#172 WA Mental Health: What Happened to you? – Bill Saunders

This week I had the great pleasure of welcoming back Bill Saunders, one of Perth’s leading clinical psychologist who’s recently come out of retirement.

Through Bill’s research for his new book, he’s really dived into the true reliability and robustness of the underlying psychiatric framework and treatment protocols that shape the mental health space.

The picture that soon emerges is one that may well have lost its way scientifically becoming too complex, overly industrially influenced and separated too far from the true nature of the human journey.

Bill suggests that rather than asking ‘what’s wrong with a client?’  the better starting point is to ask ‘what has happened to you?’ because more often than not the source of the majority of mental health issues originated from an early traumatic event in childhood.

This is a super engaging and detailed conversation with someone with over 40+ years of clinical practice and research experience.

If you or a loved one has any mental health issues or is receiving treatment – particularly medical drugs – then I would strongly recommend taking this on board.

Read Full Transcript

 

Bryn Edwards 

This week I had the great pleasure of welcoming back Bill Saunders, clinical psychologist who’s been on the podcast before, but retired and come out of retirement.

 

Now, this is a fascinating episode, if you or anybody has ever had any mental health issue, you’ve been to see a doctor or psychiatrist. And I think you’ve really probably want to watch this bill really exposes and talks through the whole psychiatry model that pervades the health, the mental health industry, right down to the DSM five and four and how that’s put together and really exposes just the holes in the science behind how it’s all how it all comes together. And he doesn’t do this just to pick holes just for the sake of picking holes.

 

What he really is able to do and what he’s done through his own research is just drill that all down to some very simple common things which are very human. And his suggested model is rather than asking, what’s wrong with you, is to ask what happened. Because more often than not, is the trauma that we’ve encountered in early childhood, which has been a recurring theme in the podcast, as is the source of wire many of the symptoms that are turning up in your life right now.

 

This is a super engaging conversation with Bill who’s super knowledgeable, and he’s just got a wealth of information in his head, from scientific studies to academic research, to as your practical real life, you know, being in the trenches of being a psychotherapist himself. So this is a super exciting and super interesting episode, and he’s here in Western Australia. So it’s, it’s, it’s really cool. And I think if you’ve had anything to do with the men with mental health or mental health industry, you really, really should watch this, because it’s it’s super illuminating. So enjoy, Bill.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Hello, and welcome back to WA Reak. I’m your host, Bryn Edwards Today we have the great pleasure of welcoming back. Mr. Bill Saunders. Welcome back to the show.

 

Bill Saunders 

Thank you.

Bryn Edwards 

So it was nearly three years ago we last spoke remarkable. And

 

Bill Saunders 

remarkable in that it was three years ago..

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes. really and we really did you really did go through with a lot of detail talking about addiction, and particularly the policy and the treatment of addiction and how there seems to be this gap between what’s actually happening and what really is happening. Yes. And yeah, but also at that point you had retired? Yes, just and that’s not quite the case. Now.

 

Bill Saunders 

No, it’s not quite the case now because of COVID. So I had a very splendid year or so writing a book and taking holidays. And then I was confronted with COVID. So there’s a sense of awe. So I’ve gone back to being a psychotherapist two days a week. And it’s absolutely delightful.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Excellent. Excellent. So

 

Bill Saunders 

you phoned me up not too long ago and got in touch and said, I really think we need to do another podcast. Yes. So at a high level, why? Why was that? Because in writing a book about psychotherapy, my frustrations with the medical model, and the management of mental health via psychiatry. As you write a book, your thoughts become more more distilled,

 

Bryn Edwards 

clear, and to the discipline of writing,

 

Bill Saunders 

the discipline of writing, and to be honest, all the irritations I’d felt over the years. And I think it’s important to say that I spent 20 years being an academic, and 20 years being a clinician in my career. And in my 20 years, being a clinical psychologist, I worked in largely acute psychiatry. So I worked in an asylum in Glasgow, with locked wards and a forensic unit. And it was absolutely fascinating. But that was psychiatry, in the 1970s, late 70s. And then, for the last 10 years of my career, I worked in a boutique psychiatric hospital of which I was a director. So I yeah, I’ve had the beginning and the end of my career. I’ve seen psychiatry in action.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yes.

 

Bill Saunders 

And to be honest, over 40 years, it hasn’t changed much. Apart from the fact it’s become more and more biologically focused, and less and less psychotherapy focused, which is an advantage in some ways, because it allows people like me, non medical, clinical psychologists and other people, psychologists or other sorts of counsellors to actually work with people with mental ill health or mental mental health problems. Yes. But the issue is that psychiatry is still the dominant force, if you like in saying this is what mental illness is about. And I think a number of the premises which on which psychiatry are based around

 

Bryn Edwards 

So we’re gonna dive into that, but just just set the ground for somebody who’s come into this conversation. And and we touched on it last time, but just succinctly, what’s the difference between psychiatry and psychology? Because they all a psychiatrist

 

Bill Saunders 

is someone who’s done medicine, gone through medical school, qualified as a doctor, and then does four years of post qualifying psychiatry. And then they become a member of the Royal College of psychiatrists of New Zealand, or Yes, UK or wherever. a psychologist is someone who does a first degree in psychology, and a postgraduate degree in a masters or a PhD in clinical psychology, counselling psychology are one of the other forms of psychology. Yes. So in fact, what you’ve got, and there’s a real big difference here, because in psychology, you work with continuums, you talk about bell curves, you talk about, here’s normal, two standard deviations out is added on, whereas in psychiatry, because it has comes from medicine, and wants to be a medical discipline, yeah, it works with illness. So you have a discrete cutoff. So these people are well, these people are sick. Right? Right. So this person, for instance, has, is has a normal blood pressure this person has, you know, yet a problematic blood pressure is measurable. Yeah, yeah. And this person has, this person has a PSA score on their prostate of x, and this person has x plus 10. So therefore, this person has prostate cancer, and so on. So they work on an illness model with each discrete cutoff. So you have people who have schizophrenia and people who don’t have you have people have depression, or people who don’t have depression. Whereas in psychology, of course, we go, well, hang on, it’s a normal distribution. So actually, where you draw a line is quite arbitrary. Yes. Right. And so say, these people are saying, and these are and these people are ill, is a nonsense. And of course, in psychiatry, although they deny it, they have immense problems in determining who has a mental illness, and who doesn’t. And in fact, they can’t do it. Well at all.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Right. So I’m getting a real sense of almost sort of a clash between approaches of one that’s slightly more in touch with the actual subject. And one that very much sort of a rational, scientific approach, if you know what I mean, in terms of it. Almost like a medical, scientific

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, I think, I think psychiatry pretends it is medical and scientific, but the science that underpins psychiatry, isn’t science at all. Right.

 

Bryn 

Okay, is that part of the challenges with the model? It is

 

Bill Saunders 

because it’s based on a false hood, that psychiatrists can reliably diagnose mental illness that these mental illnesses actually exist, they’re not only reliably diagnosed, they also are valid, and that they have treatments, they can then apply to this illness. So if you go along and you’re hypertensive, you take an ID, you take an antihypertensive, if you’ve got a thyroid problem, you take thyroxin, if your PSA score is, say, 60, people know that there’s a prostate problem, you’ll have an MRI, you’ll be diagnosed, and somebody will come along and take your prostate out or do other treatments. The problem in psychiatry is, there are no biological markers of any of the so called 256 mental illnesses that we currently have in DSM five, the diagnostic Bible, right? Not one single biological marker,

 

Bryn 

what do you mean by a biological test?

 

Bill Saunders 

So if you go along, and the doctor goes, Oh, you complain of urinating too much at night, the doctor thinks, oh, you could have prostate cancer. But he doesn’t then remove your prostate because he thinks you’ve got prostate cancer, he’ll send you off, he’ll do blood tests. If they come back high. He will then arrange an MRI, he might arrange a biopsy, or he will she will arrange a biopsy, and so on. So at the end of the day, my idea as a GP that you might have prostate cancer is actually checked out against biological markers for actual tests. in psychiatry, there are none of those, right,

 

Bryn Edwards 

not one. And is that one of the major premises on which the model is built? Well,

 

Bill Saunders 

of course it is. Because they say and and let me quote, liberal Jeffrey Lieberman is a very interesting character. And he’s the forefront voice of psychiatry because he was chairman of the American Psychiatric Association. But he was also Chair of the DSM five committee. So Jeffrey Lieberman is very important. And he wrote a book in 2015 called shrinks. And in that book, which is a PR for psychiatry, he said, mental diseases are abnormal. Well, that’s a debate enduring, harmful, treatable, feature a biological component and can be reliably diagnosed right now. I would take great issue. shoes with the feature a biological component. So far, they don’t have a single blood test for anything yet. Right? And can they be reliably diagnosed with the all the evidences, despite his claims that they can be reliably diagnosed? all the evidence is that if you see three psychiatrists, you will get two different opinions as to what’s wrong with you. Right. So the reliability in psychiatry, when it’s been tested out, is very, very poor.

 

Bryn 

I would also challenge the enduring.

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, of course, I’ve been carrying the enduring part and when he says, treatable, he means treatable with drugs, right. And physical manipulation. Yeah. Well, yeah. So what you do like, here’s somebody with depression, it’s got a biological component, and we are going to treat it with a drug which will address that biological abnormality. Yeah. Except there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, that depression is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain. There’s no evidence whatsoever, that schizophrenia, whatever that is, is caused by a lot biological impairment in the brain. And in fact, there’s a very interesting quote, because Jeffrey Lieberman, although he wrote that in 2015, when he was chair of the DSM DSM five Committee, which reported in 2013, he said, we do not have any biological markers, or genetic markers, or any biological measures, yet. And here we are in 2020, we still don’t, but in 2015, he was claiming that they have a biological component. And yet, there’s absolutely no evidence for that. And Insel who was a doctor who is in charge of the National Institute of Mental Health in America, actually, there’s a lovely quote, he said, he actually said, I spent 13 years pushing on neuroscience and science and genetics of mental disorders. I’ve got lots of really cool papers published at a fairly large cost $20 billion. And yet, we have not made one impact on reducing suicide, reducing hospitalizations, or improving recovery for 10s of millions of people in America. So the surgery is staggering. It’s It’s shocking, because here we are, all the energy in America is going to search for the biological basis of these 256 mental illnesses. Yeah.

 

 

And they haven’t found one.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So if they, so just so we’re clear. If there was a biological marker, then that would be as simple as going to see your doctor him run, let’s just arbitrarily say a blood test. Yeah. And come back a couple of days later and say, Okay, well, Mr. Rogers, yes. You seem to have X type depression and y type schizotypal schizotypy.

 

Bill Saunders 

Yeah. I mean, just like, you know, if your thyroid if your thyroid is not working well, the doctors Oh, I think your thyroids not working well.

 

 

Then they do a blood test.

 

Bill Saunders 

And on the basis, that blood test, they will prescribe thyroxin. Or you go along, and you say I’m feeling weary, like take a blood test and your iron levels alone, they’ll prescribe you an iron tablet, or infusions or whatever. But in psychiatry, it’s all opinion. I think you’ve got schizophrenia. I think we’ve got bipolar, and I think you’ve got schizoaffective disorder. But we know that when it comes to opinions,

 

Bryn 

people have different ones. Everybody’s got one,

 

Bill Saunders 

exactly this and the interesting thing is you can’t even get human beings to agree what day of the week it is. Right? So it’s only about a 95% agreement on today is Thursday, for example. So in psychiatry, the science, this medical discipline, every diagnosis is nothing more than an opinion,

 

Bryn 

a social construct.

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, that’s also important, because Wouldn’t it be nice to believe that 256 mental illnesses in DSM five actually exist? But what people don’t know generally don’t know is that how do these disorders get into the Bible? Well, if you take in the DSM, the diagnostic manual, in DSM one, homosexuality was a mental illness. In DSM two, it was a sexual deviance. And in DSM three, it wasn’t there at all. Why not? Well, because they had a vote. Five and a half thousand American psychiatrist went Nope, homosexuality is not a mental illness. And 3609 said, Yes, it is. So the 5001 and out went homosexuality. Now isn’t that bizarre so what is or is not a mental illness, comes down to a vote. And that happens every time. The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental American Mental Health Association actually comes to, we need to revise our diagnostic criteria. And it’s voted in and voted out. So things come and go. When I grew up, the alcohol dependence syndrome was brand new, right in DSM three, I actually disagree with it. I don’t know where it came from. I thought this is not my experience of people with alcohol and drug things. But there it was the alcohol dependence syndrome. By DSM five, it’s gone. We now have alcohol use disorders, and so on. And paranoid schizophrenia. We know paranoid schizophrenia, don’t we? Yeah, it’s not there anymore. Gone. Because what happened was, every time there was a new DSM, the numbers of mental illnesses went up. Right. So this time, the chairman promised that we won’t have any more. But there was pressure to bring in half a dozen other things like hoarding or excoriation disorder, or whatever. So they put them and then they had to collapse things together. So all this, isn’t it. So they collapse them together. So there’s a political, the whole thing. Every psychiatric diagnosis is a political debate. For example, PTSD, only got in because the veterans from Vietnam campaigned furiously and got it in. Right. And that is the only disorder in the 256, where the cause of the disorder is known. And it’s due to experiencing life threatening overwhelming, horrific events. So here we have 250 50 soldiers, which are voted in and voted out. Do they actually exist? is very interesting. I mean, if you take for example, factitious disorder, and brief reactive psychosis, they came into being in DSM three, because Spitzer, who was the chairman, Dr. Spitzer, actually read a paper by two psychiatrists in America. And when Oh, yeah, I hadn’t heard of this before invited them in, they turned up in Washington to have a chat. He wrote the criteria for factitious disorder and brief reactive psychosis in an afternoon. took it to the committee, they voted it in. And it’s still there. This, yeah, it’s it. And what happens is in here is a science. Now, the interesting thing is in

 

Bryn 

medicine, you say a science though?

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, it’s as they’re trying to be a science because,

 

Bryn Edwards 

because it’s so have degrees in psychology. And, and I know psychology is different. But again, as soon as we start looking and studying the human being, like, when we’re talking very much around in a world, not the outside world, so you know, I’ve just had wrist surgery. So, you know, the risk wasn’t working? Well. Yes, I go see a surgeon. Yes, we have an MRI, exactly. We had a little look inside, we see the problem, we cut it, I get put to sleep tapes like that, take it out.

 

Bill Saunders  

in psychiatry, you go along with a little problem. There’s no objective measure of whether there’s no MRI, there’s no MRI or any biological markers. Yeah. And then they will give you drugs to deal with the supposed cause of this order that the psychiatrist thinks you have.

 

Bryn Edwards 

It’s pretty, pretty scary. It is scary, I guess, I guess, the challenge I had even with psychology as well, was that, you know, work from style. I, I did a bachelor in science, that there were people on the same course who did a bachelor in arts. Yes. Right. And and the difference between the two was the electives in the first year. Yep. So that had nothing to do with the psychology course. So it always struck me strange that psychology, let alone psychiatry, which I’ve never really delved into. You know, it’s a science, it’s an art. It’s a review of literature. It’s, it’s this is that and, and the actual source subject is so unknown. And the source subject is study in itself.

 

Bill Saunders 

Look when I did my PhD viver. Because in England, you have to do a Viber. You have to turn up your PhD and they’ll ask you a question. Yes, question. I got asked bill, what is science? But fortunately, on the way to the PhD, viver. I’d actually read the examiners latest book, and I said, science is a social construction. What constitutes knowledge today is not what constituted knowledge in the past. So the interesting thing, is that all science, yes. is a social construction. Yes. All right. So we just have to say that, for example, in psychology and medicine, a lot of faith is built on the randomised control trial. That’s the gold standard. But actually, there’s huge problems with randomised controlled trials, huge problems, because if you do a randomised control trial, you have to exclude people who might bring in extraneous variables. So I’ve done research on motivation and heroin use, where in the end, we got a sample we gave a motivational intervention to, and the other half didn’t get it. And we could show that motivational work actually made people adhere to treatment longer tick. The only problem is the 200 people we ended up with did not represent the clinic. Yeah, so what you’ve got we had beautiful internal validity. Yeah, but it was not ecologically valid, didn’t apply to the outside. It didn’t apply to the real world of the clinic. And that’s the trouble with all the depression studies. Any randomised control trial, you’re so keen to keep it clean? That you actually end up with an artifice. So is it

 

Bryn Edwards 

the sense of gaze is almost like, the more you narrow down and narrow down and narrow down? Yep. The more gaps and holes you’ll find that you know, and hence why we got 250 different teas in in the DSM five, but

 

 

do they actually exist slowly,

 

Bryn Edwards 

even as a social construct? The more you dive down it, it strikes me that also, how do I put it? There’s not that chunking up either and looking at a hangover, we’ve got 250 disorders. Yeah. What are they? Where’s the meta analysis?

 

Bill Saunders 

See, where’s the what happens?

 

 

There’s a

 

Bill Saunders 

let’s talk about Yeah, and let’s go just from about and Britvic. Yeah. And perfect was the guy in Norway, who planted a bomb in Oslo, then shot out to the went out to the island and shot 69 Yes. Teenagers. Yeah. Right. Now, when he came when he was arrested, and he’s taken before trial before trial, they get a psychiatric review. Yeah. And they say about him that actually, he was paranoid. schizophrenia. Right. Now, paranoid schizophrenia has five symptoms, delusions, hallucinations, disorganised speech, disorganised behaviour and negative symptoms. So you have to have three, you have to have one of the first three and three altogether. Now, those were the five symptoms. So to psychiatry said, Yep, he’s paranoid schizophrenia. And as brevik didn’t like that idea, he didn’t want to be seen to be mad because he was defending Norway. So he felt he was totally sane. So his defence team got two more psychiatrists to turn up. And they said, Ah, he’s got an antisocial personality disorder. Now, the interesting thing about it social personality disorder, there is absolutely no overlap between paranoid schizophrenia, the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and anti social personality disorder, because antisocial personality disorder is made up, you fail to adhere to social norms, you’re deceitful, you’re impulsive, you’re reckless to yourself and others, you’re irritable, you’re aggressive, you’re irresponsible, and you lack remorse. None of those are in paranoid schizophrenia. Yet, how could two psychiatrists to say he has this and to psychiatrists, say he had that? And in the end, and it’s perfect like this answer, he went to court as with an antisocial personality disorder, Norway liked it. So he went to jail. Right. But the interesting thing about that case, is that it is absolutely represents a case that or a study that I heard about, I mean, my second year of my master’s degree in clinical psychology in 1974, I go over to Embry University, and I listened to them talking about the diagnosis and reliably of psychiatric diagnosis. Now, this study is fascinating. So what they did, they had 115 Canadian psychiatrist, 250 American psychiatrists, and 194, UK psychiatrists, and they gave them cases A, B, C, D, E, F, a case F is of interest because in case f 53% of the Americans have the 250 means that he’s got schizophrenia by 53%. Now, that’s not very good as it was with schizophrenia is seem to be the major mental illness. But only 53% of American psychiatrist could agree that he’s got schizophrenia. The other 47% had a range of other things. The Canadians were even worse, only 27% of them thought he had schizophrenia. Right. And the Britons 2% of the Britons thought he had schizophrenia. Right. So what we’ve got here is the major disorder in the world schizophrenia, which has a rare liability of chance being diagnosed, because if you add all those together as a group, you’ve got a third of them going schizophrenia, only a third of them saying he’s got an anti social personality disorder, and the other third saying, like Candace brevik, and the other third are going I don’t know what he’s got or he’s got this. So psychiatric diagnosis is no better than charts. Now. That’s 1970.

 

 

Yeah. So,

 

Bill Saunders  

so I can actually was very aware of this problem. So in DSM three, Spitzer spent a lot of time writing that criteria for his 200. And I think he had 296 men. Now he had 250 odd mental illnesses. So he had great criteria for it. So they go off and do a field trial. Right after it was published, they do a field trial, which involves 600 patients in six unit in six sites, two of which were in Germany. And Spitzer got his mistress to do the study. Right. So it’s funded by the American Psychiatric Association. So Spitzer says this is an independent study, but he gets his mistress to do it. How does that work? Then? Right. He said you capper is a funny statistic, which actually measures reliability. You don’t need to worry about it. But what Spitzer it said before, anything above point seven points is high. Yeah, anything below is less satisfactory. Yeah. And below five is poor. Yeah. Right. So he’s got he’s gone for seven. He’d said that before for this study. Anything above anything around point seven was suddenly seemed to be great. So they actually lowered the bar for what was good, right? The best they could. And then they and then they allowed the two psychiatrists to interview people. If they disagreed, they could have a little chat to see if they could agree. Now that’s cheating. Here’s a randomised blind study where you allow people to disagree to chat to each other, because that has to have the act of improving the reliability. Right. And then, and then, and then they did something else. It was interesting. They got everyone to use a standardised standardised clinical interview, which psychiatrists in general practice out there and never use. So we’ve got three artifices, we lower the bar, we get people, we allow people to chat and see if they can agree. And then we get them to use a standardised interview. The best they could do was point six one. So they failed their own lowered bar as to what was good reliability. But in the clinics in Germany, which were community clinics, the cap is point 2.3 point four. Right. And they did another little thing. If you are asked to say what car is that, what it is that they have 256 diagnosis? What type of car is that? Well, if two psychiatrists said it’s a Mazda, the fact that one said it’s a Mazda three, and the other said, it’s a Mazda CX nine, that was a that was agreed to be okay. So if you said he’s got antisocial personality, and the other one says, No, I think he’s got dependent personality disorder, because they use the term personality disorder that was a magazine, same sort of group, the same sort of group. So instead of using the 256, diagnosis, I boiled it down to 10 groups, and that makes it easier, doesn’t it?

 

Bryn Edwards 

This. So for a little while now, and I don’t want to drag Yeah. I’m not trying to drag off into the world of COVID, and conspiracy. But for a while now, what I’m beginning to become more and more and more aware of is the hubris of science, in the scientific approach, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing the whole baby out with the bathwater, but it it’s almost like science in and of itself now. It’s become the new religion of reason. And if a scientist says, or somebody with a PhD says, then we all bow down and we will go Oh, yeah, well, I

 

Bill Saunders 

like it when I’m saying it.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah. And I, but I guess the point is that, you know, even the science itself is conflicting look, but there is no honesty around it. Of course, there

 

Bill Saunders 

isn’t because science is an industry. And science actually is highly competitive. So what you are, so if you watch, I like I love watching Channel Seven News, right? Because I find it fascinating discourse on how the truth is revealed. But often, two or three times a week on Channel Seven News, you will actually get breakthrough study. They have a breakthrough study, and they interview people in the lab doing all sorts of things. We think we’re on the brink of a breakthrough. They’re always on the brink of a breakthrough. And last week, there was one on anorexia nervosa, we’ve identified seven genes that are linked to anorexia nervosa. And this is a breakthrough study and we will have a drug shortly. Now I’ve heard that over and over and over and over and over again, because a news item like that gets the more funding and Associate Professor Fred then becomes Professor Fred and becomes bigger, holier than all the rest of it.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. The interesting thing in the media,

 

 

but it’s

 

Bill Saunders 

PR, it’s actually something that the interesting thing is it psychiatry, there have been no new drugs for 14 years. So despite all the money the pharmaceutical industries put in, and all the claims of genetic breakthrough, we have no new drugs. None. So here we have, so you have to see science as a highly competitive sport where people cheat all the time. And if you can get an advantage by making a breakthrough claim, I mean, look at the COVID vaccines. I mean, it’s wonderful. We’ve got one, we’ve got one or we’ve got one that’s better.

 

 

There isn’t one, and

 

Bill Saunders 

it’s possible they never will be one. Yes. But look at the money that’s going into it. So science is both a social construction and a highly competitive, ruthless business. When knifing your competitors is on.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And it’s interesting, because, you know, without disappearing off into vaccines, vaccines, in and of themselves, make people feel a whole lot better. When you were talking about the guy Norway went to murder people. It’s not socially palatable to have somebody who’s just normal who set bombs off and shorter, lighter people. Now he’s, he’s, you know, like you said he has, it would To start with, it’d be nice if he was, you know, skipped. So something or a paranoid because then it’s like, Ah, he’s like that. I’m not like that. Yes, that’s it. I can go to sleep at night, because I know that’s never going to happen within me. Yeah. And then it’s like antisocial behaviour. What disorder? Well, that’s a bit closer to home. That’s a bit closer to home. Yes. But still, it’s disorder and personality and antisocial. Doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s just got disorder in the

 

Bill Saunders 

thing that makes it and it’s very interesting, isn’t it? Clermont killer today? found guilty, right. So the person in charge was found guilty of two or three murders, because it wasn’t my favourite. You could have victim of a third, although he probably did it. Now. What’s gonna be interesting now is somebody like me will turn up do a court report on him a psychological report now. Nobody wants him to be diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia, and which case he has to be sent to a psychiatric place. Yeah, but whatever. Right? Nobody wants to know. So they won’t go to prison. They want to go to prison, and he needs to be punished because he is bad. So there’s this whole thing of the morality of Mad versus bad. mad people need to be treated bad people need to be punished. Now he has to be bad. And it was interesting that Anders Breivik himself wanted to be bad rather than mad. Yeah. Right. Because he said, If I’m mad, it doesn’t carry the same weight. I’m just bad. Yes, right. Now, the interesting thing about that, and the whole reliability of diagnosis is that in DSM four, they had field trials. And so they improved DSM three into DSM four. So reliability got better. Yeah. Except the field trial. They never published it. Because according to the American Psychiatric Association, they ran out of money doing the study yet, right. I gathered the data, they hadn’t couldn’t afford to analyse it. Yet, the sales of DSM three netted $84 million. The book. So here we have an institution that couldn’t actually find enough money to do a data analysis, because you know why? Because the reliability was appalling. So we come to DSM five, and there’s a lovely DSM five field trial. And the headline is, we have cracked it, we have reliable psychiatric diagnosis. And he was lovely. He said, a rose is a rose is a rose, we can always guarantee that a rose is a rose is a rose. And then he presented data, where all the Kappa scores which we want to be above point seven, were no more than point five. And when you get anxiety disorder, it was point two. So here is something generalised anxiety disorder, it’s well recognised. Lots of people get diagnosed with it, it’s the most popular diagnosis yet the consistency of diagnosis had kept a score of point two. So with anxiety disorders a road is a cactus is a fig tree. Right? And with depression, point three two, so they’re, you know, a rose is a is a bar, what is a Ficus is a is a banana. So even in their own reports, they are damning themselves by saying we’ve got great reliability, it’s all improved. Now what is very interesting that Spitzer himself who was the chairperson of DSM three who campaigned for greater reliability, before he died, he actually said, we have a real problem here. Because reliability, if you don’t use screen if you don’t get psychiatrists to cheat, if you don’t lower the bar, he said, we have very low reliability, and I don’t know what to do about it. Right. I know what to do about it. Don’t diagnose people. Because the mental health disorders, the 256. There’s reliability. And then there’s validity. Reliability is three people saying, Oh, yeah, that’s a giraffe. validity is then testing the animal that they said was a draft to actually find out whether it has the DNA of a giraffe. Now, what happens in psychiatry, they don’t agree, three people never agree that it’s a giraffe. And when they’ve done the validity test, they turns out, they’re all siebers. What is fascinating is if you take these discrete disorders, of schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, now, bipolar disorder is totally separate from schizophrenia. Schizoaffective is a mixture of the two presumably. So what you can do you take 100 of each of these, and this has been done, and you give them everybody, you give them a symptom checklist. So you give 100 symptoms, they take them off. You then factor analyse it factor analyse just a good technique, which puts things together, how does your data go together? And what you get beautiful is you get three factors, right, but they’re not Schizoaffective. Bipolar, and schizophrenia, what you get his negative symptoms. So that’s people being flat, being withdrawn, not having any energy being a motivational, you get positive symptoms, which are things like hallucinations and delusions, and then you get cognitive impairment. Yeah. Now, what possibly could cause that? And the answer is childhood neglect and abuse. Right. So from my perspective, I think you can take all the diagnosis in psychiatry, and you can boil them down to one explanation, childhood neglect, and abuse. And the studies of adverse childhood experiences speak very loud, to your best preventive of having a mental health disorder, when you’re 35 is having a very loving, warm and connected mother. This is not biological, it’s psychological. It’s about attachment. It’s about it’s about attunement. And it’s about having a mum, who’s our primary caregiver who’s maternal rewarm. And what is interesting, Darwin did not say, it’s the survival of the fittest, he actually said, it’s the survival of the nurtured. And when you do studies, longitudinal studies, and you rate mums with their children, that the quality of that relationship is predictive of mental health or mental instability 30 years later. So I don’t think you need to do diagnosis at all. So when I sit with somebody, and I sat with somebody yesterday, new patient for the first time, and I walked in, and I always say, what brings you to see a psychologist?

 

Bryn 

Yep. And he

 

Bill Saunders 

told me, right story, story, story, story story. And I sat there and listened for 10 minutes. And I said, Okay, what happened? And he said, What do you mean? I said, what happened to

 

Bryn 

you to make up like this? Why are we choosing these stories?

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, it’s not just why we’re choosing the stories why I mean, I’m just always worried. But I mean, you told me what your issues are. He was 50, he was isolated. He, you know, he had no friends. He was successful, but he couldn’t make connection. And he told me about his distant father, and his completely remote, non existing mother, no one had ever attached to him. So here he was, you see, and what neglect does, if you have a parent, a mum, or a dad, or the pair of them who neglect you, I don’t do anything wrong with you, you just don’t get enough of the right stuff. If you don’t get the right stuff, and you end up being neglected. You end up with negative symptoms. So you have all these symptoms of withdraw apathy,

 

 

because

 

Bill Saunders 

there’s no purpose. Now, what is interesting, there’s been a study of schizophrenia. And what they have shown is the best predictor of being paranoid schizophrenia, is being neglected as a child, and then being sexually abused. Right, right. So sexual abuse, along with the neglect actually makes you become paranoid. But if you get put in an orphanage, you end up with negative symptoms, because you’re bored, no one’s looking after you. So the whole notion of schizophrenia being an entity, which is a secular disease on its own, or a separate disease on its own, it’s complete nonsense. Because they can’t diagnose it anyway. Right. Even in the last DSM five training, the best agreement they will get on schizophrenia was point five, like a Kappa score, point five, which is hopeless. I mean, you know, if you go three psychiatrists, two of you at once and say, You got schizophrenia one’s got to say you’ve got something else. And the third one’s gonna say something different again. So if you ever have a psychiatric diagnosis, you don’t like go and see a different psychiatrist. And you’ll get different opinion

 

Bryn Edwards 

to me was coming out here is this. I see as soon as you’re bringing in some sort of childhood trauma, which is a theme that’s been turning up in the podcast, he has recently have had in depth conversation about codependency or pronounce form. Yes. Very much from some sort of trauma response his child and went deep into boarding school syndrome or get with boarding school syndrome. Yep. Which is something for myself. Yes. And spoke to one of the world’s leading experts on that. And also with narcissism. Yes. And speaking to Professor Sam Backman. And I did a I helped him with a lecture on his channel, where he mapped out the early development of a child and then got to this dead mother good enough mother. Yes. And then the fact that when he mapped it out to almost when it gets to, you know, there will be a collision with with reality when we have to create some sort of protective persona. Sure. And that, that just seems to be part of development. Donald Trump is a brilliant example of narcissism.

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, yeah, it’s never successful. We’ve never even he was the best piece of social classic

 

Bryn Edwards 

in our success. To me success was in the money as in there is there’s I’m coming to understand now. There is a shit tonne of failed, NASA said sure. And they go through the cycle of aspiring collapse fails, barring cloudkit there are only a handful who are actually successful classic Narcissus, such as Donald Trump.

 

Bill Saunders 

Yes. But and the system the way he does it, because he cannot stand any prick of his psychological of his narcissistic bubble. So when things go wrong, like 200,000 dead people with COVID, he blames the medical externalises all the blame the who the China syndrome, and then he goes, I’ve been the best president ever. I’ve done more for the black people in America than anybody else. And you go, What are you talking about? We

 

Bryn Edwards 

were dealing wonderfully this association is enormous. So

 

Bill Saunders 

but you have to wonder about his childhood. Yes. See, and I think he got lots of very nasty messages about himself. And so I think what he did, he created this bubble around.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And so yeah, I mean, professor was put forward is that as that protective persona starts to develop, with it with a nurturing Mother, you almost put positive energy into this thing which helps you to grow and flourish etc. With with a dead mother or

 

Bill Saunders 

a highly negative man.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah, or, or clinical separation such as boarding school. Yes. And you then start feeding it with less than great energy. And then when the stories we start to tell ourselves about this, and we’re then filling the super ego Yeah, with tonnes and tonnes of stories about ourselves and this negative stuff and and for those who don’t get it, the super ego is almost like a Richard Grandin. Does this beautiful It’s like this dumb recorder that just plays back it’s a hybrid of all the shit that you’ve been told and picked up. Yes. And and and and that’s the voice that’s going shouldn’t be doing this. Should we do that? And you know, is the serves you well at times just

 

Bill Saunders 

and how we talk to ourselves is critical. I mean, I mean, let’s just talk about depression for a moment. I mean, we know that in a psychiatric model, depression is caused by a serotonin imbalance of the brain. Now, that’s an idea it’s been around for 50 years, there’s no evidence for it whatsoever, not because you can’t do serotonin levels in the brain. And there’s no evidence that anything to do with serotonin I mean, there’s 110 neurotransmitters in the brain. Why pick on poor old serotonin, but we now treat depression with drugs, which actually called antidepressants, which aren’t antidepressants. They’re serenity drugs. So they make this a relic as a relic. They make you serene, flatline flatline. So you give antidepressants to depress people to balance up the serotonin deficiency light don’t have an I think with these drugs, which although they are claimed to work, if you put all the studies together about antidepressants, not just the published ones, but the ones that drug companies didn’t publish, and they have been obtained through freedom of information, you then find that the impact of antidepressant antidepressants on depression is zero. Right? You might as well be given a vitamin C tablet believing it’s an antidepressant and you will do as well. And the interesting thing about the studies are that in the antidepressant group who are getting really getting the antidepressant or the ceramic, there are more dead bodies and the people getting vitamin C tablets, because often people taking antidepressants, the rate of suicide is higher. So We have a drug called antidepressants, which in the main are more prescribed to anxious people than they are to depress people. Now, how does that work? So I’ve got hypertension, I take a hypertensive in psychiatry, I’ve got hypertension, too. I take an aspirin. So I take a drug for a totally different disorder. I mean, it’s just bizarre, isn’t it? So here we have the nonsense of psychiatry. So antidepressants aren’t antidepressants. They’re ceramics, mood stabilisers, so called aren’t mood stabilisers. They’re either anti psychotics or anti epileptic drugs. How does that work? Well, it works by slowing down your brain. So if you slow down people’s brains enough, they don’t react, it’s

 

Bryn Edwards 

just basically sticking the foot on the brake pedal,

 

Bill Saunders 

it’s actually pulling on the handbrake on the brain. And then of course, you have anti anxiety drugs, which actually are anti anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines. But they work so well that people come highly dependent on them very quickly, and then you can’t get them off of them. We just had Jordan Peterson, you know, one of the most, you know, leading edge renowned intellectuals come out and talk about his benzodiazepine dependency for the last four years. The issue is, the back in 1998, there was a paper that said you do not prescribe these unless you’re getting on the plane and travelling. And that’s the only reason to take them to help you sleep on a long haul flight. Otherwise, they’re so dangerous, we wouldn’t prescribe them, they sell in their millions. So you see, and there’s anti psychotics, which aren’t anti psychotic cyber, anti psychotics, in fact, are again, brain seizing drugs. And the evidence now is on long term studies, that if you take an anti psychotic to deal with your schizophrenia, which I think you have, but which there’s no object marker, if you take that for 20 years, you shorten your life expectancy, and you open yourself up to a whole raft of nasty side effects and illnesses. But not only that, the people with schizophrenia, so called who the opinion of the doctor who they don’t get prescribed antipsychotics, 10 years on, they’re doing better than the people being scribed, the antipsychotics. So here we have an industry, which cannot die, nose disease, reliable, makes up the diseases Anyway, there’s no blood tests. So in psychiatry, mental health orders are invented in medicine, they’re discovered. And then they’re treated with drugs, which actually don’t work,

 

Bryn 

or do the thing that they’re supposed

 

Bill Saunders 

to work. I mean, they just don’t work. So if you want to see somebody absolutely knackered, put them on an antidepressant for 10 years, and you will see somebody who is in the land of blur, and who has no sex life because they have absolutely no sexual interest. And now the British Royal College of psychiatrists, last year released a report saying anyone being prescribed an anti depressant needs to be told they’re going to have withdrawal effects, if they try to stop them. Now, that hasn’t happened by the Royal College of psychiatrists here or anywhere else. But the rockers in Britain have been brave enough to say, antidepressants, cause withdrawal effects, and the industry totally denies it.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So. So if we dial out of if we just come out for a minute and dial out of the fact that we have a model of psychiatry, which is the dominant model of Yes, Skytree, and a very expensive model more expensive, and I take it is more dominant than almost like psychology.

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, it’s very interesting. I mean, I ended up being director of a private hospital. So that was my mate, GP, my mate the psychiatrist to me, and we actually bought and ran a psychiatric hospital for a decade. And we turned something which was dreadful into something, which I thought was extraordinarily good. And the most interesting thing about that, that after about five years of doing this, one of the labels said, we can’t build, we’ll get you so you could admit people, right? Because then it takes a lot, you know, it helps us and you can admit people. So we made an approach to the private insurance, and they said he can’t admit people. He’s not a doctor. I said, Well, I’ve got a PhD and they went, No, no, but you’re not a doctor, doctor. Only doctors can admit people to hospitals. And I go but a psychiatric hospital. Yeah, you know, we know the psychotherapy about own it. We know that psychotherapy does better than all the drugs. Yeah. And they went, but you won’t know how to diagnose people. And I said, You’re totally right. I want and they said, Well, unless we got a diagnosis, we can’t fund them. And you go crazy. This is this. Yeah. And that is the problem. The very model that uses diagnosis, expensive drugs, and all the rest of it becomes so expensive. Yeah, but it doesn’t actually deliver. I mean, it doesn’t deliver a good service anyway, because the whole thing I think is I think it’s the Emperor with no clothes. And yet all the insurance companies Use it well, so it becomes very expensive for consumers. And you know, clinical psychologists are cheaper than psychiatrists. So if you were setting up a, if I believe you were setting up if I was to set up a psych service for people with mental illness now, I wouldn’t have any psychiatrists in it. Right, I would have purely, lots and lots and lots and lots of a high variety of counsellors. Now, here’s another little thing that people don’t like to say. I’m a clinical psychologist, I’ve got a master’s degree in psychology, I’ve got a PhD. There is no evidence whatsoever, that makes me a better therapist than anyone. Yeah. Right. So we know that qualifications, length of experience, have no impact on your capacity to be a good therapist. So actually, I think you could train up people very quickly to be effective therapists. And you could pay them a reasonable amount of money, but we don’t have to pay them a million dollars a year like most psychiatrists, none, and you could have cheaper mental health services, which are more accessible.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Because they’re not been a method meta study, which demonstrates that just merely spending concentrated time on someone. Never mind. Never mind the CBT or this other. Because I think, I think there was a study that, that compared that to massage and things like that, and it was found that just the act of pretty much what we’re doing right now, is, is therapeutic, hugely therapeutic and and in a in a society where we’re becoming incredibly specialised. Well, I was gonna say disjoint Oh, okay. And, and unconnected, yes, yes, we talk through phones, especially just like a shitty synthesis of a conversation. But, but to actually spend quality time where you are heard, and you listen, and you and there is space, and you are legitimised a normalised in your experience is that that in and of itself, it means that pretty much what you teach these therapists that it would

 

Bill Saunders 

look, we know that what kids need the five ingredients that children need to flourish is they need a primary caregiver who is playful, spend time with them rolling down hills on round about craft, having fun with them. Yeah, we know we want a primary caregiver who is loving, and that’s not just that sort of British way. I love you. But I’m never gonna say it is actually saying who you know, bring your gorgeous, you’ve got lovely blue eyes. I love you want the expression of you are wonderful. I love you. Yeah, you want also to be accepted. So you want parents who accept you just for whom you are not for you being a good little boy who puts these little soldiers away. But except you just as you are? Yeah, you want a parent who’s curious. And you also want a parent who can tune in and into your feelings and say, I can see your personality today. Talk to me about why you’re angry. What How did I get it wrong? What made you angry, right? Yeah, I can understand that. So you want the treatment. Now, that is called place p? AC playful, loving, accepting, curious, empathic. Now, I say when I used to teach psychology, I say to people come on, all you have to do is walk in that room, I don’t care who you’ve got sitting there, you have to walk into the room, and you have to ace it. You have to be accepting, curious and highly empathic. Yeah, right. And that will get you most of the way. Antony store, a British psychiatrist, very lovely man. He actually wrote a book The Art of psychotherapy in 1972. We’re in it. He has one sentence which I think every counsellor in the world should have tattooed over their eyes in front of their eyes. And it was this he said, whenever I go to see a new patient, as I open my office door to go and greet them, I see written on the door, the back of the door, what is it about this person that I can love?

 

 

Which is the second thing,

 

Bill Saunders 

the second thing p out love. And I know that when I say that to clinical psychologists like all we’re talking about love, and I go, yes, love. What is it about this patient that you can love? And I said it to somebody this week, I said, I love your struggle with your belief that you think you only exist by doing and you can’t just be I love that struggle. I said, I can see it’s tormenting your life. I think it’s causing you enormous pain, because all the energy you’re putting into being successful is actually removing you from all your connections. So I love your struggle. And I want to help you with it. Right? You squirmed but you also need to be playful yet right. You also need to be able to in time with the patient have a bit of fun. So I think if I have super strength So, as a psychotherapist, it’s is that I am a bit playful, and I can actually convey to people don’t take this too seriously. And I had a patient come in who was enormously tall. And she said, I don’t fit in. And I said, Yeah, I can see that. And I joked with her, and she’s got all these concerns about her family and looking after everybody. And every time I suggested that she might want to look after herself, she went, yes, but so she’s now patient. Yes. But, and, and I can play with that, and I can see and by is teasing, but by teasing her with a sense of, I love this about you, she is actually reflecting on the way she interacts with the world. And she will get better. Yes, so we know that in therapy, if you’re playful, loving, accepting, curious and empathic. The patients will do well. But there is something else. And it’s very funny. We know that if you do studies, if you refer to as you go, you get 1000 people with condition x and 250, get a treatment B treatment c treat with d3, we know that irrespective of whatever they get about 70% of them will do well. But when you look in this treatment box, a you will find the some therapists did really well had really good outcomes, but a few were done ads. So you had some geniuses and some done that. And then you come to the next intervention, irrespective what it was you got genius therapist, downloads, and all the way through. So some therapists are great at it. And some I don’t. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out the difference? So Scott Miller, who’s a American researcher into psychotherapy said I’m gonna find the difference. Yeah. And this is how he tells the story. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it’s so good. It doesn’t matter if it’s not true. You know, why let the truth get in the way of good story. Yes. And what he said was that he’d done this research, they videotaped 1000 interviews all around the states. And they put them all together and they looked and they knew which therapist would deem to be better. So they go in and say, who’s your best therapist? Okay, we will videotape who she was therapists like I will visit, we will videotape them. When they look to the videos. There’s nothing obvious here between the geniuses and the dullards say, Okay, now, how do we do this? And I spent a lot of money. So apparently he was in Norway talking about the study and saying, Okay, well, we’re going to announce the reason why some people are geniuses and some people have done it. He gets on the plane and he’s coming home and he’s sitting in business class. my career’s going down the gurgler, because you need to be a successful researcher. Will I become a professor that will that? Yeah. And lo and behold, the bloke, they start chatting chats, chatted with the bloke next to me says, and what do you do? He said, Oh, I’m an author, and I’m a publisher. And I’m involved in creating a book. So what’s the book? He said? It’s the Cambridge University book of excellence. So Scotland, it goes excellent. What sort of excellence he said, Oh, no, just excellence in life, is what sort of excellence he said, Oh, why ballerinas ballerinas are excellent. pitchers in baseball are excellent. pianists are excellent. architects are excellent bliver blur. And so Scott because all about psychotherapists, he said I’d be the same for psychotherapists is for everybody else. But there is something that makes for excellence. And Scott, please tell me what is it he said, you’ll have to buy the book went to sleep. So we bought the book, The Cambridge book of excellence, which is this big has one theme. What makes people excellence is practice with feedback. Right? Right. But it’s practice with feedback from your audience. So a brilliant architect keeps on going back to his clients, a ballerina who looks at the building and takes it back to the client. What do you think of this? So you constantly get this evaluation of how you’re going? And Scott Miller sat there and said, that’s it. And he tells the story that in watching these videotapes, he hadn’t picked it up. But some therapists would, towards the end of the session would say, Bryn, how are we going today? How’s the session been? how we’ve been in terms of my style with you, how we’ve been in terms of what we’ve discussed, how good a fit, am I with you for doing the work you want to do, and overall rate the session. So there’s now these scuttler rating scales which run from nought to 10. And at the end of a recession, I had went to a patient and I get scored. Now, what you want is cross cross cross off all the way down the right hand side. Yeah. So you’ve been a good fit. you’ve dealt with a goal. That’s what your ego would want to know is what you don’t want. What you do want to be an effective therapist. So you get tick, tick, tick, tick, but every now and again, you don’t, every now and again, like happened the other day, the guy goes cross in the middle. And I go I thought I’ve done well. So I said to him, now what so what you do so what would move me from here to there, and he said, I want us to go deeper.

 

 

I said thank you.

 

Bill Saunders 

So the next time I said, Okay, today we’re going to go deeper. What does that mean to you? And he started talking about his childhood, right? And the absolute emptiness of it, and how he got bullied and became a bully. And at the end of it, he was in tears. And he said, and he said, he said, I’ve recreated in my adult life, my childhood, I’m totally isolated. And that was all because of Scott Miller’s for 10 centimetre lines. So there is there is so I think a good a good psychotherapist actually needs to be able to play for loving, accepting curious and empathy with people. I don’t think you need to have experienced that as a child. And in fact, I think sometimes not experiencing that as I didn’t, as a childhood actually makes you a better therapist, because you actually have empathy for people’s predicaments. Whereas if you have a really nice childhood, you tend to go What the fuck is wrong with them? Yeah. So I think you need to be playful, loving, accepting, curious, empathic, I think you need at the end of every session to check. And as a joke, I also think the best training in the world to be a psychotherapist is to have a narcissistically depressed mother. Think about it. If you’ve got a narcissistically depressed Mother, what are you constantly doing?

 

Bryn 

Please?

 

Bill Saunders 

Yeah, but you’re constantly alert to how she is. So you’re tuning into her order. Yeah,

 

Bryn 

you become hyper vigilant.

 

Bill Saunders 

You do and you can actually feel you actually get to feel people’s distress. And what is interesting, my wife is a psychic

 

Bryn 

from going to boarding school as well. hyper vigilant the scanning

 

Bill Saunders 

you do, but that’s for different reasons. Yeah. Fair enough. What is interesting is that my wife, also clinical psychology and a good psychotherapist. She is excellent, because she had a nasty secret statistically depressed mother. Now I didn’t. So

 

Bryn Edwards 

my even though you’re gone. Yeah, if narcissistic, if not slightly depressed. You know, there is actually a thing because you’ve destroyed that.

 

Bill Saunders 

Well. Yes, you’re right. But we know what we’re talking about and broad sense. Don’t do as a diagnosis. Right. But But what we know about somebody has her here. She’s depressed. But she’s also highly egocentric. Yeah, right. So she’s had this job, you need to look after me rather than the other way around. Yeah. But what is interesting, my wife feels what other people feel. Whereas I think about what other people feel. So I have cognitive empathy, but I don’t get distressed. So my wife is very empathic, but she can get distressed by people’s distress. I never do. Yes. Right. I just sit there. Right. Yeah. And because I’m a bit narcissistic, I think my way is best. Yeah, I think the good therapist can actually sit with somebody in distress and not get distressed by their distress, and can actually be a rock on which they can disassemble. But there’s much debate about this.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting to say that because I myself, found myself delving into just exercises that increase my own emotional literacy now. And because it was quite stunted, in terms of

 

Bill Saunders 

I don’t think it’s literacy. Actually, I think

 

 

it’s regulation.

 

Bryn Edwards 

I think I think I found that as I began to describe them more, and understand them more than I could read. I understand it, and maybe that in and of itself, regulated. There’s another thing at play as well, then, obviously,

 

 

I think

 

Bill Saunders 

we’ve got this logical brain and I think, yeah, yeah. emotional brain. And I don’t think this controls that. No, look, I’m sure I mean, there is this thing called alexithymia. Which is the incapacity to feel Yes. Right. And even when alexithymia scale, we shouldn’t score yourself on. Yeah. Who knows? That the point about it is, I think the quality of your childhood speaks to how emotionally regulated you will be yes. And the worst, the child, the least able, you will be able to handle your emotions. So I know if I see somebody in psychological distress. I will say to them, as happened again this week, I said to them, when you feel like this, what do you need? Now? That’s a logical question. Right? And they will say, because of a bit of work, I tend to do, I need alcohol, I need heroin. I need benzos I need whatever. Most people say they need a drug to manage that. And then I say, what do you need emotionally? And the tragic thing about a lot of the patients I see is they say, I don’t know. I don’t know. Yeah, and I don’t know is a failure of childhood. Because if you have nice warm, loving, playful, accepting, curious, empathic, you know, empathic mothers, you know what to do? Oh, let me try this on you. Alright. Think about being eight years old. Yeah. Okay. Think about going to school. Think about the school you went to. Yes. Okay. Now think that you’ve had a really miserable day at school. Are you boarding school? Right?

 

 

Yes. Ah,

 

Bill Saunders 

okay. problematic. Okay. Okay, so here you are eight. You’ve had a really bad day at school. You go back to your house.

 

Bryn 

Yeah.

 

Bill Saunders 

We will have Well, were you. Were you going? Were you actually in a boarding school? seven days a week?

 

Bryn 

Monday to Friday, Monday to Friday. Okay, so you took him Friday evening now?

 

Bill Saunders 

Yeah, Friday, you’ve had a shit week at school, you go home. You walk in, and you’re still feeling shit from the week? What would you have done next?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Watch TV, you’re just just like be probably be generally quiet. And just be glad that it’s over?

 

Bill Saunders 

Sure. You’ve got an eight year old son. Okay. And he’s had a shoot day a week, he walks into the house, what would you like him to do?

 

Bryn 

Talk to me about it.

 

Bill Saunders 

So you would learn by the age of eight, the way to deal with uncomfortable emotions was to soothe on your own by distraction. So you watch TV.

 

Bryn 

And when you get sorry, this is

 

Bill Saunders 

dissociation right? Now as an adult male, when you get distressed? What do you do?

 

Bryn 

Yeah, retreat off to myself.

 

Bill Saunders 

Yes. And how much you use alcohol or other substances to do that.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And up until about 18 months ago, frequently. I had things going on in my life, where I actually came to the point of I don’t know whether it’s my own journey in life where I slowly started to go. No, I need to feel this. I need to actually sit with this even when it shit.

 

Bill Saunders 

Yes, yes. You see, and

 

Bryn Edwards 

that was an epiphany. It was before. Yeah. Easy. You know, TV? food. booze. Yeah, yeah, booze, maybe occasional joint.

 

Bill Saunders 

Yep. Yep. You see, and what it’s fascinating when I teach this stuff, and I did it last week, I go around the room. And there’s a room of social workers and psychologists whether you go around the room, and what you find is three quarters, two thirds, 80% of them. And by the age of eight, what do you do, I used to go off my bike, I’d go down the path and hide, I’d go upstairs and watch TV, I beat up my brother. Right? And only a few of them say I talked to mum. And even the woman who said I’ll talk to mum. She said mum was no fucking use because she’d rushed down the school and try and beat them all up. And it just became embarrassing. So I ended up stopped talking to my mum. And and you see, for every person I’ve seen with an alcohol or other drug problem. All of them by eight years old, would soothe themselves by distraction. And they just carry on doing it as adults.

 

Bryn 

It’s so fast.

 

Bill Saunders 

Mind you, because if you’re a psychiatrist, you prescribed an antidepressant for that. Yes, it sorry, a ceramic, a ceramic Yeah, with just Manchu

 

Bryn Edwards 

the thing that the thing that comes through in this conversation is just how far a science has disappeared from the truth of the human experience. Look,

 

Bill Saunders 

I think it is driven.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Because what you’ve seen here it, it completely makes sense. And, you know, my little epiphany is recently of our I see think, boarding school as much as it was all good fun, that might have had some impact on me. And then things open and then things open and things open and things. And it’s not too It’s not to suddenly put me, you know, in this needy victim of space, it’s actually to release the tension and trauma and energy that sit around certain belief. And we all have that.

 

Bill Saunders 

Yeah, of course we do. I mean, my childhood was one of neglect, right? My mother had me when she already had two children 10 and eight, and then

 

Bryn 

the previous twins level out in it,

 

Bill Saunders 

and all sorts of bad shit happened and by the age of six, I almost died four times. So my mother was totally neglectful. What was lucky for me was I had a twin sister. So even though I was sitting there on my own, I’d have a twin sister down the other end of the wheelchair or whatever we were in the pram or whatever, right and so my twin sister actually bothered me a lot and would look after me a lot. So thank you twin sister. What is interesting was though, that I got sent to an English boarding school when I was 15. I was the dumb one my my twin sister was the bright one. So I get sent to this English boarding school, which I hated. I didn’t fit in I had a strange accent at south coast of England working class accent and I wasn’t this little the posh boys from London. They took the piss out of me left right and centre also I didn’t understand the culture. So and no one came to visit me My parents never came to visit in two years in boarding school. I never got to visit. I think one of my other sisters came to visit once have everyone else got visits? I didn’t. So what would I do on Sundays? I was miserable shit, I’d go off and work. I actually did surprisingly well, and I got a levels went to university blah, blah, blah. And it’s so funny that trauma neglect is actually a double edged sword. It’s yeah can be actually I mean, I had nothing to do. So I would cope with the boredom of my existence by working. And to this day, if I have an argument with my wife, I will go upstairs and work. Yeah. I learnt it. But some of the things we do, they’re not all bad. No, no, no distraction. So I’m often taken by people who’ve had neglectful and traumatised charters that they it’s a double edged sword. Yeah, it makes this slide shiny. But unfortunately, this side doesn’t. Yeah, so it’s always a battle about that balance. Mm hmm.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Fascinating, I mean, is without seeming Doomsday ish, given the prevalence of the psychiatric model in the mental health space, I mean, if we dial out, yes. You know, the top level leading indicators of people, people self reporting, cases of anxiety, depression, suicide, and there’s no disputing that we’ve got problems going

 

Bill Saunders 

  1. Look, the last mental health survey in Australia showed that one in four people, yeah, in a 12 month period would experience significant psychological distress. The top two were anxiety and depression than those alcohol and drugs, schizophrenia, whatever that is, was down the bottom. But personality disorders were also in there. So yes, we have a lot of it. But these labels, depression, anxiety, whatever. I think a nonsense. We’re talking about psychological distress. Yeah. So here are people who because of their childhood cannot emotionally regulate well, so when they get distressed, they don’t know what to do. Yeah. And in fact, they become distressed by their distress. So they use drugs like cartilage, they do whatever. Now, you don’t need to take pills to stop that. Right. And the trouble is, we know that it’s just like borderline personality disorder. Now there’s 20 symptoms of borderline personality disorder, but they’re all the direct consequences of neglect and abuse. So 90% of people with borderline personality disorder report being neglected and or sexually abused, and those two things go together. So, and the other 10, I think, have just repressed it and forgotten it. So here we have people with childhood trauma. In Britain, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence say for people with borderline personality disorder, you should be there is no psychiatric medications. No psychotropics, which are a benefit. In Australia, the average person with borderline personality disorder is on an antidepressant, an anti psychotic and a mood stabiliser. So they’re taking probably an anti psychotic, an anti epileptic drug, and a ceramic. Now, where does that leave them? It leaves the munted. And then I have to come along and peel these things off one by one. So there is no psychotropic solution to having a ship charter. No. And the interesting thing about ship childhoods is why people get upset when I say this, is that in the Harvard study, where they followed up 508 month old children, and they did a just a little video of mom and the child interacting. Yes, that was the great predictor of mental health later. So the better the quality of the warmth, the better the outcome. Now, what is interesting about that study, and I’ve forgotten what I was going to say, What is interesting about that study, is that the people who had the worst childhood reported their childhood, okay? And, you know, when they do that, they do that, because it was so shit, they had decisions. It’s all right, it’s gonna get better. I’ll get through it, as

 

Bryn 

opposed to saying, This is hopeless.

 

Bill Saunders 

I need to kill myself. And what you see, you’ll see some precocious suicides. That’s the right word. You’ll see some very tragic, young girls largely who killed themselves eight 910 1112. And they suddenly realise that neglecting the sexual abuse is so awful, then it’s never going to go away. So they kill themselves to remove themselves from the pain. Right? And but what is interesting, often when you say to people tell me about your childhood, they’ll go fine. And then two weeks later, they’re crying about the sheer neglect and the awfulness of their childhoods. And if you’d asked me when I was 21, how was My childhood? I would say, yeah, it was fine. Now I score it five out of 50 on measures of playfulness. My mom wasn’t playful, loving. The word was never said, acceptance. I wasn’t I was called Little weed. curiosity. No one was curious about me empathy, but as long as you were happy, you were fine. In fact, I’m surprised I get five out of 50 if I rate myself

 

Bryn 

Yeah, but

 

Bill Saunders 

you see and the other problem With neglect, it makes you vulnerable to attention by others, because you’ve got no connection at home. You actually are a sitting duck for anyone who pays you attention.

 

Bryn 

Yes.

 

Bill Saunders 

Right. So along comes, let’s say school teacher, Mr. Webster. And you’re a very neglected little boy. And Mr. Webster starts paying attention to you. And suddenly he’s getting you to do your mathematics. And he’s encouraging you and he’s letting you play in the soccer team and you start to do well and you’re making more friends and he, he gives you spelling stuff, and you actually start to do well you suddenly realise you’re not as dumb as you were and you climb up the classroom, you come up with the clouds and Mr. Webster like shoe, and then Mr. Webster sexually abused as you.

 

Bryn 

Fuck Shut up.

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, or not, I mean, the travelling or not, I mean, the trouble is. The trouble is, I had a teacher called Mr. Webster. And that’s exactly what happened to me. There’s a bit of me that still to this day, Thanks, Mr. Webster. Because if he hadn’t taken a shine to me, because I was, I was pathetic. And he saw me something and he paid me attention. When I know he was paying me attention because he was sexually interested in me. But But I don’t care at one level, because I got an 11 Plus, I passed my 11 Plus I went got a scholarship to the grammar school. I then when I got into an English public school, I got three A Levels went to university. So there’s a strange thing about the two edged sword of childhood. We’re

 

Bryn 

in nuance now, aren’t we are

 

Bill Saunders 

because this side of it was that I was neglected and sexually abused. But this side of it, is that the consequence of that the benefit of propels you

 

Bryn 

to where you are today. I know.

 

Bill Saunders 

And I hate that word.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Well, it just is. It just is. It just is it just is to put to put weird, good bad, then starts to delineate it. And that’s hard for the challenger fight. It just is he just has just been. And this is part of the this has been part of I don’t know, the deep level of inquiry that I’ve had is that reason is that so much of what we think should could happen. disappeared. Did did it disappears from the truth of what is as it is now? would you would you chose Mr. Webster, who knows? But it just was Yeah. And it’s actually sitting being with that. And recognising. Yeah,

 

Bill Saunders 

look, I think it is I mean, I will say to people, because you are neglected and sexually abused, you’re not normal. You’re perfectly normal for someone who’s been neglected and sexually abused. But if you try to be a normal person, I mean, 60% of kids actually have a lovely childhood. And they go on, and they do well. And they’re emotionally regulated. And they meet other emotionally regulated people, and they marry them. And they have four children, they live in Mount Lawley. And they stay together for 50 years. Right. But the rest of us we tend to have fractured relationships, we tend to have problems with anger, etc, etc, is variations of it. But sometimes in it, or there’s a strength out of this chaos. Right. And I think some people not because of themselves, because there’s someone who’s buffered them. And I think my twin sister, actually buffered me, right and looked after me. So I knew I was cared for. And I don’t think it matters, who cares for you, as long as you care. It’s the survival of the nurtured. And we know that resilience is very important, the better the quality of your child, the more resilient you are. So what is interesting, if you send 100 people off to fight 100 people in the army have to find six months later, 25% of them will have PTSD. Yeah. And they’re not the people who saw the worst things or did the worst things. They were the people who were the most vulnerable. Yeah. So you’ll get some, you know, you’ll get cooks who get PTSD from Vietnam, or whichever last engagement Australia foolish foolishly gets itself involved in. And that if you put 100 people into combat constantly, for 212 days, they all come back with PTSD. So we can all get overwhelmed. Yes, it never mind the quality of your childhood. We all have a breaking point. And what is interesting, and I saw a report by a psychologist on the essays and their their rotation of troops in Afghanistan. And despite psychological advice, they rotated them for a year.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. Which is foolish. It’s foolish.

 

Bill Saunders 

Yeah, you know, you need rotations of no more than 90 days. You put them in, you bring them out, you keep them safe, then you put them back if you need, but you’re putting people in war zone where you’re actively in combat, or you could die or you can see other people die, even if you’re sitting in the airbase and somebody killed that. That’s a life threatening event, even if you are the witness. So the put rotate people for a year is scandalous, and it’s actually totally against psychological advice.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Think and the other bigger macro challenge. To say that until such time as we acknowledge what we’re talking about here, and, and, and not really want, and default to the psychiatric model, which is, which is also then quite convenient because we’re into the just take a pill culture and devote yourself a responsibility of facing up to what’s going on in your life. While we continue to deny this the truth of what has gone on to us in childhood, and this is not just the kids that are apparent, but it’s then it’s the adults and the older adults, the older adults, then the shaping the kids, and it just, it’s just like a conveyor belt itself. But

 

Bill Saunders 

I do think it is changing. I mean, that I am an optimist here. I do think it is changing. I mean, 20 years ago, we wouldn’t have had this conversation, right. So that the notion of trauma informed therapy, yeah, and the impact of traumas or all the attachment literature from Bowlby onwards, is all pointing to the same thing. And even some of the biologically driven psychiatrists, you know, they will cough and splutter and we will know, some people get traumatised, you know, so it’s there. What is interesting is that for DSM five, some psychiatrist and founder coping the lead actually put up this childhood neglect and abuse syndrome. Right. I forgot what they actually called it, but that’s what it was. And of course, it didn’t get voted in did it because if it had got voted in, it would have become the preeminent diagnosis, it would have shifted the focus away from what’s wrong with you to what happened to you. Yeah, so the American Psychiatric Association could not allow it in. So they voted it out.

 

 

Right, but it’s coming.

 

Bill Saunders 

Right. In DSM six. It will be there, I think. And as soon as the word childhood neglect and abuse comes in, as an aetiology, of mental illness in adults, it will swamp the 256 other diagnosis will all shrink down into it. Because hoarding anxiety, depression, schizoaffective disorder, they’re all trauma of they’re all consequences of trauma. Yes. So look, I am I am optimistic. And it’s very interesting. When I was brought up as a clinical psychologist get the diagnosis, right. And the patient will get well she’ll treatment will follow. And what is interesting about that in psychiatry, there are 256 diagnosis, but they’ve only got eight treatments, antidepressants, anti anxiety drugs, or it’s ridiculous anti anxiety, drugs, anti psychotic drugs for alcohol and drug dependence, stimulants for behavioural disorders, a ragbag of other things about Viagra and things for often physical complaints, and maybe for sexual offenders. And then you’ve got EC T, and this new Magnetic Resonance stuff. That’s all you’ve got. Right? That’s all you’ve got. So they’ve got 256 diseases, but only seven or eight treatments, that what the fuck Why would you do that? Why would you create a system where we’ve got all these diseases, which are discrete, but we’ve got the same treatments for them. So it’s like saying, Okay, you got hypertension, I’m going to give you an aspirin, or you’ve got you’ve lost your left foot, I’ll give you an aspirin because that’s all we’ve got. It’s bizarre, that’s not medicine. But you did make a point which you sort of came away from which you went, ah, science is actually getting in the way of human nature. I don’t think there’s anything new in that I think science has always got in the way of human nature. Because I think that the pursuit of science is a very tough industry. The way to become a professor of x is to be more ruthless than your peers is to stop you I went to say that science, the industry, not science, the general methodology for curious but either a methodology is a social construction. Yeah. So who makes up what is science? Well, chemists do or scientists do proper science. Yeah, psychology is not a proper science. Why is that proper? And it’s not? I mean, it’s bizarre. Yeah. So I think science and I think people who become who go into the business of science and discovery, I think many of them are very resist. I look, I learned a very interesting lesson being an academic, I thought it was done on merit. You know, you worked hard, you were clever. You wrote funny things, and people promote you. Well, that works to a certain degree, but then it’s all about politics. Because I don’t play politics. I can’t there’s that’s just not my nature. I just tell people to get get knotted. And that doesn’t go down well, but I’ve got colleagues who’ve done extraordinarily well because they could say things they didn’t believe in order to get up the tree. And so I think this whole pursuit of science and advancement, you got to see science and advancement in exactly the same word. So how do I get advance, watch CHANNEL SEVEN news and you will see somebody say I’ve got a breakthrough. I have discovered this Gene for alcoholism. Because I’ve got eight rats in a lab, I just need more research money to come up with a pill which appealed the genetic bias of our but we’ve got a breakthrough right here.

 

Bryn 

In terms of childhood trauma, we do go straight to

 

Bill Saunders 

we do. And I think what is interesting. So are we moving to a situation where the What’s wrong with you model is replaced by the what happened to you model? Yeah, and I’m in favour of the What happened to your model. And I would like, in fact, to be honest, I’m just completing a book on this very thing, which is why I found you because I, my brain had gotten to a point of I want to talk about this. And what is interesting what I do in the book, I do my psychiatry is a sham stuff. And then I present this as a model. And then I do case studies, and I’ve got about 12 of them, which cover all the major disorders in DSM five and schizophrenia is a case of schizophrenia. Well, no, it’s a case of childhood neglect, and rape is a case of depression. No, it’s a case of childhood neglect, and an extraordinary critical mother. You know, here’s a case of anxiety or no, here’s a case of blah, blah, blah. So I have all the diagnoses. And I go, but look at their childhoods. Right. And you can explain it all by totally ignoring the diagnosis. I’ve always liked Irvin yalom, American psychiatrist, but probably the foremost psychotherapist in the world. And he actually wrote, after the first session, first session, I can always nail a diagnosis to the patient’s mast. Above the time, I’ve seen them six times, I’ve totally forgotten my diagnosis, because I’m working with a human being. Yeah. And he also said, diagnosis is a label, which is totally unhelpful.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So what’s next for bill after the book?

 

Bill Saunders 

Well, I’m doing a couple of days a week of psychotherapy, I think that I need to put the book together and give it a publish and find a publisher and do that sort of stuff, and then

 

Bryn 

actually draw them then

 

Bill Saunders 

I think I might just Nick back to a little University in rolling a master’s degree. And do research by interviewing 25 eminent psychiatrists around the world about things like how reliable is psychiatric diagnosis, how valid is psychiatric diagnosis? how effective are antidepressants? How valuable are anti psychotic? So I’m going to ask 25 eminent psychiatrists around the world COVID-19 got in the way of this, about what they think about psychiatry in the practice. But I’m going to do it from a perspective of getting them. And it’d be interesting to see how many of them acknowledge the very difficulties we’re talking about. And what is fascinating. The SEC, I just I actually should record the conversations that I know I’ll record them, and then I’ll debrief them and do analysis.

 

Bryn 

Yeah, that’s that’s it. That’s a short. That’s a short season podcast right there.

 

Bill Saunders 

What is fascinating is that I once said to my psychiatric colleague at the hospital I was working in and I said to him, what do you think about a psychiatric diagnosis? And he said, I wouldn’t trust it at all. But I do diagnose people especially well. And I said you didn’t know the interrater reliability issue. psychiatrists in psychiatry for any disorders below 30%. He said, as long as they see me they get the right one. But you just go that’s just I never have an argument with any doctor, any medically trained person. I never have an argument about diagnosis. I get a letter the other day, please see Mrs. Smith. manage her depression. She has Bluebird bla bla bla I put her on Lexapro took 20 milligrammes, which is no longer on, and bla bla bla bla, please reply. All right. So I wrote back, thank you for referring. This is blogs, we have now seen up to six sessions, we have been dealing with her emotional dysregulation, and I don’t use any psychiatric jargon ever. Yeah, so I never talked about diagnosis. I never argued that I’ve been in situations where two psychiatrists been arguing about what the diagnosis is, and I’d be sitting there in the middle of it going, well, it doesn’t fucking matter, because you’ve only got eight treatments. So you know, you’re treated the same way irrespective of the diagnosis. Yeah. So there’s no differentiation. And I said, Look, and I said, What do you think, Bill? And I said, I think you’re both right. And I’d argue with different things. Because there’s no point in having the discussion. It’s a nonsensical, and I think social workers and orders, particularly clinical psychology, get caught in the trap of diagnosis need to give it away. And I think if we as a discipline, the non medical people who do manage mental health, I think we need to stop talking in medical terminology, which is nonsensical. And I think if we got rid of it, if we stopped using words like Like, you know, depression, anxiety, whatever and talks about emotional distress emotional dysregulation, I think we need to use the language of the trauma people and not the language of the medical people, indeed. And I think we would then slowly change the landscape. But remember, paradigm clashes, Kuhn, the philosopher said, knowledge accumulates, which contradicts the prevailing model, but the prevailing model, because people are captains, and make money out of it and get prestige out of it, well hang on to a sinking ship for a very long time. So the amount of opposing evidence has to become huge. And then there’s a paradigm switch. Yes. So you have paradigm clash, paradigm switch, and then there’s a new paradigm. I think the psychiatric paradigm is in its last phase, it’s a bit like the American Emperor, and Empire, you can see the American Empire falling apart. And I think if you look closely at psychiatry, I think it’s falling apart.

 

Bryn Edwards 

I have yet to get to a point where I’m super comfortable it comfortable to talk about it, but I think if you went had a look at Ken Wilber is integral theory. Yes. And the stages of the stages of almost like con, conscious development, yes. And how we go to this point of rationalisation, and then post which brought about the enlightenment and science and things like that, and capitalism together. And then we moved into this postmodern phase, and now this chunk servers that are moving to this integrated state, so we can start to see the benefits of all the different stages before remember before that, we’re talking mythical stage, magical stage and distinctive stage. I think, yes, what we’re saying is, is there’s a clash of two. But there will be some sort of integration of that there will be there will be something in the psychiatric model, which will be worth retaining, but what that is, I don’t know and really think about that. Rather than checking the baby out with the bathwater. There’ll be some I

 

 

think you have to be.

 

Bryn Edwards 

You see, that’s yet

 

 

there is a bit of maybe,

 

Bill Saunders 

like, we’d like to accept that. But I’m not so sure. Because it’s in regard back to leave and we started with leaving. Yeah, he goes here a psychiatry here is somebody with schizophrenia right? Now, he paints a picture of as pessimistic as a young one with schizophrenia. But all I saw and dad’s concern and mum’s concern, and I’m sure you have Nasca ever. What happened to her? And I can see reading between the lines, that she was sexually abused by dad. What was Lieberman’s quote at the start? He said it written down he said, he said, quote, unquote, mental disorders are abnormal. One in four of us get them so they’re not that abnormal injuring. Not necessarily, I think we can treat things very effectively. It’s like a therapy harmful.

 

 

Wow, harmful.

 

Bill Saunders 

I think there are adaptations. You see what happens is, yeah, if you have a nice childhood, you’re wild. You’re wired, your brain gets wired, for connection. Yeah. If you if you have a difficult childhood, your brain gets wired, wired for protection. Yes. Now, I don’t think that’s harmful. Yeah, I think it actually

 

 

works.

 

Bill Saunders 

All right, treatable with drugs, but I disagree with that. I don’t think the drugs

 

Bryn 

were drugs out.

 

Bill Saunders 

The treatable psychotherapy feature a biological component, which we haven’t found yet. Yeah. But we never found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq either. But we went to war over them. But that’s the same sort of thing. But they could still be there. Of course, we’re still looking for biological Yeah, thanks to him found it yet. So yeah, can’t prove a negative and can be reliably diagnosed. Now. They can definitely not be reliably diagnosed.

 

Bryn 

But you’re saying there is a commonality of childhood trauma?

 

Bill Saunders 

I think there’s lots I think there are 20 impacts of childhood neglect and trauma. People who have really difficult they tend to dissociate when under stress. Yep. Right. They have rage when they get angry. So one of the question is, how quickly do you go from nought to rage? And everybody that I’ve seen with difficult childhoods? Why do you think we have prisons full of people? rageful violent offenders, they’ve all been neglected. Right? So we’ve got dissociation rage, we’ve got abandonment issues, right? So when they get into a relationship, they fear abandonment, they get mood instability, so they’re basically they’re happy, sad, did their moods go up and down like Melbourne weather, right? They get they get relational intensity, right, so their relationships become life and death to them. They have trust issues, right? They use, they’re impulsive and they use intoxication to soothe and they know all this and it becomes chronic, it’s chronic way of dealing with their feelings. Okay, then they get flashbacks, they get nightmares, they get intrusive thought, but they also have the sense of being empty. They don’t know who they are right and then Okay, they have a you get people who get paranoid when anxious, okay. They also have this whole issue of using ways to soothe such as alcohol, but they also cut and then they because they do self harming, now self harming needs to distinguish between that and suicide if you cut you are trying to cope. So when I see somebody whose arms are all scarred, I say congratulations on your survival. And they will go Thank you. Because this is a way of coping. So as soon as you cut you turn your metre off and you doubt with the emotional distress, so you get high levels of suicidality, but the killer is shame. So Gustus Barroso said, shame is the worst fucker, shame ruins you. And shame is put into you by somebody else. And people say what’s the difference between guilt and shame? guilt is I feel bad about something I’ve done shame is, I feel bad about me.

 

Bryn 

Yes. So it’s really from the behaviour to Yeah, and those personality.

 

Bill Saunders 

So those are the 20. The 20 indicators or impacts of having a ship life because they spread all across DSM five. So if you’re if you’re somebody who gets more paranoid and anxious, or psychotic, when anxious, you’ll get a schizophrenia level. If you’ve got so maybe emotional dysregulation, you’ll get the borderline personality thing. So maybe

 

Bryn Edwards 

it’s not so much. There’s something in the psychiatry model to take out. But there’s something in the scientifically putting things together because you’ve actually just described a new model. And it’s called dramatic fine spies.

 

Bill Saunders 

That’s how you remember them. Yeah, dissociation better. Okay. So relational intensity. So you remember, dramatic, dramatic, fine spices, the way I remember the impacts of childhood abuse.

 

 

And look,

 

Bill Saunders 

and the solution to it, you sit down with people, and be empathic, curious, accepting of them just as they are. And then what is it about this person I can love? And you throw in a bit of playfulness? Yeah. And I tell you what, people get better.

 

 

They get better.

 

 

And they go off into the world. Yeah. Look,

 

Bill Saunders 

there are some specific trauma focused things like comprehensive resource models, Somatic Experiencing sensory motor psychotherapy, they’re all very good trauma focused interventions. Yeah. And look how the world has moved along way. And I think the psychiatric model is increasingly challenged, unfortunately, is when things get challenged, they tend to harden up and fight back. Yes. And of course, psychiatry is totally wedded to the pharmaceutical industry. If you do away with this, you do away with that. And so neither of these two parties are going to do anything. But Jeffrey Letterman’s book shrinks, was given away by pharmaceutical companies, to general practitioners, he sold thousands of copies, he made a fortune. And it’s a book riddled with errors and inconsistencies.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So the last question asked my guess. Yes. And the answer is going to be, but it’s a hypothetical question. Yeah. Is if you could take one question. Yes. and upload it into the collective consciousness. So everybody sits quietly for 10 minutes and quietly reflects on it,

 

Bill Saunders 

what would it be? What happened to you to make you be like this?

 

Bryn 

Simple, simple,

 

 

but not easy.

 

Bill Saunders 

Simple, but not easy. Indeed. Because I found it very difficult to struggle to accept that my childhood was such that it actually has had adverse impacts on me. Yeah. Right. And, you know, I know that you know, I can be difficult I know that. I’m not always agreeable. I know I can rage. Now. I’m much less bad than I’m was. But you know, some people just have nice childhood. I went to school with a call him a GE. I went to school with ag he had a lovely mother who was gorgeous. He had a great dad. He became head of school, went to Cambridge, became a doctor. Right? On every committee because people always wanted him on, even who went on as a member, he end up as chairperson because everybody loved him. He could get really diverse people to work together. He never got angry with anybody. He was accurate actually understand everybody’s side. He was just delightful. He got married to a linguist. He had four children. He now speaks three languages. She speaks eight, the four kids went to Cambridge like he did. He even went back to Cambridge, well ism and did another degree. And he’s just been given a knighthood, for services to medicine. Some guys have all the luck.

 

Bryn 

There we go. Bear. It’s been absolutely fascinating to talk

 

Bill Saunders 

to you in good fun. It’s been good fun. If people want to reach out How did they find you? are probably the best place is by email, I would think, as Bill 144 a gmail.com. There you go. Lovely. And actually, what am I doing? I finished the book and it’s all tidy, and I’ve actually got a copy. I might come in. We might read some case studies, how would that be? And the case studies all speak.

 

 

And some of them just

 

Bill Saunders 

you cannot believe what some parents will do to their children. Hmm. We just cannot believe it.

 

Bryn 

There we go. We’ll do that. We will do it. Phil. Thank you.

Leave a Comment