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No turf wars in mental health - put the patient first, says Adrian James

Dr Adrian James, Registrar at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says there is no room for 'turf wars' in mental health care
Distressed man

There is no room for 'turf wars' in mental health care, says Dr Adrian James, Registrar at the Royal College of Psychiatrists

In recent times there have been growing calls from within the mental health arena for a shift towards a ‘therapies first’ approach in treatment. Indeed, at the start of July I spoke at a conference on Psychological Therapies for Severe & Prolonged Mental Illness in London, where many of the psychologists speaking were arguing in favour of ‘therapies first’.

This – or any – insistence on indicating a preference for one form of treatment over another doesn’t feel comfortable to me. It seems to put treatment type before patient. Often, those arguing for the ‘therapies first’ approach claim that it’s what patients want, but that seems too reductive. I think patients want to be listened to. They want to be heard, and be


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