August 3, 2021 | David F. Coppedge

Psychotherapy Is Useless

For treating borderline personality disorder, doing nothing
is cheaper than paying a psychotherapist and just as successful


When a treatment gives a person a 50/50 chance of getting better, that should be a signal that the underlying hypothesis is wrong. One might as well flip a coin. It can also mean that any successes have nothing to do with the treatment. The patients who got better might have improved for some other reason. Even something as simple as the passage of time might account for that kind of score. Certainly for subjects as complex as human beings, the number of unknowns makes it nearly impossible to know what other variables are involved.

Psychotherapy has been around for a long time, ever since the science fraud Freud, a materialist and Darwinist, came up with his science of “psychoanalysis.” Does psychotherapy achieve any results worth keeping it around, now that Freud is largely discredited? (22 March 2020, 14 Sept 2011). Five researchers compared assessing the effectiveness of psychotherapy to “Searching in the dark” –

Woodbridge et al., “Searching in the dark: Shining a light on some predictors of non-response to psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder.” PLoS One, July 27, 2021, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0255055.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a prevalent and serious mental health condition. People can experience recovery or remission after receiving psychotherapy for BPD; however, it is estimated that about 45% of people in well conducted treatment trials do not respond adequately to current psychological treatments.

Aiming to improve the score for psychotherapy treatments for BPD, the team followed up on 184 patients after a year of treatment. The results were discouraging. This led to the authors considering other factors than psychotherapy for the results.

Consistent with previous research, almost half of the sample did not achieve reliable change at 12-month follow up. A relationship style characterised by preoccupied insecurity and high anger seemed to be particularly challenging in being able to benefit from psychotherapy. This style may have affected both relationships outside, but also inside therapy, complicating treatment engagement and alliance with the therapist. Early identification and modification of treatment based on challenges from these relationship styles may be one way to improve psychotherapy outcomes for BPD.

This indicates that psychotherapists are not just searching in the dark. They are whistling in the dark. In their conclusions, they worried about “the widespread problem of non-response to psychological therapy.” This problem is not new.

Ten years ago, CEH reported on a paper from the American Psychological Association that psychotherapy might need the boot instead of a reboot (14 Sept 2011):

Psychotherapy has come a long way since the days of Freudian psychoanalysis – today, rigorous scientific studies are providing evidence for the kinds of psychotherapies that effectively treat various psychiatric disorders. But Alan Kazdin, the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology at Yale University, believes that we must acknowledge a basic truth – all of our progress and development in evidence-based psychotherapy has failed to solve the rather serious problem of mental illness in the United States.

Does anyone today think that the “rather serious problem of mental illness” has declined in the last decade?

If so, accept our offer of a one-way ticket to a vacation on the Isle of DeBris.

With such low success scores, onlookers need to think about the factors that psychologists are ignoring. How does one even measure Borderline Personality Disorder? Is it like horseshoes? How close to the borderline does one have to be? How does one control for the multitude of human factors that could enter into both diagnosis and outcome? There are way too many: sex, age, ethnicity, parents, life experiences like sexual abuse or alcohol abuse, intake of mind-altering substances, religious background, one’s history of rewards or punishments for anger or insecurity, and much more. Every human is unique. One cannot drive some of them into the BPD corral and think they will all respond the same way to the same mental alfalfa. Nor can one think that every therapist is going to robotically follow the protocol, which “has come a long way since the days of Freudian psychoanalysis.” Is the 2021 protocol like New Coke? Opportunities for flawed diagnoses and methods are legion. No wonder the results are equivocal.

Psychotherapy and other materialist tricks are guaranteed to fail, because they start from the wrong worldview. Secular psychology treats human beings as products of evolution: unguided natural selection acting on heredity and environment.

From Lies to Truth

The Bible says we are souls bearing the image of God. The mind is not the physical brain (see 2 Aug 2021). It also explains why we are sinners in need of regeneration. Sin is the cause of the kinds of “mental illness” that are not due to physical causes. The solution to “preoccupied insecurity” begins with repentance for being preoccupied with oneself. The solution to “high anger” begins with repentance for pride and selfishness. Both can find their solution in Christ, who told his disciples before his crucifixion and resurrection that He would give them “another helper,” the Holy Spirit, who would be in them. The Helper produces fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace.

Psychologists and psychiatrists can sometimes assist those with brain injuries (comas, persistent vegetative state, brain injuries, drug abuse, etc.). But when it comes to helping people’s minds and souls, both have a terrible track record. What with the replication crisis and the failure to achieve significant change in people’s lives, they are pseudosciences. Read more on their history of failure:

People who go to these secular shamans and see improvement would likely get better quicker without them. A kind and empathetic therapist might achieve some success, but it would be in spite of the theory, not because of it; an untrained grandmother or a wise friend can often do just as well or likely better. People have even improved listening to a fake counselor on a computer!

Psychologists and psychiatrists need to repent, too. They need the Holy Spirit to be empowered to help people. They need the new birth. Then, instead of calling themselves psychologists, they can use spiritual gifts (or divine empowerments) like helps, wisdom, discernment and faith to help lift people out of their sins and into the forgiveness, joy and hope the Bible promises.

If you are suffering from so-called “mental illness,” consider that your problem may be spiritual. Unless there is some underlying physical cause, a person’s spirit can ache and grieve and fear and rage. It makes sense that the Creator of the body and the mind knows our needs—both mental and spiritual—better than anyone. Listen to some of the testimonies at I Am Second and consider what God can do for you. Then get into the Bible and learn about the “precious promises” God gives to all mankind. Try starting with the short letter called I John and learn about the “Word of Life.” Then find a church that preaches the Bible and get into a fellowship that can encourage and support you.

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