“She had considered suicide…” an NHS therapist speaks about the impact of social selling schemes on women, PART ONE

*names and locations have been changed to preserve privacy

 

What I have seen during my time in mental health services has led me to really loathe theese organisations for their secrecy

 

Two or three years ago if you’d asked me what I thought of multi level marketing I wouldnt have had an opinion and being naturally cynical I probably would have dismissed it as ‘too good to be true’ and not given it too much more thought.  But that was before I started work as a High Intensity Therapist within the NHS in the North of England.

What I have seen during my time in mental health services  has led me to really loathe these organisations for their secrecy and lies at the recruitment stage and their culture of shifting the blame to the individual when their unworkable scheme is unsuccessful.

Since MLMs have come to my attention I’ve started to look more closely at their practices and the behaviour they encourage in their ’employees’.

 

My client group is 70% female and of that percentage most are women with new babies or young families….looking back over the last few years I realise how often my clients have been targets for MLMs.

 

I work with people experiencing depression (such as post natal depression) and anxiety disorders (OCD, GAD, social anxiety, health anxiety, PTSD).  My client group is 70% female and of that percentage most are woman with new babies or young families.

I see a high number of clients and looking back over the last few years I realise how often my clients have been targets for MLMs.  Names kept popping up, paricularly Juice plus, Forever Living and Younique.

The people I see are no fools but they tend to be from low income families and often without a background that will equip them to ask the right sort of questions when a big shiny pushy MLM comes along and makes them promises about the level of income they’ll earn for a few flexible hours.

Some of my clients have already been struggling with their mental health when they have been targeted but some have ended up being referred to my service by their GP as a direct result of falling foul of these organisations.

 

One client had been recruited by Forever Living through a baby group

 

One client had been recruited by Forever Living through a baby group formed through the hospital where she had given birth.  Her experience of birth had been traumatic and she was struggling, feeling guilty and depressed that she wasn’t ‘a good enough mother’ and wondering if she’d ever get back to normality.  FL had quite a presence in the group and as it wasn’t feasible to return to her job in retail when her partner was away a lot with work, she decided to give it a go.

 

She said she hadn’t understood recruitment was key..

 

When I saw the client she was a year down the road, quite seriously depressed and now socially isolated, having suffered severe bullying by her up line and then social media exclusion when she couldn’t or wouldn’t push hard to recruit.

She said it was like a feeding frenzy; everybody panicking, trying to recruit everyone in their circle.

She said she hadn’t understood that recruitment was key.

She had quite considerable money worries and the few hundred pounds a month she said she’d earned initially trickled away in expenses.  Her partner was angry with her for making their precarious financial position even more so and she felt that there was no hope for her as she was ‘useless’ and ‘everyone hated her’.

 

She had considered suicide during the worst of the bullying

 

She had considered suicide during the worst of the bullying but her daughter was a protective factor and she’d stopped just short of following through with a specific plan.

She’d tried to seek some support from within FL but had been offered further costly training and told that ‘you’ve been given a great opportunity don’t waste it’.  She felt that she had all the responsibility to make it work but in the end no authority and when it was clear it wasn’t working everyone held her at arms length.

She was told quite categorically not to discuss problems with anyone and found this very isolating.

It took quite a few sessions to reframe her experience and for her to see that she was not 100% responsible for the lack of success and that she needed to reconnect with her family and friends so that the people bullying her from FL had less power.

To be Continued.

 

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3 thoughts on ““She had considered suicide…” an NHS therapist speaks about the impact of social selling schemes on women, PART ONE

  1. This is very sad, but also not overly surprising because MLMs target people when they are vulnerable. MLMs are run the same as any other cult- deceptive recruiting followed by bait and switch then blame the victim when the bait of a good income doesn’t happen. It’s a sophisticated Ponzi scheme designed to catch people on social media.

    Liked by 1 person

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