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