Angle Management

In among the tributes for the centenary of the Titanic, there’s one little-known incident which didn’t get mentioned. I shall now remedy that:

On the deck of the Titanic, all the lifeboats had gone. A group of terrified children huddled together as the ship began to tilt and the stern slowly rose out of the water. Suddenly, the captain walked over to them.

The captain said, “I’ve been asked to have a word with you about your angle problem.”

“Our angle problem?” The children were confused. “Do you mean the fact the angle of the deck is starting to tilt?”

“Yes, that’s right, your angle problem. You have a problem with angle control. Your parents and teachers have gone to the lifeboats, but they feel you need some angle management.”

“Angle management? Isn’t there something wrong with the ship? We saw an iceberg earlier.”

“Never mind that. You need to understand and accept that you have an angle problem, and you need to engage with the angle management programme that your parents and teachers agree that you should undertake.”

“What are they doing in the lifeboats? Surely they can’t just leave us here!”

“Now, now, they don’t have an angle problem, but you do, and it’s your responsibility to sort it out not theirs. Anyway, let’s get to work on the angle management. We’re going to start with some preliminary sessions on how to use spirit levels, so that you can recognise when your angle is getting out of control. Then, we’ll work on some cognitive-behavioural strategies that you can use to regulate your angle.”

The children then complete the angle management work with the captain, who uses a morse lamp to signal the parents and teachers in the lifeboat, informing them that the kids have had their angle management as requested. The deck then finally floods and the children all drown.

A slightly silly tale, but is it any sillier than the constant requests I get from people who want an abused, traumatised child, often living in dysfunctional circumstances, to undergo anger management? Why do these otherwise-intelligent people believe that this will have the slightest benefit to the child or anyone else?

Andrew Lansley Definition Competition

A few days ago I jokingly ended a post about our beloved Health Secretary with the words, “What a complete and utter Lansley.” Bristol Michael commented on this,

Could there be a competition to define a ‘Lansley’? The usual packet of Jaffa Cakes on offer as a prize.

That sounds like a gauntlet being thrown down. Some of you may remember the American comedian Dan Savage previously held an online competition to define the word ‘Santorum’ in resonse to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s homophobia. If you choose to find out the winner by googling the word ‘Santorum’, I recommend you don’t do it from a work computer.

Leave your suggestions in the comments boxes, and vote on the suggestions you like by clicking on the thumbs-up icon. As this blog is used by professionals, please make your entries work-safe.

Happy Birthday Charles

Me and Charles

A Christmas Carol

It is exactly 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens. I admit I had difficulty ‘getting on’ with Dickens at school. I encountered his work in more detail than I wished to through GCSEs and then  A level English Literature. I found the novels (I know I won’t win any fans here)  contrived. I didn’t feel they were genuine and I didn’t feel they spoke to me.

They didn’t speak to me until I was an adult. They didn’t speak to me until I had a greater understanding of the world and the inequalities that exist in our world. They didn’t speak to me until I understood them beyond the stories that they tell.

My appreciation and yes, love, for Dickens has developed over my adulthood and was not nurtured in my childhood because as I learnt more about society and the world I live in, I was able to relate his world to mine and I saw him more as holding a critical eye up to the world and society around him and remarking on it.
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Nurses to Teach David Cameron How to be a Smug, Careerist Tory

Following last week’s comments by David Cameron on nursing practice, a team of nurses has been set up to return the favour by showing him how to do his job.

Several surgical nurses have been despatched to a corporate function to ensure sufficient loud braying about stock options. Meanwhile, a health visitor will conduct hourly checks on the number of times Cameron mentions “benefit scroungers” while completely ignoring the Spartacus Report.

Some nurses expressed concern about the way Tories are being trained. One A&E nurse said, “We are seeing worrying moves away from the traditional training grounds of Eton, Oxbridge, then being parachuted into the life of a career politician, with maybe a stint in a PR consultancy or an investment bank. Some of the recent crop of Tories have actually had jobs in the real world. This undermining of standards simply won’t do.”
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Caption Competition: Daily Mail and Mental Illness

Following my post yesterday on THAT awful Daily Mail article about mental illness, it looks like the Fail have at least partially responded to all the people condemning it on Twitter. They’ve removed the incredibly triggering self-harm image from the webpage.

People were condemning the article, not only for the self-harm pic, but also for having an utterly patronising and outdated view of people with mental health problems. So, naturally they’d want to replace the photo with something that avoids all those stereotypes that they’ve been accused of propagating.

Oh. That’s, erm….much better?
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Not Being Richard Littlejohn Therapy

A few days ago I read this deeply skeptical article about dolphin therapy.

I’ve lost track how many times my disabled daughter has been offered a swim with a dolphin. While disabled people struggle to get a hoist or a few hours’ home help, numerous charities will fly them to Florida to experience the miraculous feeling of frolicking in the water with a friend of Flipper. According to organisations that sell such snake oil, “dolphin therapy” alleviates a wide range of disabilities, from increasing the attention span of a child with attention deficit disorder to curing paralysis.

I must admit swimming with a dolphin sounds like fun, though conservationists point out that it can be less fun for the actual dolphin. Even so, the idea that it can cure your ADHD sounds a little dubious.

“Therapy” is quite a nebulous word that can mean anything and nothing. You can be a beauty therapist, an occupational therapist, a drama therapist…apparently even a dolphin therapist. Even something more formal-sounding like “psychotherapist” can mean anything from a highly skilled professional who’s completed a long, arduous postgraduate training down to some utter woo-peddler with a crystal pyramid. As I’ve previously pointed out the government is currently watering down plans to regulate psychotherapists in the same way as doctors, nurses and social workers. Instead they’re going for “assured voluntary regulation” which will at least give some form of quality kitemark, but will allow the quacks and charlatans to carry on practising.

But, you know what? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I’m fed up with banging the drum for proper therapy regulation. There’s a recession on and I need some ready cash. So, here’s my very own therapy, for which I’ll be promoting a book and a lecture tour. Some impressive-looking research papers will be doodled out, showing an improvement in psychological and social functioning based on an assessment scale that I scribbled on my lunch break.

I hereby announce the launch of At Least You’re Not Him Therapy.

Clients will be taken through a series of activities to enter into the psyche of Richard Littlejohn. They’ll be asked to read through his regular Daily Mail columns. There’ll be readings from his magnum opus To Hell in a Handcart. The client is then taken through a guided visualisation, where they are asked to imagine walking down a street convinced of being surrounded by communists, “pooves”, liberals and immigrants – all of them intent on destroying everything that is decent and wholesome. Finally, they’ll be brought back to their own world with a nice soothing mug of lorazepam, and gently reassured that, whatever their current difficulties and failings, they are at least Not Richard Littlejohn.

“Wow, that put it all into perspective for me! Now that I’ve realised I don’t live in a mindset based purely on malice and fear of the other, I feel so much better about having been done for fiddling my expenses!”
– Some Celebrity You Haven’t Cared A Monkeys About Since 1997

A sequel to the book will follow at a later date. Possibly when sales of the first book are dwindling. For clients with deep-rooted, intractable problems, there will be supplementary modules in Not Being Robert Kilroy-Silk, Not Being Nadine Dorries MP and Not Being George Galloway.