Saturday, January 30, 2021

Psychotherapy does not work

If psychotherapy worked, then there ought to be experiments demonstrating its effectiveness.

This Freakononomics podcast considers the issue from an economist view. If something has a benefit, then economists want to put a dollar value on the benefit.

They cite this study, showing the benefit to be zero.

The psychologist guest insists that there are many other studies showing benefits to talk therapy, and especially cognitive-behavioral therapy. She said there were meta-studies summarizing the studies, and meta-meta-studies, also showing benefit. She claimed to have benefited from being treated herself.

I guess I can believe that if psychologists are doing studies to justify what they do, then they are able arrange it so that there appears to be a benefit. But I suspect that they are doing much more harm than good.

Update: The Atlanta newspaper reports:

Atlanta attorney L. Lin Wood, one of the most prominent purveyors of conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 presidential election, is in danger of losing his ability to practice law in Georgia.

The State Bar of Georgia acknowledged Friday it is investigating two complaints against Wood and has ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Wood recently called for the execution of former Vice President Mike Pence and accused other officials, including U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, of conspiring to cheat former President Donald Trump out of a second term, among other alleged transgressions.

But in an interview, Wood said he would refuse the State Bar’s order — a stance that could result in the emergency suspension of his law license.

Wood has said some nutty things on Twitter, but he has also won some big cases for his clients.

Ordering this evaluation is obviously political, and the psychiatric profession has no objective way of resolving an issue like this. He has a right to post rants on Twitter. The Bar Association has no business trying to regulate anything but his court-related conduct.

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