New Beginnings Therapy

What is happening in therapy when politic and economic unrest:   main links

Disclosure statement: the following account is a fictional story with events and characters produced with a purpose of presenting various realities played out in several psychotherapeutic settings over a period of seven years. It would be impossible to recognise and assign any of the events and or characters as they do not exist. What exists are analyses and cited resources available in text and in bibliography. In psychotherapeutic terms political and economic context are rarely advanced as central topics for discussion as they may indeed be part of a client's internal world, however, from a psychological perspective, contextual factors are always going to be accounted for in any type of analysis. This article forms a bridge between such understandings and schools of thought. 

Few years back when consulting for a psychotherapeutic service in London Bridge, one of my clients had brought to my attention an external societal crisis that inevitably had to be addressed as a personal matter rather than an external event affecting the lives of many. Since then, I always held a question in mind as to how such wider external societal and political issues are addressed in therapy as a form of client’s personal crisis. At around same time, in a different part of town and service, another client had similar concerns: external factors of crisis infiltrating or permeating in her therapy as a form of personal crisis. Such happenings are not unusual in their encounter and in therapy expressing an internal conflict can take many forms, opening up possibilities of interpretations – from a general, sameness to a more idiosyncratic account that needs a deeper examination with the client.

Recent research published in various therapy and psychology forums have stated how a national - politic and economic - crisis such as Brexit had affected mental health of British adult population with such individuals seeking therapy and one third of adults saying that Brexit has affected their mental health (, 2019;, 2019). Similarly there are numerous reports on mental health and terrorism seeking to provide deeper evidenced based evaluations on links between mental health and terrorism and other research on statistics of terrorism in Great Britain ( House of Commons Library, 2018) that when consulted can offer a great statistical, historical account.

After a quick search on academic papers on mental illness and terrorism, it was quite clear that what can be found are more questions than answers.

I began writing this blog with a certainty based on various experiences and only after accessing numerous resources, academic research papers mainly, I have come to realise that my certainty is now neutrality or knowledge based and I no longer hold an opinion that can be expressed. It seems that my proposed topic for exploration had ceased to be experiential and, if anything, it now appertains to a framework of neutrality and understanding where all that represents out there in the real world, remains out there in the real world. It also became quite clear that all future reflections on this topic belong to a therapeutic space and therapeutic sessions with clients when and if are part of their proposed difficulties.

Bibliography: (2019). One third of adults say Brexit has affected their mental health, BACP research finds. [online] Available at:

 [Accessed 6 Nov. 2019]. (2019). Psychology across borders and the impact of Brexit | BPS. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2019]. (2019). Mental Health And Terrorism: What Are The Links?. [online] Available at:

[Accessed 6 Nov. 2019]. (2018). Terrorism in Great Britain: The statistics. House of Commons Briefing Paper 7th of June 2018 [online] Available at:

[Accessed 6 Nov. 2019]. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0 accessible at

What is happening in therapy when politic and economic unrest: main links