When it comes to mental health, there are various methodologies prescribed, depending on the person and the condition. Finding the right practices and routine that works for you is a life-long pursuit and I’ve found the best way is to remain curious and open-minded.
It was curiosity that got me interested in philosophy and speaking to health coach and psychotherapist Matt Hudson about his alternative approach to mental health.
Combining bioscience and quantum physics into his work, Hudson has been a strong mental health advocate for over 25 years.
In this interview we discuss the crossovers between philosophy and psychology, the power of being curious and freedom and mental health.
What’s your background with mental health and how did you get where you are today?
One could argue I’ve lived mental health. My namesake, Matthew and Edward, were my uncles who both died in mental institutions. My eldest brother was mentally challenged and so I lived through this and had a natural sense of what works and what doesn’t.
Professionally, I’m in education. I moved and adjusted to see mental health not as a disease but as dis-ease and uneasiness with oneself. When looking at it from this perspective of a barrier to learning, everything changes.
Because if we work on this basic principle of one life then we realise we’re being attacked suddenly in different ways to get us to detach from our own existence.
In that detachment, loneliness and other psychological conditions creep in and we put a big mental health label on it. But if we look at it from the barrier of learning and the Orwellian position of separating the spirit from the person, it’s easier for science and medicine to view us as organisms.
It makes me think of Descartes when he said only matter impacts matter. So if you’re not feeling well you’re a piece of matter and if you go to your doctor, you’ll get a prescription and that is matter too.
But in the last 100 years we’ve realised from quantum physics that information impacts information. For example, food is information and if you eat too much then it’s what the ancients would call excess. So, we go round and round and all I want to do is live a human experience.
That makes a lot of sense. Your mental health methodologies are built around biofield science and a unique modality called split-second unlearning.
I’d love to hear more about what these disciplines bring to the mental health field and how they work.
The split-second unlearning perspective started when I was observing a person who had a fear of wasps. I said the word wasps and her eyes fixated on a spot and her head went back.
I have conductive deafness, which means I was born without any balloons in my ears. All the audio works but it comes from my skull and it’s given me an enhanced visual scanner.
When this woman jolted her head back at the thought of a wasp, I tracked the position and location of where the wasp would be. There was no wasp there so I put my hand into that location, moved it towards her and her head went back again.
I moved my hand away and she sat comfortably again. I thought there must be something real in her field of vision. Something real to her and not to me. I started researching this phobia with others and I couldn’t find any reference in literature to what I was seeing.
Then I came across the concept of entity realism. I realised that this entity is real to the client and if I can manipulate it in a way that it impacts them, then there is a base for helping them move forward.
That’s fascinating. You and I both enjoy philosophy and I wanted to know what your thoughts are on the crossovers between philosophy and psychology.
Mental health isn’t new. The ancient Greeks got it and let’s look at Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave. Plato pointed out that mental health works by believing the shadows on the wall are real. In a basic form, it’s how a specific shadow impacts you.
Centuries later, we’re throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the same shadows to try to adjust them. For example, the most effective medication that’s been used can obscure the shadows. But they come back the next day.
It’s how a lot of people can end up with addictions. Let’s look at alcoholism. It could start with a shy person taking a drink and then they are unleashed and free. Why? Because the shadow they were unaware of has kept them on a leash.
The shadow comes back the next day and then that person wants to drink more to block it out. You can imagine in a short period of time that somebody can become alcohol dependent.
That reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from Seneca about how we suffer more often in imagination than we do in reality.
I was looking at a few of your academic papers and wanted to know what the process is like for writing and getting them published.
It would be easy for me to write something and publish it myself. But if you’re going to present something that’s noteworthy, you’ve got to put it into an industry vetted journal.
I think the challenge of those journals is that a lot of them are in the pockets of those who must be obeyed. If Plato were alive today, he wouldn’t be writing in those publications because those journals are the structures of his time and would invite philosophers to take arsenic.
I’ve always seen writing about mental health as being nuanced. You have to be educational and can’t make claims that one specific methodology can solve all of someone’s problems or conditions.
What are your thoughts on this?
It does have to remain about education. If I put one step into the medical realm, I’ll be hung out to dry. I think it was Archimedes who said give me a strong place to stand and I’ll shake the earth. That’s exactly why my strong place to stand is with education.
I remain loyal to the classics and I would argue the classics weren’t psychologists. They were educators. If we look at anything the only thing that has ever changed for humans is perception. Education makes us perceive things differently and it’s like being in a classroom.
What do you think are the challenges that need to be addressed with the mental health system in the UK?
I think one of the biggest challenges is paternalism and living in a paternalistic system. If the majority of people accept it, then we trust those at the top of the hierarchy. So, we have a system that actually creates mental health and supports poor mental health.
It has to be done away with and we need to find a new social path. Looking at where I was as a young man, I could name every person in my street and their dog and we all interacted with each other.
It takes a village to raise a child but now that same child has no village because there’s a great spread of isolation and loneliness is one of the main problems. It’s led to a massive surge in anxiety and this dis-ease you feel with yourself comes from your life energy being suppressed.
That’s sparked a question about the idea of freedom. I’m interested in Existentialism and that philosophy essentially says you are responsible for creating your own existence. We are free in that sense.
As a mental health construct, what does freedom mean to you?
Sadly, if we say we’re all free it’s an illusion. I’d like to go on a plane and then wander across America but there’s a medical reason why I couldn’t enter that country and we see the paternalistic system at work again.
Freedom is an interesting concept for the mind because freedom of the mind is absolute. It’s absolute so long as you don’t share it. One should have the freedom to share but if what you share is disapproved of by a paternalistic system then your online content or musings could be wiped away.
So, freedom of mind and thought definitely. So long as it’s held within the one.
What are some mental health practices that you recommend to your clients?
I’ve been interested in looking at a study from Jean-Baptise Lamarck. He took mice and taught them to be terrified of a certain scent. The mice would be electrocuted along with the scent and they eventually showed fear responses to the scent in the same way they feared the electricity.
Then the mice were bred through four generations and all of them experienced the same jolt of fear associated with the trigger from the smell. This was a thirty-minute induction process that lasted for four generations.
You compare that to the last two years and children have been in the same fear programme with being conditioned to wear masks, to not kill grandma etc. If such a little project can impact generations of mice, we need to be looking at an educational position to relearn and clear these psychological barriers.
Otherwise, our children’s brains will shift and so will theirs. What I’m looking at are ways to invite curiosity into changing these mental health barriers and an example is through the MindRest app.
If you’re curious about something, you go back into your original learning mindset and find a new way of being. Change doesn’t have to come through medication. It takes the ability to realise that all mental health is within you and the subconscious mind is driving all learning.