In the UK, one in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in any given year. The Office for National Statistics estimates that one in ten children (age 5 - 16) has a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression or some kind of behavioural issue. One out of every twelve to fifteen children are thought to deliberately self-harm.
In 2014, over 57 million prescriptions were issued for antidepressants in England alone - a 500% increase since 1992. Around 1.2 million prescriptions were issued for children to treat 'hyperactivity disorders'. Psychiatric drugs are now routinely prescribed to treat an ever-widening range of problems including weight control, sleep disorders, low confidence and mood swings.
The provision of mental health services currently costs around £7 billion annually in the UK, and the wider economic costs are estimated to be at least £70 billion annually.
Against this backdrop of ever-increasing numbers of people suffering despite the widening range of treatments available, it is becoming apparent that something fundamental to our understanding of mental and emotional health has been largely overlooked.
Some Commonly-Held Assumptions
It is important to keep in mind that every kind of psychological treatment, intervention or self-help technique is based upon a set of assumptions about what the problem is and what are the likely causes. Some of the prevalent assumptions that are widely held to be true would include:
- Mental & emotional problems are caused by disturbances in brain and body-chemistry
- External 'stress-factors' produce long-lasting changes in how people feel
- Early childhood trauma creates lifelong psychological suffering
- Some people are predisposed towards mental illness due to personality traits or inherited genetic tendencies
- Modern life is inherently stressful, and the best we can hope for is an effective 'coping strategy' to help us along
- Some people are more resilient than others
Given the variety of supposed causative and contributory factors, it is unsurprising that there are literally hundreds of different treatment approaches, even for the same kinds of suffering. The fact that the different 'schools' of psychology, psychiatry and self-help tend to contradict each other is a reflection of the lack of basic, fundamental principles upon which a coherent model for practice could be built.
As human consciousness evolves, new discoveries emerge periodically that show previously-held assumptions to be partially or wholly untrue. Despite initial resistance from the establishment of the day, eventually the newly-uncovered truth becomes widely accepted because it enables new and more effective solutions to be found for what seemed like intractable problems. What was thought to be impossible according to existing theories suddenly becomes possible in the light of a new understanding.
In his seminal work The Principles of Psychology, first published in 1890, William James drew attention to the fact that the field of psychology did not yet have any true principles to rest upon, likening it to the fields of chemistry and physics in medieval times. He postulated that one day, when such psychological principles had been discovered and realized on a large scale, it would be the most important advancement in human consciousness since the discovery of fire.
A New Paradigm for Mental Health
In 1973, a man named Sydney Banks uncovered the 'missing link' in our understanding of how psychological suffering gets created, and how it can be healed. Through his own direct insight, Sydney Banks was freed from chronic insecurity and was able to articulate the principles that underpin mental and emotional health in a way that others could grasp and thereby free themselves from their own suffering.
The radical new understanding that Sydney Banks stumbled upon began to spread via word of mouth under various names, including Health Realisation, Psychology of Mind, Innate Health and the Inside-Out understanding. Today, it is most commonly referred to as the Three Principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness, and it continues to transform people's lives throughout the world.
In contrast to the complexity and contradictory nature of so many existing psychological theories, the Three Principles provide a simple, consistent foundation that explains what psychological and emotional well-being really is, how it can seem to get lost or damaged, and how it can be regained at any stage in a person's life.
What This New Paradigm Means
Some of the key implications that arise from an understanding of these principles include:
- Everyone has psychological well-being on the inside, no exceptions
- Peace of mind and well-being is the natural state of all human beings
- The past has no power to create ongoing psychological suffering
- True, lasting psychological and emotional healing occurs via insight and a shift in consciousness, not from techniques, practices or prescriptions
- Changes in body chemistry are a reflection of a person's state of consciousness, not the cause of it
- Life events and circumstances cannot create stressful feelings in and of themselves
- Destructive behaviours and habits arise in response to internal distress, and fall away naturally by themselves when inner peace is restored
After a lifetime working in the field of well-being and personal transformation, the Three Principles understanding has formed the basis of all my work since 2011. I was fortunate to train with two of the pioneers in this field, Dr Mark Howard and Cathy Casey, and was inspired by the simplicity, consistency and sustainability of a principles-based approach.
To date, many thousands of people have regained their mental and emotional health through insightfully realizing the truth of these simple principles. As yet, however, they have not been realized on a large scale such that the transformation that William James predicted would come true.
About the Workshop
This two-part workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of the Three Principles in relation to mental and emotional health. It will be invaluable for anyone who is ready to explore the potential for well-being that exists beyond the limitations of the 'current thinking' on this topic, and will be suitable for professionals and non-professionals alike.
The first day will focus on the simple foundation that the principles provide, which corrects all of the popular misunderstandings about psychological and emotional health and reveals the true potential for healing that is available to everyone. Part One is particularly recommended for those who are new to this understanding.