Select Committee on Work and Pensions Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Mike Cooper

  I am very concerned that putting people whose psychological health has been damaged by chronic abuse in work related situations under duress to attend work focused interviews will do more harm than good.

  Many of these people are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and putting them under this kind of pressure will cause acute feelings of panic, anxiety and trheat. Being released from their damaging work situations will have been the single most effective thing that has been done for them. Appropriate treatment like analytical therapy will not have come their way because of cost and availability, they will have been maintained by repeat prescriptions for benzodiazepines. cbt will not help this group. It is relatively cheap but limited in scope and depends heavily on a positive rapport between therapist and client which is unlikely to pertain when forced upon people who need to feel in control of their lives. Research shows that in cases where cbt has positive affects, they tend to tail off rapidly when intervention ends.

  I do hope that these proposals are not being used to make a spurious political point about public perception of the nature of control at the expense of this vulnerable group.

Mike Cooper

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