The 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….
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