Psychotherapy: Needs Reboot? or Just Boot?

first_imgThe word “reboot” assumes a prior boot.  You can’t reboot something that never booted up in the first place.  The American Psychological Association is calling for “rebooting psychotherapy.”  Is it even booted up?  The press release begins with an admission that questions whether psychotherapy ever got powered on. The damaging quote from the American Psychological Association is right in the first paragraph: 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. If a reboot would simply get the solution software running again, all would be well.  But this statement calls it a “basic truth,” one that must be acknowledged, that “all of our progress” has failed to solve mental illness.  Was that not ostensibly its goal, its mission? To be sure, the remainder of the press release focuses on problems with getting the goods to the patients that need help, but nine months after Kazdin dropped his bombshell, he is challenging his colleagues “to rethink the current mental health system in order to make adequate treatment available and accessible to all who need it.”  This is followed by three bullet points on improving the delivery of psychotherapy.  But nowhere is there affirmation that the treatments actually cure anyone, even if “rigorous scientific studies are providing evidence for the kinds of psychotherapies that effectively treat various psychiatric disorders.”  It would seem that if the rigorous studies are such a good mousetrap, the world would beat a path to psychotherapy’s door.  Indeed, just before the bullet points, another damaging admission was made: “Now, in the latest issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, several eminent scientists have come forth in response to Kazdin and Blase’s article, highlighting important points that will need to be addressed before the mental health care system can be overhauled….” The last sentence is a distraction: “United States Department of Veterans Affairs has already developed and implemented new and innovative programs to address the mental health of its veterans.”  Innovative is nice, and addressing a problem is praiseworthy, but no evidence was provided the VA has any better a track record at solving mental illness. This makes psychotherapy sound like a government project gone wrong, a bridge to nowhere, a design plan that never produced a working prototype.  If serious points must be addressed before the mental health care system can be overhauled, the software isn’t up and running, and there is no way to reboot it. See also “Psychotherapy Struggles to Demonstrate Scientific Validity” from 11/13/2005 and three prior articles about psychotherapists struggling to define what mental illness is (2/17/2010, 2/28/2010, 4/21/2011).  Did the brain evolve?  See 11/09/2007 and 10/22/2010. Did you notice the oblique slam at Freud?  He was the king of the hill in his day; now he is a joke (4/27/2011).  Psychotherapy has undergone so many revolutions in its brief history it is unrecognizable.  Now they tell us that in 2011 it has still ”failed to solve the rather serious problem of mental illness in the United States.” But they want to improve the delivery of this failure!  The chaotic history of psychotherapy, from couch talk to mythical unconscious divination to electric shock to drugs to non-directive counseling to whatever is the fad today, is enough to warn the wary to keep away from the charlatan industry with its self-admitted failure to achieve its own goals. The human mind is too complex an entity to submit to the pseudoscience of psychology, and the mixed bag of psychotherapy.  A psychotherapist can never get into a patient’s mind, or understand all the complexities of causes and effects that produce outward symptoms.  The best that can be done is external observation: such-and-such a drug makes Joe less violent, an electric shock makes him forget his paranoid delusion, a horror movie makes Joe (but not Sam) sleepless, calm music relieves manic depression.  Some things might work in some patients as far as improving outward symptoms, but they can never prove that the psychotherapist has addressed the root cause. A lot of treatment reduces to common sense (2/21/2010), without the need for a shrink to tell you the obvious. What if sin is real? What if sin produces real guilt, not just feelings of guilt?  Giving the patient a drug or calm music will only put a band-aid on the surface.  By ignoring the spiritual and moral dimensions of human beings, secular psychotherapists are limiting themselves to partial toolkits at best.  What if the necessary therapy for the “mentally ill” patient is forgiveness of sin that gets at the root cause?  Pastors have numerous true accounts of transformed lives, criminals turned into saints, addicts into missionaries, wolves into lambs, when they faced their true guilt and kneeled at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.  Talk about empirical evidence! What if “mental illness” is an oxymoron?  There is physical illness, and everyone acknowledges that brain damage can lead to bizarre behavior.  These can be treated as physical illnesses, not “mental illness.”  In many Christian churches, there is a whole movement called Biblical counseling that, in contrast to psychotherapy, treats the root cause of behavioral problems (the ones lacking a physical cause) as sin.  Their patients often reach a profound sense of relief when they get straight talk about their sin problems, instead of the runaround about “mental illness” the shrinks offer with their pseudoscientific band-aid solutions. Psychotherapist, heal thyself.  Show the goods, or you don’t get a reboot.  You just get the boot.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Infrastructure ‘needs private sector’

first_img25 October 2012 The government is considering a bigger role for the private sector and the country’s development finance institutions in order to boost funding for South Africa’s infrastructure drive, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, which he presented in the National Assembly in Cape Town on Thursday, reveals that the pace of public infrastructure spending has picked up over the past 12 months. Gordhan told Parliament that the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission (PICC) had reviewed the details of 18 strategic infrastructure programmes, which would add to the current R845-billion infrastructure build programmes already in progress.Build programmes to accelerate investment He said the build programmes would accelerate energy, transport, water and housing investment, open up mining and industrial opportunities and give greater impetus to building economic linkages across southern Africa. “Strategic infrastructure programmes represent large and long-term financial commitments,” he said, adding that the budget provided for part of the funding required, while state-owned enterprises were making substantial investments in their areas of responsibility. While the bulk of infrastructure spending was financed from the balance sheets of state-owned companies, the fiscus funded the provision of social infrastructure, delivered primarily through provinces and municipalities, he said.Private sector investment down in 2011 The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement noted, however, that growth in private sector investment had slowed over 2011, as South African businesses refrained from developing new projects in an environment of weaker business confidence. In contrast, gross fixed capital formation by the public sector grew at 10.9% during the first half of this year, with Eskom, Transnet and the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) accounting for 95% of all capital spending by state-owned enterprises. Government spending on water, sanitation and road infrastructure had also picked up, supporting a nascent recovery in South Africa’s construction sector. The National Treasury believes that as the economic environment improves, rising confidence should result in a gradual improvement in private sector gross fixed capital formation. It said that, with private businesses accounting for about 71% of economic activity and over 75% of jobs, it was crucial to create a buoyant private sector that worked in partnership with an effective government. Domestic growth is expected to remain modest next year and to increase over the next three years, but Gordhan added that faster growth was needed to create the jobs South Africa needs. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Nielsen Hat Trick, Isles Beat Stars, 7-5

first_imgUNIONDALE, N.Y. — Frans Nielsen has seen a lot with the New York Islanders since the 2006-07 season — and much of it has been frustrating.But in his 455th game, Nielsen notched his first hat trick, and the Islanders outlasted the Dallas Stars in a wild 7-5 win on the night of Oct. 25.Nielsen beat goalie Anders Lindback with a wrist shot at 9:39 of the third period to break a 4-4 tie after he and Nikolay Kulemin skated into the Dallas zone on a 2-on-1 rush.He scored again six minutes later and then finished with an empty-net goal with less than a second remaining. He deferred to his teammates as the Islanders won for the sixth time in eight games to start the season.“It was pretty cool,” the 30-year-old Danish center said. “We know we’re a good team and we’re working hard. We wanted to make a statement in the beginning, and we’ve done it.”New linemates Mikhail Grabovski and Kulemin also earned praise from Nielsen, a third-round draft pick by the Islanders in 2002. Grabovski had two assists and Kulemin scored his first goal with the Islanders.“They are both really smart players, and it’s fun playing with them,” Nielsen said.Nielsen’s second goal came at 15:09 off another 2-on-1 with Grabovski before Shawn Horcoff pulled Dallas to within 6-5 just 23 seconds later.Backup goalie Chad Johnson made 26 saves for the Islanders in his second straight start. He has won all three games he has played this season.“You won’t score six or seven goals every night so I have to make more key saves,” Johnson said. “But a win is a win. You get the two points any way you can.”Anders Lee, recalled by New York from AHL Bridgeport this week, opened the scoring with his first of the season at 5:11 of the first period.After Vernon Fiddler tied it at 13:25, Kulemin scored on a short-handed breakaway at 18:42.Lee’s goal came when he redirected Thomas Hickey’s shot past Lindback. It was the 11th goal for Lee in 26 NHL games.Brock Nelson scored his fifth of the season at 1:12 of the second period to extend New York’s lead to 3-1.Then Stars’ leading scorer Tyler Seguin narrowed the deficit to 3-2 with his sixth of the season at 5:25 before Jason Spezza tied it with a power-play goal at 6:50.Antoine Roussel put Dallas ahead 4-3 at 15:50 but Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky ripped a shot over Lindback’s right shoulder 30 seconds later to tie it again.The goal was the first of the season for the 38-year-old Visnovsky, who missed the first five games of the season with a back injury.The Islanders have eight goals from defensemen this season. They had 23 all of last season from blue-liners.Contributions from throughout the lineup against Dallas didn’t include Islanders’ leading scorer and captain John Tavares. Linemates Kyle Okposo and Cory Conacher assisted on Visnovsky’s goal.“We’re doing the right things defensively and that leads to chances like the 2-on-1 we finally got,” Nielsen said. “We compete hard, which leads to bounces going your way. Now we have to keep working hard.”New York is 9-3-3 in its last 15 games against Dallas, which fell to 4-2-2 one night after beating the Devils in New Jersey in a shootout.“We created more than enough chances, but we didn’t adjust well enough,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “We did some good things and played hard, but we were inconsistent.”Grabovski returned after a three-game absence with concussion symptoms. He replaced Josh Bailey who went on the injured list after he broke a hand against Boston.Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic missed his second straight game due to an upper body injury.(ALLAN KREDA) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Your Data Needs Regular Health Checkups Too

first_imgMarch 5, 2015 Labeling any data as “bad” feels a little bit like betrayal to the true data fanatic, but you know when the data you’re collecting is a little…well, under the weather. Website traffic suddenly drops to zero, you’re missing data when you run your reports and names appear in five different formats. By that same token, you know what healthy data looks like. It’s clear, easy to understand and ties into your overarching strategy.Still, it can be hard to discern whether your data is truly in tip-top shape, and unless it is, the information you glean from it isn’t going to propel your startup forward. It’s important to regularly assess your data infrastructure for quality and effectiveness to fuel your business in the most efficient way possible.The first step is creating a rubric so you can treat your data to a regular checkup. Here’s how to get started:1. Establish a metrics hierarchy.Look at your overarching business goals, and prioritize your metrics accordingly. To ensure your goals are balanced, focus on the five pillars of success: strategy, methodology, technology, implementation and adoption. Then, prioritize goals for each of the pillars so your rubric can gauge the well-being of every layer of your operation.Related: How Small Businesses Can Embrace Big Data2. Share the responsibility.When you know which metrics are important, hold yourself and your team accountable. Monitor your highest priorities yourself, setting a schedule for regular checkups. Plug it into your calendar so you don’t forget.Delegate other metrics, making sure everyone knows when and how they should be performing checkups and to whom they are reporting. Employees should be able to look at the metrics they’re responsible for and detect any shifts in purpose or outliers that could be attributed to errors.3. Create a rubric document.Craft a living, breathing document that will act as your data standards guide. It should outline answers to questions such as “Does the data we’re collecting tie into the overall strategy goals?” and “Does everybody understand best practices for naming and inputting data?”Establish a checklist so the manager of that metric can cross-check that the data is living up to your standards at regular intervals.Related: Data Crunch: 5 Analysis Tools for Small Businesses4. Make it easy.Your rubric should be accessible with the click of a button. It should be present on your team members’ dashboards in a digestible, intuitive format so your team can navigate it with ease. In data, there is such a thing as too many choices, so don’t create 20 reports if you only need five. There’s no point in empowering everybody to take control of data health when the checklist itself is unhealthy.5. Check early and often.Create your rubric as soon as you can. Establishing a data-driven culture is important as you grow, and it’s far easier to achieve this culture while your company is still young and mobile.Your rubric should be like any other teammate. It should be involved in every decision you make and every meeting you attend. Embed the rubric into your processes, and schedule regular group checkups so you can collectively track your team members’ data health and address any issues they might be facing.6. Don’t be afraid to change.The whole point of establishing metrics in the first place is to help you achieve your overall business goals. If the data you’re tracking turns out to be unrelated to your goals, shift your focus and reassess your hierarchy of metrics.Your company is in constant flux. Your definition of a “healthy company,” your priorities, your goals and the world around you will all change whether you like it or not. So your analytics system needs to grow with you.Integrating analytics into your company culture will reveal whether you have an ineffective data infrastructure. Backed by good data, you can keep striving toward those beautiful business goals with the knowledge that you’ll cross the finish line in great health.Related: How to Lay the Foundation for a Data-Driven Business With A/B Testing Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 4 min readlast_img read more