In the interests of privacy, this film has an actress (Ruth Wilson) playing “Ruth,” who seeks help when she starts hearing voices telling her to kill herself — but that’s the real Dr. Rufus May, and he says Ruth’s story is based entirely on fact.
May is a National Health Service therapist in the U.K. However, he is seeing Ruth outside his NHS practice because, as a junior doctor (similar to a medical resident in the U.S.), she does not want the hospital where she works to learn she’s not just depressed, as she told them; she is hearing voices. Ruth says if they found that out, she would be “sacked and sectioned” — fired, and detained under the Mental Health Act.
May uses voice dialogue, a type of therapy that validates the experience of voice-hearing, as he works with Ruth. A number of voice-hearers say they are helped by this approach, but there are psychiatrists who say the practice encourages delusions. That’s just one controversial aspect of the film — and May’s practice, and May himself.
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