Skip to comments.Where’s the Science? The Sorry State of Psychotherapy
Posted on 10/04/2009 9:35:34 AM PDT by TennesseeGirl
The prevalence of mental health disorders in this country has nearly doubled in the past 20 years. Who is treating all of these patients? Clinical psychologists and therapists are charged with the task, but many are falling short by using methods that are out of date and lack scientific rigor. This is in part because many of the training programsespecially some Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) programs and for-profit training centersare not grounded in science.
A new report in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, by a panel of distinguished clinical scientistsTimothy Baker (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Richard McFall (Indiana University), and Varda Shoham (University of Arizona)calls for the reform of clinical psychology training programs and appeals for a new accreditation system to ensure that mental health clinicians are trained to use the most effective and current research to treat their patients.
There are multiple practices in clinical psychology that are grounded in science and proven to work, but in the absence of standardized science-based training, those treatments go unused.
For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be the most effective treatment for PTSD and has the fewest side-effects, yet many psychologists do not use this method. Baker and colleagues cite one study in which only 30 percent of psychologists were trained to perform CBT for PTSD and only half of those psychologists elected to use it. That means that six of every seven sufferers were not getting the best care available from their clinicians. Furthermore, CBT shows both long-term and immediate benefits as a treatment for PTSD; whereas medications such as Paxil have shown 25 to 50 percent relapse rates.
The report suggests that the escalating cost of mental health care treatment has reduced the use of psychological treatments and shifted care to general health care facilities. The authors also stress the importance of coupling psychosocial interventions with medicine because many behavioral therapies have been shown to reduce costs and provide longer term benefits for the client.
Baker and colleagues conclude that a new accreditation system is the key to reforming training in clinical psychology. This new system is already under development: the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS www.pcsas.org).
‘’Psychologist’’ - just another word for ‘’witchdoctor’’
Not many clinicians belong, compared to research psychologists. Which is too bad, but the dismal fact is, in the 1970s and following, two trends converged: the New Age, anti-intellectual, anti-scientific bias grew strong, and at the same time Psychology became dominated numerically and soon "intellectually" by women and others of a leftwing feminist persuasion.
The American Psychological Association (APA) fell to the pseudoscientists, became derelict in holding to its mission statement, and abandoned any pretense of being a scientific organization. In short, the last thirty years the field of psychology has forgotten most of what it ever knew. The APS is trying to hold on to some light in this darkening age.
...Paxil killed Freud.
I was an Office Manager for Psychs in my previous life.
There is a thread of truth to this but it’s not absolute.
In our office, drugs were the last resort. Some were used only temporarily to give the patient confidence in behavior modification. My main Doctor was well known to wean patients off meds that others had prescribed.
However, some Psych problems are diagnosed with blood tests. They are absolute and are treated chemically. That being said, we called the Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft) “Candy Meds” because every doctor felt that if someone was “depressed” that would help. Honestly, they don’t help those people who don’t need them and a doctor could give a bottle of Smarties and do just as much. Yet they have side effects that cannot be dismissed.
I agree with much of this article. I really believe that the diagnosis of “Autism Spectrum” and ADHD are overused, over medicated and should be treated with Behavior Modification for the child and for the parent.
“Pray you are feeling better” ping.
Seems like progress, PTL, . . . slower than would prefer. Not sure if I’m going to be up to teaching Monday, or not.
Sure appreciate the prayers and your thoughtful caring.
Thankfully, my program insisted on staying up with the latest science and delivering the most effective, least problematic service to the client.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has also been shown to be the most effective with the least side effects and least relapse rate for
However, clients are also polluted with cultural propaganda and tend to want quick fixes from a bottle or some such.
CBT tends to take more mental work and discipline to change one’s brain-wiring from the typical habitual thought patterns than a lot of folks are willing to bother with.
Certainly true with some new agers, however.
Plenty of truth in that post.
Going back several steps... One problem is that psychology, when taught at the high-school level, is taught by the Social Studies department, not by the Science department. It attracts social worker do-gooder types, not scientists.
The College Board offers an Advanced Placement psychology course and exam for high schools, but there are no requirements for the teacher of this AP course to have any science background. In addition, the College Board states: “It is essential for AP Psychology teachers to join [the American Psychological Association] as High School Teacher Affiliates, which also includes membership in TOPSS (Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools).” And as a FReeper has already pointed out, the APA is part of the problem.
Though I don’t believe that all the blood test stuff is that absolute.
Blood tests don’t demonstrate which came first, the chicken or the egg. Too many assume that blood tests mean the chemical imbalance caused the malady first when there’s plenty of
that behaviors, thought processes, habits
cause chemical imbalances which are then worsened by same.
Pastor Henry Wright in conjunction with a host of MD’s and psychologists has demonstrated this in a number of maladies very empirically.
He’s now successful in getting folks healed of a host of mental illness related maladies which have long been assumed by many to be incurably caused by chemical imbalances alone.
His revised book
A MORE EXCELLENT WAY is an important contribution to cancer and a lot of other ‘incurable’ medical problems being healed.
He’s recently asserted that they have now learned enough to get most schizophrenia patients cured—lastiingly permanently cured—within 3 days of residential treatment at his center.
I don’t think there’s a cancer that can stand up to his methods either.
There’s a lot of low population rare incurable diseases that are unprofitable for medicine to bother with that he’s been led to lasting cures/healing for.
Of course, he also deals with the demonic aspect in some cases of many illnesses and syndromes.
His success rate is so high that 100’s of MD’s refer their patients to him and many are taking training from him.
His basic tool is THE WORD OF GOD. The Lord began to show him that folks have problems because they refuse to live by The Manual. When they work earnestly at getting right with God and living by The Manual, God will heal them—many times instantly or overnight and many times walking it out step by step.
IIRC, he even has great success with bi-polar disorder.
Effective administrations of traditional talk therapy where the individual gets in touch with the emotional content related to the PTSD have also proven to be effective. The client must get in touch with the emotional content and be able to cognitively sort through it until the poisonous energy, impact, potential has been drained off.
The Eye Movement desentization is also effective for similar reasons and may take a shorter time to be effective, IIRC.
Freud was a complete Fraud, who faked his records and never cured anyone of anything. He was a cocaine addict who killed his friend Marxow with the stuff. Carl Jung publicly praised both Hitler and Mussolini.
The Chemical Imbalance thing is a Myth. Read the actual drug Ads. “Scientists think. It is Believed.” They can’t go any farther than belief, because the proof isn’t there.
The American Psychological Assc was recently taken to task for claiming that abortions weren’t damaging to women.
PTSD? Oh, I get it, I’m a total idiot for not knowing, let me reach for my Paxil.
the RELIGION OF SCIENCE is also full of plenty of problems.
The RELIGION OF SCIENCE
ASSUMES, BELIEVES AND TEACHES
one cannot touch it, measure it, manipulate it tangibly and run stats on it,
IT MUST NOT BE REAL.
It’s the old GREEK VS HEBREW manner of KNOWING, DISCOVERING.
NOT ALL TRUTH, NOT ALL FACTS, NOT ALL REALITY is ammenable to GREEK dissection in discovering solid TRUTH.
A new hubby wanting to dissect his new wife to better be able to love her is not likely to find a willing partner.
I wish I had a copy of my FREUDIAN section term paper.
FRODO AND DR FRUD
It was a biting stinging satire on Freud. Hilarious as well. Prof didn’t appreciate it at first but on re-read admitted I deserved an A—I think an A+ because I had thoroughly understood Freud and documented it.
I think one of Freud’s observations was too correct for comfort:
That even a RELIGION based on Love would be unloving to those not members of it. Too often too many “Christians” have spent too much time proving he was right on that IN-GROUP/OUT-GROUP issue.
Ironically, I somewhat agree with you, but perhaps not in the way that you intend.
Personally, I would probably not be alive today were it not for the help that I received through the mental health profession a few decades ago. Psychotherapy and medication were both aspects of my treatment. Gradually, I went from being a selfish, self-absorbed and suicidal menace to, today, a happy productive family man with a wonderful wife and two terrific teen-age kids. In the process I discovered a profound sense of gratitude and an appreciation for "amazing grace".
I went through three therapists, some were good, some not. Ironically, those that helped me the most were the more intuitive "witch doctors" rather than the heavily science and research-oriented ones.
Certainly, mental health practitioners are open to a lot of criticism and it is certainly fashionable to bash them as "shrinks", but whenever I see others walking around with "tombstones in their eyes", I want to tell them from the bottom of my heart that there is help and they should seek it.
They could start the reform by re-classifying homosexuality as a disorder as it should be.
This would also go a long way to re-establishing their creditability.
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