Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dodo bird verdict

Psychiatry professor Richard A. Friedman writes in NY Times:
It is practically an article of faith among many therapists that self-understanding is a prerequisite for a happy life. Insight, the thinking goes, will free you from your psychological hang-ups and promote well-being.

Perhaps, but recent experience makes me wonder whether insight is all it’s cracked up to be.
He goes on to explain how insights made his patient unhappy. He also admits that the dodo effect means that no psychotherapy method has ever been shown to have any benefit anyway.

Nevertheless he says that he is "pretty good at treating clinical misery with drugs and therapy". Apparently he lacks the the insight to understand that his treatment is no better than doing nothing.

Meanwhile, a British shrink is in trouble for doing just what the patient asked:
A psychotherapist faces being struck off after trying to 'convert' a homosexual man.

Lesley Pilkington, 60, a therapist for 20 years, is accused of 'praying to God' to 'heal' the patient .

Mrs Pilkington, will appear at a landmark disciplinary hearing this week where she faces being stripped of her accreditation to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. ...

Mrs Pilkington accused Strudwick of entrapment. She said: 'He told me was looking for a treatment for being gay.

'I told him I only work using a Christian biblical framework and he said that was exactly what he wanted.'

Her defence is being funded by the Christian Legal Centre which has instructed a leading religious rights barrister to fight the case.
She should not have to argue religious freedom. Her approach is no more bogus than most of the other psychotherapy.

1 comment:

Rainer said...

The Pilkington case is a case of licenciation: A med gives a patient what the patient asks for and the patient is happy ever after.
Instead of leaving the people alone and letting patients choose the doctors and treatment they want, the government tries to decide what is good and what is bad for the people. It gives this authority to a panel of specialists who can give or take away a licence to a doctor.

Using the word licenciation, I mean to refer to George Washington who after his presidency some day warned "... or we will fall back into licenciation."