Psychotherapy Has a Shrink
For better or worse, the practice of psychotherapy is shrinking, reports say.
Two Brown University psychologists still believe that psychotherapy has some supporting evidence of its value, but admit that the practice is lagging. Science Daily reported that psychotherapy is struggling with challenges coming from within and without:
Psychotherapy has issues. Evidence shows that some psychosocial treatments work well for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and that consumers often prefer them to medication. Yet the use of psychotherapy is on a clear decline in the United States. In a set of research review papers in the November issue of the journal Clinical Psychology Review, psychologists put psychotherapy on the proverbial couch to examine why it’s foundering.
The trend for years now has been to medicate the mentally ill, not to talk to them (advertising by pharmaceutical companies is a big factor). The authors believe that psychotherapists have not made the case that some of their techniques work. Nevertheless, even some practitioners doubt the evidence in published guidelines, preferring to work according to their personal discretion. The field is plagued by a “proliferation of non-supported psychotherapies out there.”
Research shows that many therapists put personal experience and intuition ahead of the evidence base. Gaudiano and Miller cite a 2000 survey of psychologists that found only 47 percent ever used evidence-based treatment manuals in practice and only 6 percent used them “often.” A 2009 survey of social workers found that 76 percent had employed at least one “novel unsupported therapy” in the last year.
Medications, by contrast, go through clinical trials to support their “evidence-based” efficacy. Some psychotherapists, though, dislike published guidelines; “One of the biggest fears within psychology practice is that evidence-based treatment is going to make me change what I’m doing,” the authors said.
Incidentally, the myth of the right-brained or left-brained personality has been debunked. Science Daily reported that, while it’s true that some cognitive functions are concentrated in one hemisphere, personality types overall are not determined by left or right, researchers at the University of Utah found in functional MRI experiments.
Psychotherapy is bunk that should be debunked and bonked so that it goes boink out of the science department, never again bankrolled by taxpayer dough. This baloney that was so trendy decades ago, to the point that celebrities bragged about their shrinks and complexes with pride, isn’t a science and never was a science (9/14/11). The fraud bequeathed by Freud and Jung and their many Darwine-drinking descendants, all contradicting one another, is better described as a sophisticated shamanship made up by a Western secularist culture trying to usurp the role of spiritual counseling. There’s no hope in psychotherapy. Patients are labeled with various syndromes and complexes, told they have to learn to cope if given any direction at all. Psychiatry doesn’t do much better (5/10/13). Patients could often talk themselves out of their problems—even talking to a computer or friend—pointing out the illegitimacy of psychotherapeutic “science.”
A vibrant movement called Biblical counseling rose up in the 1980s to challenge the legitimacy of psychotherapy and of the baptized secular concoction misnamed “Christian psychology.” Instead of treating people as “mentally ill” (excluding those who truly have a biological basis for a problem and can be referred for surgery or medicine), the movement disclaims the idea that the mind can be ill, and instead teaches personal responsibility. Biblical counselors have had much greater success than any secular shrink by leading people to the Lord Jesus Christ, the “wonderful counselor” who heals the heart with grace, mercy, and forgiveness, granting the wandering soul a goal and a purpose for life. “All Scripture is God-breathed,” Paul wrote, “and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Spirit-led pastors and teachers are “competent to counsel” one another (Romans 15:14).
Make sure you have the right brain not to be left behind, falling for cultural myths like left- and right-brained personalities. You need both hemispheres, and (barring radical brain surgery or defects), you use both hemispheres all the time. Now that you know, use the occasion when someone brings this up for a friendly reality check.