Some Thoughts on Psychotherapy
…an ignoramus’ view – or, why I am not in therapy.
Some psychotherapy is merely wound stirring. A strategy to generate income. Thus creating dependency and co-dependency between therapist and client.
As long as the wound is being stirred it cannot heal. An eternal commitment for the client, guaranteed income for the therapist.
Of course the therapist may sincerely believe they are doing the client good and this means many therapists are not bogus. Others deliberately stir and keep stirring to ensure they keep the client.
So in many cases this is a fundamentally dysfunctional relationship which is self perpetuating and can cause deep unhappiness and financial trauma along with the real or imagined mental dis-ease. Sometimes the therapist is a narcissist who needs to have the feeling of control over the dependant client and the therapeutic process is perpetuated in order to feed the self-indulgent needs of both parties. The therapist may resort to deliberately encouraging or enhancing Transference, particularly emotional in order to maintain control. This is completely immoral – any therapist who is subjected to either love or hatred from the client should act before this becomes obsessional, and tackle it face-to face. If this does not succeed the relationship must end.
Scientologists have a fundamental hatred of psychiatry regarding it as deeply bogus and dangerous. Their stance is based on their hidden agenda to replace psychiatry with their own bogus methods which can result in a delusory liberation which is often denied to the clients of conventional psychiatry. However their criticisms of conventional psychiatry are worth studying, and there is much to be said for placebos in dealing with low-level depression and anxiety. R D Laing had his own stance against traditional psychiatry, and again, while his criticisms are often pertinent and his analysis of the causes of psychosis (predominantly the family!) are often relevant, there is much that seems to me excessive and even barking in his methodology. Skinner, I believe, has the pragmatic approach which can often achieve excellent results but sometimes these are short term and need reinforcement.
Other writers and thinkers have made real contributions to this debate. The work of Wilhelm Reich deserves at least a wry sidelong glance, but along with rebirthers and the other inheritors of Californian psychedelic – influenced income-generation self-indulgence scams, they are mostly pants.
When it comes to serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or deep psychotic episodes, serious depression or paranoia and so on, medication is critical and has come some way in the past few years. Yes there is nowadays a massive list of “new” mental “disorders” some of which are certainly real and some simply income-generators. In depth counselling and CBT needs to be incorporated with medication in serious cases. In a few cases trauma experienced as a child needs to be unpacked, examined and left behind. For mild instances, there is nothing better than a good friend.
All therapy is certainly not bogus, just as all therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are not charlatans. The dedicated, sincere members of these professions need to unite against the many terribly dangerous “practitioners” who cause a great deal of damage to very vulnerable people.
There are legions of academics, practitioners, writers hungry to create the next Big Thing – it sells millions. Self-help, therapeutic approaches, education! Package some old or obvious ideas in some new clothes – use some amazing new words to describe the old clothes – suggest another way of wearing them – and the bank account and the ego will swell concurrently.
Freud created the (albeit flawed) foundation. Jung undermined some of it and rebuilt. The bandwagon began to roll, and the poor patient or client is at the mercy of a comparatively young industry (the word is carefully chosen) which is inadequately controlled, certainly in the UK, and riddled with charlatans and ignorant people taking advantage of illnesses in order to make a living. Along with the genuine practitioners.