I’ll share what I’ve learned being on both sides of the couch, so to speak. As a teen and young adult I spent a lot of time “in the system”, spoke to a lot of therapists, psychiatrists, etc. I hated every minute of every therapy session, why? Because I didn’t want to be “fixed”, I wanted to be listened to, not talked over, not told to “challenge my negative thoughts”, or whatever nonsense was being spewed by the graduate intern on duty. So I usually didn’t listen, was probably labeled “defiant, resistant, uncooperative, precontemplative”, the list goes on. It is ironic that some years later I actually became a clinician. I can honestly say that most people don’t want to be fixed, they want the space to be heard and given a chance to heal. Yet, I understand the desperation of being trapped in an unabatting state of pain; it can be easier to blame the overwhelmed, imperfect system that’s supposed to be helping you. You are correct in saying “complex problems have complex solutions”, yet I wonder if every causative factor to these “complex mental problems” has been thoroughly examined? Big Pharma runs commercials for SGAs with happy, grinning people walking on the beach as if ingesting a pill will right all that’s wrong in life. The behavioral health field as a whole, (not just psychiatry) but psychology, counseling and social work, have all done a fine job of commercializing healing. Do deep breathing, erase a lifetime of trauma, or the fact you’re losing your home. As professionals, we pride ourselves on our “evidence-based practices”; legitimizing our interventions and treatment plans with observations and data collection; at the end of the day, we are driving home the message that we’re experts who have all the answers, or at least want to seem like we do, right? We market ourselves as “fixers”, then get defensive and frustrated when our clients don’t respond like perfect test subjects, why? Because they are real human beings with unique challenges, not hypothetical case studies. Treatment is really nothing more than social control, even with the best intentions. It’s up to the people to reclaim their agency; for me, “a good professional” is an ally and the community is the solution.