Jurriaan Plesman, BA(Psych), Post Grad Dip Clin Nutr
I will try to be as brief as possible in giving some of my background. Now in the eighties, in my younger days I used to suffer from depression and varied forms of mood disorders from depression, OCD, PTSD, anxiety attacks and as a result of psychiatric treatment, drug addiction as well. I underwent drug and psychotherapy under the supervision of psychiatrists and psychologists. In my opinion this made things worse. I became an iatrogenic drug addict, with suicidal tendencies. Whilst in this state of mind I decided to go to university to study psychology in the hope of helping myself. After graduating in psychology I started volunteering at a Drug Rehabilitation Centre, where I developed the Positive Ego Training Program . This Program is described in my book "Getting off the Hook" freely available at Google Book Search Program. However I became aware that this program did not completely help me or my clients. It was during this time - in the 60's - that I became interested in the physiological aspects of drug addiction which later on extended to all forms of "mental illness'. BTW I consider "mental illness" to be a misnomer, as it really does not exist, because most forms of mood disorders are biologically based.
My career started off as a teacher of psychotherapy. Initially I was asked to train volunteer counsellors at the Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Sydney, Australia. Soon clients, instead of volunteers attended my lectures. Since my classes included practical sessions of empathy and interviewing, and putting into practice nutritional- and psychotherapy, it developed into a method of helping people overcome their addiction. Thus a basic principle of the kind of psychotherapy I teach is that the client learns the tools of psycho-nutritional therapy, leaving it up to the client to be his own therapist. One of the tenets is that a client is not only his own therapist, but also is required to teach the tools of psychotherapy to other clients. Thus treatment of drug addiction hopefully could become some sort of snowballing movement in the addiction sub-culture.
As many of my clients at the time were on Probation by Court Order, my methods became known among the Directors of Probation and Parole in NSW. Because about 75% of all prisoners and offenders have addiction as a co-morbid condition, I was then asked by one of the more progressive directors of Probation and Parole Service of NSW (Australia) to join the Probation and Parole Service. It was understood that I was to continue teaching drug addicted clients my program as well as perform the other duties of a Probation and Paroles Officer. Later on, the Director who employed me was replaced by an other director and it is roughly from this time onward that I started to experience problems applying my program, as being "beyond the duties of a Probation and Parole Officer". My problems with the NSW Department of Corrective Services were really political and not scientific, driven along by a powerful medical lobby groups. It is set out here by Dr Jay Harley-McDonald. I am of the firm belief that the heydays of "psychological" counselling are over, and that biological psychology is going to play a primary role in the near future.
From now on I will continue to describe my career and experiences by references to articles I have already written, and I suggest you read the following articles: Read my book "Getting off the Hook " available at Google Book Search. Search my book "How groups were run". Assumptions in Psychotherapy, Why Alcoholics Drink?, Addiction (Alcoholism) is Treatable Disease, Drug Addiction is Nutritional Disorder, Depression is a Nutritional Disorder, Silent Diseases and Mood Disorders, The Forgotten Factor in the Crime Debate. For an overall view of my approach see: Self Help Personal Growth Program The psychological aspects of mood disorders are covered in: Summary of the self-help psychotherapy course
It has always been my hope that drug counsellors or for that matter any "mental health counsellor" ( I see drug addiction being only one example of a mood disorder) be trained in Nutritional Psychology as an ESSENTIAL part of their training!Also read: My Personal History as a Nutritional Psychotherapist and
This blog is mainly interested in the connection between mood disorder, such depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD and nutrition. Articles are for educational purposes only. Self-help therapy should only be in partnership with qualified health care practitioners