‘Men are disturbed not by events, but by their opinion about events.’ – Epictetus
Some governments are now providing free psychotherapy to their citizens. Jules Evans asks, ‘Is there a limit to state-sponsored happiness?’
Five years ago, amid intense opposition from some part of the psychotherapeutic profession, the Labour government in the UK launched a programme called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). It aimed to train 6,000 new therapists in talking therapies — mainly CBT — by 2014, and to treat around one million people a year for depression and anxiety. As Nick McNulty, a therapist in the IAPT centres for Southwark and Lambeth in south London told me: ‘It is the biggest expansion of mental health services anywhere in the world, ever.’
Jules Evans is Policy director at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London; and author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations.
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