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Is it so good to talk?

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:319
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    In a recent article commemorating the 40th anniversary of a national disaster, I could not help but notice that one of the survivors complained that he had not received counselling when it happened, which he took to be a sign of official callousness and neglect. I mean the man no disrespect when I ask: Exactly when did the superstition arise that for every human sorrow there is equal and opposite counselling?

    When I qualified, which does not seem to me to be so long ago—albeit that the passage of time seems to have accelerated since then—no one had ever heard of counselling. Does this mean that we were all cold and unfeeling, or that we could still count on the fortitude …

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