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Happiness Tsar

June 24th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

No its not Tom Watson, but a chap called Richard Layard.  I must admit I had never heard of him and didn’t know that such a thing as a ‘happiness tsar’ even existed, but that’s not the point.  There was a story about him in the G2 section of today’s Guardian, that led me down a very strange path indeed.

I was browsing through the G2 section at lunchtime today.  I don’t have time to read the proper paper until I get home, and I don’t have time to even read the G2 section thoroughly, but I do skim through it.  Perhaps if I had not already used up so much time reading the story about Mohammed Hanif I could have been more attentive, but all I could do was skim briefly and actually read some of the bits on pages 3 and 4 of the story.

There were lots of references to CBT but I could not see what it stood for anywhere. ((I found it later in one of the opening paragraphs))  For example, it said:

Layard recommended that CBT was as effective as drugs and was preferred by most patients.


…he recommended scaling up CBT for people suffering from depression and anxiety…


But CBT, and Layard’s support of it, hads been derided.


The notion that a few weeks of CBT will transform miserable people languishing in idleness and dependency into happy shiny productive workers is embarrassing in it’s absurdity


Nobody claims that CBT is going to cure everything

To satisfy my curiosity I resorted to that old standby,,  to see what it meant, because the only CBT I knew of was computer-based training and compulsory basic training for motorbikes, and I they didn’t really fit into the context.

The most plausible result was ‘cognitive behavioural therapy‘ (which also turns out to be what it referred to) but right underneath that there was another possibility… ‘cock and ball torture‘.  How much more fun to go through all those examples and substitute that phrase instead: it certainly contributed to my levels of happiness today 🙂

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