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peebo
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04 Jan 2012, 1:29 pm

what are your thoughts on it? it's always been an area of vague interest to me. although not, perhaps, from a particularly psychoanalytical point of view, if that makes sense. for instance, as an art student, i found things like freud's civilisation and it's discontents and the mystic writing pad hugely interesting, and have a big interest in art brut although this doesn't necessarily relate to psychoanalysis per se, but there is a loose connection through the interest in it by the art psychotherapy movement etc.

but after coming across this book, i'm really interested to pick a copy up:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Psychotherapy-R ... 380&sr=1-9

as i'm generally of the belief that problems in individuals stem from their surroundings, and, working in the area of mental health, i find the predominance of psychiatry and the idea of medicalisation of human behaviours pretty fundamentally flawed, i wonder, is psychotherapy really nothing more than a means of individualising social maladies?

here is the blurb from amazon, it may be of interest to some of you, and i'd welcome any comments as i'm obviously a person with a passing interest in this stuff but who is far from an expert in any way, as noted above...

william epstein wrote:
In "Psychotherapy as Religion", William Epstein sets out to debunk claims that psychotherapy provides successful clinical treatment for a wide range of personal and social problems. He argues that the practice is not a science at all but rather the civil religion of America, reflecting the principles of radical self-invention and self-reliance deeply embedded in the psyche of the nation. Epstein begins by analyzing a number of clinical studies conducted over the past two decades that purport to establish the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatments. He finds that each study violates in some way the standard criteria of scientific credibility and that the field has completely failed to establish objective procedures and measurements to assess clinical outcomes. Epstein exposes psychotherapy's deep roots in the religious and intellectual movements of the early nineteenth century by demonstrating striking parallels between various types of therapy and such popular practices as Christian Science and spiritualism. Psychotherapy has taken root in our culture because it so effectively reflects our national faith in individual responsibility for social and personal problems.
It thrives as the foundation of American social welfare policy, blaming deviance and misery on deficiencies of character rather than on the imperfections of society and ignoring the influence of unequal and deficient social conditions while requiring miscreants to undergo the moral reeducation that psychotherapy represents. This is a provocative, brilliantly argued look at America on the couch. "Psychotherapy as Religion" is essential reading for anyone interested in the history and current state of mental health.


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ruveyn
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04 Jan 2012, 8:39 pm

It is empirically un-falsifiable nonsense.

ruveyn



alex
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04 Jan 2012, 8:47 pm

psychotherapy was debunked decades ago.


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AceOfSpades
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04 Jan 2012, 11:04 pm

Freud loved sniffing coke. That should tell you a lot about his ideas.



peebo
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04 Jan 2012, 11:34 pm

alex wrote:
psychotherapy was debunked decades ago.


i am not averse to the notion of this being the case. would you, however, care to provide further information? whether we subscribe to a belief in it's veracity or not, i think it would be imprudent to deny it's influence on culture and society over the last century or so.


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05 Jan 2012, 2:02 am

I'm interested in this but a little short of time right now. A few thoughts that occur to me in reading your post:

I think psychoanalysis is an extremely interesting area and Freud a great mind to, arguably, invent it. I think there are psychotherapy cults although I'm not sure what they are and there are many different schools of thought with subtle differences stemming from Freud, each with their own figurehead thinkers.

What I really want to say, is that, for me, I have to be able to question and go beyond what a particular theorist might say about my own particular psychology (although reading some of the psychoanalytic literature it also struck me how well some of these people know me - they know me better than I know myself because they devoted their lives to studying the human psyche, and despite my uniquness, I am, still, largely 'just' another human psyche). I want to work it out for myself (although I largely see myself through the ideas of experts, such as Freud).

Argh! Frustration in articulation again, and I'm out of time, for now ...



ruveyn
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05 Jan 2012, 7:25 am

AceOfSpades wrote:
Freud loved sniffing coke. That should tell you a lot about his ideas.


That is an ad hominim and fallacy. Shame on you.!

It is possible for a coke user to be right.

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05 Jan 2012, 8:41 am

^^^ I think the point was that Freud preached "talk therapy" as the solution to problems, but used psychostimulant medication to solve his own.


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AngelRho
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05 Jan 2012, 9:17 am

Freud was a pioneer. He practically invented the discipline of psychology. I give him mad props for that.

But one person being an innovator doesn't mean his ideas are the be-all and end-all of the practice. Psychoanalysis was ground-breaking for its time, but it also cleared the way for the development of newer, better theories and breaking new ground. It's kinda like Galileo pushing what was then the Copernican hypothesis. Galileo laid the foundation for a more accurate explanation for the motions of the planets. But he also described planetary orbits as circular and also believed that the sun was the cause of tides--this latter idea already known to be wrong then as much as it is now, and to make matters worse part of Galilean theory hinged on evidence of solar effects on tides to make it work. But he also pioneered the use of the telescope and opened up a whole new realm of study. What little bit he was right about counted.

I see Freud the same way. We are long past psychoanalysis now. It's time spent studying Freud's work, figuring out what WORKS and what DOESN'T, adjusting, and moving on that really matters. I mean, come on... This is the guy who figured out the reason for most male sexual dysfunction back then was a poor childhood relationship with your mother. Frikkin' BRILLIANT!! !



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05 Jan 2012, 10:59 am

ruveyn wrote:
AceOfSpades wrote:
Freud loved sniffing coke. That should tell you a lot about his ideas.


That is an ad hominim and fallacy. Shame on you.!

It is possible for a coke user to be right.

ruveyn
Sure they can be right, but I'm pretty sure the idea of subconsciously wanting to kill your father and f**k your mother wasn't inspired by a clear and sober state of mind lol.



visagrunt
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05 Jan 2012, 12:54 pm

It strikes me as uncritical to claim the psychoanalysis has been debunked. Ruveyn appears to me to be closer to the mark. Psycholanalytic theory was largely clinical and anecdotal, and its development was inconsistent with the kind of empirical study that has dominated the medical approach to psychotherapy.

But that does not make it wrong.

Psychiatry is founded in a far greater degree of scientific experiementation, to be sure. But are we so happy with the results of that work? How much money is poured away on unnecessary prescriptions for antidepressants and and anti-anxiety drugs?

I am quite happy to see a patient explore alternative approaches to treatment, provided that those treatments do not cause further harm and do not leave untreated a condition for which medical intervention is indicated. If nothing else, the placebo effect is real, and if a patient sees value in a course of therapy, who am I to gainsay that decision, absent a compelling case?


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ruveyn
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05 Jan 2012, 1:12 pm

visagrunt wrote:
It strikes me as uncritical to claim the psychoanalysis has been debunked. Ruveyn appears to me to be closer to the mark. Psycholanalytic theory was largely clinical and anecdotal, and its development was inconsistent with the kind of empirical study that has dominated the medical approach to psychotherapy.

But that does not make it wrong.



It doesn't make it right. A technique that costs $100.00 an hour should be clinically vetted.

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peebo
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05 Jan 2012, 1:13 pm

dr01dguy wrote:
^^^ I think the point was that Freud preached "talk therapy" as the solution to problems, but used psychostimulant medication to solve his own.


can you be sure his coke use was self-medication? perhaps he just enjoyed it?


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peebo
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05 Jan 2012, 1:18 pm

ruveyn wrote:
visagrunt wrote:
It strikes me as uncritical to claim the psychoanalysis has been debunked. Ruveyn appears to me to be closer to the mark. Psycholanalytic theory was largely clinical and anecdotal, and its development was inconsistent with the kind of empirical study that has dominated the medical approach to psychotherapy.

But that does not make it wrong.



It doesn't make it right. A technique that costs $100.00 an hour should be clinically vetted.

ruveyn



the same could be said about a lot of things. does this discount it as an interesting topic for discussion?


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ruveyn
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05 Jan 2012, 1:19 pm

peebo wrote:

the same could be said about a lot of things. does this discount it as an interesting topic for discussion?


I never said it did. Psychoanalysis is a ready example of a pseudo science that is swallowed whole and undigested by many ill informed folk. It is always fun to discuss the stupidity of others.

ruveyn