with hidden agendas or threats of sanctions. Long term unemployment is wasteful and destructive and attempts to identify extra help to support those with mental illnesses or learning difficulties into a position where they feel they are making a contribution to their community is good.

    This is good economics in the long run because it is an investment that will pay off in the long run but there must be a willingness to pay to support these people for however long it takes. It should never be seen as the cheap option or a way to save money at the expense of the vulnerable.

    1. Jim Round

      Wholly agree with this comment, pretty much mirrors my experiences.
      The biggest problem is most employers reluctance to employ those with a physical and/or learning disability, holding onto the outdated belief that it will be too much of a hassle.
      Then the job centre wonders why people can’t find work.

    2. david pearce

      Neil do you claim to cure ME/Fibro? When neither has received a definite diagnosis as psychiatric in origin (even if there is still dispute). Do you train your clients to ignore their warning signs and just do? I seriously doubt it. I visited the company website featured in the article and to me it stank of snake oil salesman (think I even missed the bit where he mentioned any other staff apart from himself)

    3. Tony Dean

      Neilth, with the greatest of respect, if you and your charity were doing the selecting, the follow ups, and the workplace monitoring, that would be something I support but as it is I suspect the charity, and the people with learning difficulties are being shafted by the DWP.

  2. Jeffery Davies

    Its all part of the action t4 getting rid of those sick lame and lazy it will b pick your towel up follow this way jeff3

  3. Maria

    if it is that CBT claptrap again, its a waste of time and money, because trust me it does not achieve anything

  4. jonathansharpe

    Welcome to the collective- resistance is futile – you will be assimilated – into the limited learning cult of positive thinking for life long labour conditioning . Only problem is this sort of conditioning needs constant enforcement to prevent de programming .

    1. jonathansharpe

      “constant enforcement to prevent de programming” I mean by this amongst other things – pictures of the D Great Dictator Cameron and his buddies like Duncan Smith cheering us on , in inappropriate psychopathic gesturing .But by then we will all be to screwed in the head to notice – Whops – most are now with out the intervention of the DWP and the work Psychologists

  5. jonathansharpe

    By the way – they already offer a similar course at my local job centre Braintree , Essex – its called Step Forward Group – a Step Forward session each week over eight weeks, 2 hours each session . -Groups of up to 6 to offer each other mutual support: Exploring Personal strengths , making decision , trying new things , the benefits of positive thinking , staying resilient though difficult times . Facilitated by a job centre coach and a work Psychologist – their term – what ever is a work Psychologist ?

  6. Gary Aronsson

    Try to imagine a Britain which DID NOT allow mass immigration! Without a constant,and ever increasing inflow of cheap scab labour British employers would have to employ our own people or go bust! They would soon stop demanding ever higher levels of qualification and experience simply to pack shelves and flip burgers.
    Everyone would become increasingly valuable as the supply of labour grew smaller,within a few years we would have full employment,rising wages and ever improving conditions.
    The gap between the Rich and the Poor would shrink,social mobility would become a reality rather than a subject for historians and our Benefit bill would vanish into history as getting a job became simply a matter of walking into the first open doorway.In such an environment employers would soon scrap their high handed interview methods and be grateful that anyone bothered to apply in the first place.
    Anyone who thinks that this couldn’t happen is wrong,it could and it DID! The Black Death came to England in 1348 and wiped out anything upto 80% of the peasants in anyone area.This completely changed the economic balance of power and destroyed Serfdom.
    Supply and Demand is ALL that matters,cut the supply and wages rise,increase the supply and they fall.Why do you think that so much effort has been expended in persuading people that opposing mass immigration is wrong,that it is racist? But this tactic has been very successful and even many so called Socialists buy into the notion that we have some kind of duty to allow mass immigration regardless of the social cost to our own indigenous poor.
    Until people actively oppose mass immigration nothing will improve for our most vulnerable,they will ALWAYS be at the bottom of the heap and the heap is getting bigger every day!

    1. Maria

      don’t forget the plague of 1665 or the fire of London 1666, thing is we have always had migrants in Britain, and so should migrants come, but not at this rate, we are only a tiny island and we can not house the whole world.

  7. sally

    From what I have read, Blueprint Therapy and Coaching (BTC) is a mishmash of focused talking therapy that includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Life Coaching, personal development and improvement of self-esteem, etc.

    Regarding the use of these techniques by individual users, in the case of personal development, an individual often functions as the primary judge of improvement, but validation of objective improvement requires assessment using standard criteria. Personal development frameworks may include goals or benchmarks that define the end-points, strategies or plans for reaching goals, measurement and assessment of progress, levels or stages that define milestones along a development path, and a feedback system to provide information on changes. But who is setting the goals, staging the benchmarks and milestones, or assessing progress?

    Such external validation as to whether goals and aspirations are being met goes against the very foundations proposed by Maslow and Jung: a hierarchy of needs with self-actualization as the ultimate goal, “… the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”

    There has been a lot of criticism about using such ‘therapies’ in the workplace to increase human capital, and improving employee productivity to the benefit of the employer, and often such ‘programs’ are used in the workplace are linked to an organisations strategic development and profit goals: exploitation of the workforce wrapped in the gauze of being beneficial to employees. Too often, benchmarks of progress and improvement are set by ‘therapists’ or employers, rather than the individual who is undergoing ‘therapy’. It’s obvious that this has the potential to be very harmful to society; rather than fostering an environment whereby individuals can realise their personal full potential as individuals, therapies designed to the business model have the potential to churn out a hive mentality based on external valuation of worthiness and productivity.

    Coaches or therapists are not excluded from criticism. There has been observation of coaches making huge assumptions, or making mind-reading statements in order to manipulate dialogue between themselves and their ‘clients’. Other criticisms of therapists include (inappropriate) advice given to clients -based on goals and perceptions of the therapist, rather than the client, correcting statements about why the ‘client is wrong’, rhetorical questions leading to where the therapist wants to go rather than the client.

    I think it is perverse that government rhetoric has been all too keen to promote the stereotype of the scrounger benefit claimant and the falsely claiming disabled and at the same time are poised to use ‘talking therapy’ to convince claimants that their problems are all of their own making, a distortion of perception or reality and that the contributing factors of a dysfunctional society, the divisive pogrom of deserving and non-deserving, unfair living and working conditions are as imaginary as the depression, anxiety, persecution or physically limiting disabilities that claimants rightly or actually feel. In this way, this is as harmful as implying to cancer patients (or those suffering from poverty) that their illness or impoverishment is all of their own making and their failure to achieve a positive outcome somehow their personal shortcoming or an act of self-sabotage.

    Against the backdrop of Cameron’s poorly-defined ‘British Values ‘ rhetoric and IDS’s proclamation of reducing benefit claimant numbers by inducing ‘behavioural change’, psychological manipulation of the poor, the unemployed and the disabled becomes all the more sinister.

    Note to Mike: (Apologies that this is such a long comment. You can edit it if you wish.)

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I don’t think I will edit it, thanks. We’re building up quite a database of information here.

    2. loobitzh

      Hi Sally, like your comments.

      You might be interested in reading and viewing the links I have posted in my comment (no2 in comments list).

      Would be interested in your thoughts on them….

      Also please pass them on if you think it would be helpful…..

  8. Mr.Angry

    Message for Rupert, would really appreciate it if you live in London if you could find the time to remove all of those life bouy’s from the railings along the edge of the Thames.

    Because if IDS does run from Westminster towards the Thames I don’t want any means available to help the survival of this odious excuse of DNA .

    I see the new Labour MP in the Wirral was very short on words with Ester Mcvile’s recognition of service to government today, written in the Wirral Globe, worth a squint to see the witches face once more. Good photograph they have managed to mask the broom from the photo, must have used some type of filter.

  9. foggy

    Absolutely disgusting !!

    More money ploughed into the pockets of private companies whilst the Mental Health system is failing MH sufferers due to lack of funding and the likes of CAHMS is being fiscally strangled.

    It takes a long time for anyone with MH issues to develop a trust whereby they can disclose issues which may result in their mental barriers – all this is done voluntarily by a MH sufferer…..not mandated in some job centre where privacy isn’t the best and by someone who may not have the correct Mental Health qualifications. People’s lives will be in their hands !!!

    This Gov is dead set on privatising every part of public services – Is this there next move to ramp up the death toll ?!

  10. daijohn

    It is the task of job centres to find people work (really) and the job of the NHS to fix people who are ill (or at least try). Why are job centres trying to do the job of the NHS, I would have thought their own task was difficult enough.

  11. foggy

    The guy that runs this set up hasn’t even got a Psychology degree, a counselling diploma nor is he registered or accredited with the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapists) !!!
    http://startsmilingagain.com/about/

    This will play havoc with the people who are currently receiving treatment via their local mental health team – local mental health teams like to keep all treatments, care and therapy, per patient, under the same ‘in house’ umbrella. This way, all that are involved with a MH patients care are consistently kept in the loop by updated filing and care plans and meetings to agree the best way forward for a MH patient.

    Can I suggest that if anyone receives a letter stating that they must go to this, that they immediately contact their GP and/or Mental Health team and ask them to write them a supporting letter that states this type of psychological intervention may be detrimental to their patients health and well being.

    1. Maria

      no your right but he seems to have a load of diploma’s in those mickey mouse qualifications they keep going on about. Do these diploma’s actually exist? Sounds like a put on to me, someone who has learned the art of the con, to make money from the government, God help all those that are forced into this or lose their basic rights to food water and shelter. I worry for this country, it is far from the decent country it was five years ago.

  12. Florence

    Looking at their website, someone claims to have developed their own “therapy” system (*Trade Mark* symbol, ffs). The practitioner has diplomas in NLP, hypnosis ( note – not hypnotherapy), and “Chrysalis Effect Practitioner” – huh? No awarding individuals, organisations or institutions are given for any of these Diplomas, rendering them worthless.

    Yet apparently they offer a therapy *TM* “helping people with anxiety and depression through a combination of psychology, physiology and neuroscience.” without any apparent qualifications (unless you think “Chrysalis Effect” is another name for neuroscience). I must stress again that psychological treatment or therapy should only be done by those with appropriate and recognised professional qualifications and membership of an approved regulatory & professional body.

    The whole CBT in Job Centres programme is totally unethical, so it looks like they are dredging the fringes for those willing (ie ethically flexible or not qualified for professional accreditation) to take part in this mass experiment on the unemployed and sick and disabled.

    NLP / CBT has a lot of question marks against it as a therapy, and its actual effect other than some short term behaviour modification.

    We are not told directly that the contract is for mass behavioural modification, but that the *TM* therapy produced 95% of happy satisfied customers (no facts or numbers given again) who walk around smiling, having been cured of inner negative thinking. There is no reference on the site about helping unemployed people get jobs.

    Help people, yes, with good training & good tutors. Even, perish the thought that they could be taught real new skills that are in demand in the economy, but not this. In another blog today. SPeye Joe is wondering if the UK is in some sort of collective mental paralysis about the Benefit cuts, I would say the paralysis is more like collective psychosis that has been built up by the Tory / neolib propaganda and MSM for the last 5 years, here and around the world.

    Hell, yes, I’m worried.

    1. loobitzh

      Hi Florence.

      You might be interested in reading/viewing the links I have posted in comment no2 in this list.

      Your thoughts would be really welcome

      I have studied psychology and really believe we need to get this stuff out to psychology students and those in the business. The links will explain why….

      Best Wishes

      1. Florence

        Hi Loobitzh ( we meet again!). Yes, I have read the papers, the 2006 one I already have, I think I read the Fairer society online a while back. These show where a lot of my attitudes to the DWP programme originate. I agree with your view that these are dangerous methods and that the wider population need to be made aware of the real dangers to the individual and to society.

        The 2006 paper is typical of the infiltration of Nudge voodoo (sorry I don’t mean qualified & registered with professional bodies, with exceptions I may come back to) at a time New Labour were designing the WCA and ESA. The Unum presence is felt behind all these developments. I can see that Blaire and his “conviction” politics would be easy game to them, especially as none had scientific or medical backgrounds to provide analysis and counter arguments. Having seen how “consultants” work in business to isolate, flatter, and then manipulate the boss with the money bag, I can only assume (for want of a better model) that is how Unum / Atos worked the system then & now. It works! its cheap! Rollup!

        The 2006 paper has some massive assumptions that you get 2 months work out of each person treatment, fiddling the figures to make the cost benefit analysis look good. Again, as someone with both scientific & business backgrounds, I know a poor cost benefit argument when I see it. The significant point about the 2006 paper it explicitly warns against the use of these fringe practitioners. It also fails to show how this average of 8 weeks in work in recovery is actually based on real life. Is that one person in 20 gets a job? Or that 2 in 12 get 4 weeks temporary work before relapse? Absolute voodoo dressed up in a white coat.

        Back to the issue of professional & regulatory framework, it has to be said that psychology for all it’s recent advances in using modern statistical analysis etc is still not a science, it is a medical philosophy. Only recently has the debate in the USA begun about the morals & ethics of the roles of professional psychologists in designing the torture at Guantanamo and even being part of the torture process, and I believe that the UK is some way behind in that debate. I do not want to live in a society ruled by sociopaths, who see the Human Rights Act as an impediment, aided by morally flexible professional and New Age fringers.

        (Sorry Mike, edit this down if you want).

  13. anon

    It’s terrfying that the cutting edge of research into depression has shown that in vast numbers of cases, endogenous depression (i.e. that not due to a known life event) is a symptom of high levels of inflammation in the body, which in turn is present due to an organic physical condition such as autoimmune diseases, and in many cases is linked to environmental factors (including poor diet due to poverty).

    It is now known that very often depression is NOT ALL IN THE MIND, and not a true “mental health” disorder at all, despite its affecting the central nervous system and giving rise to mood changes.

    Symptoms of low mood are also sometimes a warning sign for cancer (I lost a good friend to this after it was the first sign of her bowel cancer returning. Doctors referred her to a counseller and put her on prozac, patronisingly assuming that she was just failing to cope emotionally after her previous bout with cancer).

    Hormone disorders can also affect mood: thyroid issues are so notorious for this that many psychiatrists (the decent ones) routinely screen every individual referred to them as “depressed” and find that a full 25% need an endocrinologist and not a shrink (it would seem that no amount of psychotropic drugs or brainwashing can actually reverse an endocrine or hormone disorder).

    Will the DWP’s spivvy pop psychopomp mindbenders actually be able to recognise, far less diagnose the “depressed” individuals with potentially life-threatening physical illnesses? Or will they just end up getting sanctioned for lack of effort when the positive thinking fails to cure them of cancer?

    1. jonathansharpe

      What about normal depression ? – Bereavement-, or debt , homelessness, or even unemployment -where it would abnormal not to be depressed Are they going to replace normal responses with some positive thinking re-framing.
      Why not forget the phoney nonsense sweetness and light approach and just have a room called room 101 in every job centre. That would be a far more congruent and honest approach from govuk.

    2. Florence

      Research has also shown that grinding poverty induced cognitive dissonance, too. The cure for that is relief from poverty. If the person in poverty is not actually physically or mentally able to work, then the current DWP ideological bent will just result in more, deeper depressive illness (some claim it is already showing in the stats).

  14. Nattie

    Depression is not as simple as people think. If it is caused by outside influences then talking therapies can help if offered by qualified individuals. Chemical imbalance is different it can be treated with medication although that is something else the government does not like. Sometimes talking therapies help but not always. Anxiety should respond to talking therapies but can take a long time depending upon the cause. It really is not so simple. It is not going to cure job lots of people to the point that they can manage to work. Having said that I can vouch for the fact that if you can work despite these difficulties it can really help you to feel good about yourself. I managed Fortyfour years.

  15. POLLY WINTERBOTTOM (@POLWIN12)

    Had a look at David Rahman’s twitter. Parading photos of ‘cured’ people. He uses hypnotism………maybe IDS went to get treatment and came away brainwashed into giving this quack (in my opinion) a position iin his extermination plan.
    In fact all the Tories seem to speak like they’re in some Scientology type cult…….giving the same answers iin the same tone of voice…..even when the questions are different. Make work pay,make work pay,make work pay,make work pay,make work pay,make work pay ⌚⌚⌚⌚⌚⌚⌚look at my watch tick tock make work pay.
    I already have an aversion to that Rahman, in fact just looking at his face on his site and twitter gives me an anxiety attack.

  16. Maria

    no amount of talking will make a persons life better, it won’t give them a job, it won’t fish them out of poverty, their lives will just be the same as before, how about, they actually help people get a job, rather than offering them into slavery, or trying to con them into thinking their life is better than it is, or trying to push them away from benefits without actually finding them a means of employment. The jobcentre does not do the one thing it was set up for and that is to get someone into secure employment.

  17. A-Brightfuture

    So we go into one door and get treated as though we are worthless blots on the landscape.
    And hey presto we are told to go through another door to have “therapy” because we feel that we are blots on the landscape.

    And it goes around and around…..the revolving door of someone making money out of MH issues within the privatization of the DWP.

    Psychological Gaslighting at its best…………….or worse, which way you look at it.

  18. Phil Lee

    I seem to recall that a previous regime forced “undesirables” to be subjects for experimentation, under “doctors” who even if they had qualified properly, were acting in ways that would have them struck off any ethically run register.
    I wonder if this quack is prepared to face the same penalty when convicted?
    I seem to recall the last lot were hanged, along with the most senior of their employers.
    Even the slogan wasn’t all that different – “make work pay” is remarkable for it’s similarity to “work sets you free”, isn’t it?

  19. loobitzh

    Hi Sally, you might like to read the documents in the links above (comment no 2 by loobitzh).

    Fully agree with you comments.

  20. kittysjones

    I’ve written a few articles about the plans for placing mental health “specialists” in jobcentres, deliverng state “therapy” – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/the-power-of-positive-thinking-is-really-political-gaslighting/

    It’s also worth reading Lynne Friedli and Robert Stearn’s study cited in this one – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/stigmatising-unemployment-the-government-has-redefined-it-as-a-psychological-disorder/

    and from last year – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/psychologists-against-austerity-mental-health-experts-issue-a-rallying-call-against-coalition-policies/

    and earlier – https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/4581/

    1. kittysjones

      It’s all part of the new right individualistic psychopolicy turn and a return of political behaviourism – most commonly associated with totalitarian thinking. It’s also an extention of Nudge wonk, extending the idea that shit happens because individuals behave “irrationally” and the state should step in and nudge people towards making the right” decisions, the state being somehow immune to the irrationality attribued to everyone else via Sunstein’s condescending speculative twonkage … which curiously supports the tories’ of a small state with zero public services … funny, that

Comments are closed.