A mysterious hostility

The NYT upsets a gravy train:

The [CBT] therapy dwells exclusively in the present. Unlike traditional psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapy, it does not typically require a long course of treatment, usually 10 to 15 sessions. When cognitive therapy was introduced, it met significant resistance to the notion that people could be cured without understanding the sources of the problems. Many therapists said that without working through the underlying problems change would be superficial and that the basic problems would simply express themselves in other ways.

Cognitive advocates convinced colleagues by using a tool that had not been systematically used in mental health, randomized controlled clinical trials.

I took three things away from this article:

1. Conventional psychoanalysis is about as scientific as Magic: the Gathering and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and about as likely to cure mental illness.

2. Therapists are going to actively oppose cognitive therapy as it hypothetically poses a serious threat to significantly reduce their ability to parasitize treat their hosts patients.

3. My suspicions about traditional psychotherapy being a useless con game were correct from the start.

The money quote: “Although randomized controlled trials are the gold standard of scientific research, for most of the 20th century such research was not used to test the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic methods, in part because psychoanalysis, at the time the most popular form of talk therapy, was actively hostile to empirical validation.”

Still, those charlatans needn’t worry overmuch. I’d guess that at least two-thirds of those in therapy are there because they are more than willing to shell out for a captive audience. And they’ll continue to do so. No one ever went broke by encouraging people to talk about their favorite subject.