Links and Resources

Foundational Structure of Therapy and Ethical Implications

The psychological imperialism of psychotherapy

Reasons to be therapy-free

Client Stories and Discussion

Bad Therapy? A disgruntled ex-psychotherapy client speaks her piece

Psychology Research Study Quality, Inadequate Justification for Therapy, Perverse Incentives, and Harmful Outcomes

Pop Quiz – What can we learn from an intervention study?

Psychology must learn a lesson from fraud case

It’s time for psychologists to put their house in order

The mystery of the missing experiments

Replication studies: Bad copy
In the wake of high-profile controversies, psychologists are facing up to problems with replication.

Nice Results, But What Did You Expect?

The Pervasive Problem With Placebos in Psychology
Why Active Control Groups Are Not Sufficient to Rule Out Placebo Effects

What can we learn from an intervention study?

Is psychotherapy for depression any better than a sugar pill?

Comparison of psychotherapies for adult depression to pill placebo control groups: a meta-analysis

A Systematic Review of Comparative Efficacy of Treatments and Controls for Depression

Review: no reliable evidence of the effect of psychotherapy upon suicide risk in people with depression

Cognitive behavior and psychodynamic therapy no better than routine care for anorexia

Trust the Results, Not the Conclusions

Trust in science would be improved by study pre-registration
Open letter: We must encourage scientific journals to accept studies before the results are in

Revised Ethical Principles Have Profound Implications for Psychological Research

Harms not systematically reported in randomized controlled trials of psychological interventions for mental and behavioral disorders: A review of current practice.

Efficacy of cognitive–behavioural therapy and other psychological treatments for adult depression: meta-analytic study of publication bias

Antidepressant, talk therapy fail to beat placebo

Why Bogus Therapies Often Seem to Work

Why Bogus Therapies Seem to Work

Does Depression Go Away On Its Own?

The Role of Anecdotes in Science-Based Medicine

Subjective “validation”

Therapy works? So . . . ?

Burden of proof

The Burden of Proof

The Burden of Proof in Healthcare

The burden of proof (video)

Placebo Effects: Psychology’s Fundamental Flaw? Why active controls are not enough

“Strong evidence” for a treatment evaporates with a closer look: Many psychotherapies are similarly vulnerable.

Does therapy really work? Let’s not talk about it
– Reflections on therapists’ defensiveness and resistance

There are no randomized controlled trials that support the United States Preventive Services Task Force guideline on screening for depression in primary care: a systematic review

Re-examining Significant Research: The Problem of False-Positives

The statistical significance scandal: The standard error of science?

Shhh! Keeping quiet about the sad state of couples interventions [and other psychotherapy] research

Too Good To Be True: Health Psychology’s Dependence on Underpowered Positive Studies
– The folly of believing positive findings from underpowered intervention studies

Assessing risk of bias in studies

Researcher allegiance [bias] in psychotherapy outcome research: An overview of reviews

Whomp! Using invited editorial commentary to neutralize negative findings [Strong bias in peer-review in psychotherapy journals]

Mind Games: Psychological Warfare Between Therapists and Scientists

Get Shrunk at Your Own Risk

When it’s bad to talk
As evidence grows that anti-depressant drugs are ineffective, more of us are likely to turn to psychotherapy. But, as Kate Hilpern reports, counselling can mean being traumatised again

When Counseling is Dangerous
Psychological debriefing after disasters may do more harm than good.

Concerns about the effectiveness of critical incident stress debriefing in ameliorating stress reactions

Therapy can drive you mad, finds study on counselling given to 9/11 survivors

Psychological debriefing for preventing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Escaping from the past of disaster psychology

Randomised controlled trial of psychological debriefing for victims of acute burn trauma

Review in The Guardian Newspaper:  A sickness called therapy

Manufacturing Victims

Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry Is Doing to People

Elizabeth Loftus: The Fiction of Memory

The Therapy Industry: The Irresistible Rise of the Talking Cure, and Why It Doesn’t Work
YouTube Video: Paul Moloney on the Therapy Industry

Pseudoscience and Psychotherapy
Fringe Psychotherapies:  The Public At Risk

The Moving Goalposts of Mental Illness

The Real Problems With Psychiatry
A psychotherapist contends that the DSM, psychiatry’s “bible” that defines all mental illness, is not scientific but a product of unscrupulous politics and bureaucracy.

Psychiatry’s Guide Is Out of Touch With Science, Experts Say

Prevalence, Correlates, and Treatment of Lifetime Suicidal Behavior Among Adolescents 
Results From the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement

Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

The Milgram Obedience Experiment
The Perils of Obedience

Stanford prison experiment
Zimbardo experiment shows the harm “good” people can cause by applying asymmetrical disempowering labels/roles

An Epidemic of Willful Blindness: Savile, Armstrong, LIBOR, HSBC…

The pull for lobotomy [and psychotherapy]

Looking Back: Interpreting lobotomy – the patients’ stories [Note analogies with psychotherapy today]

The Lake Wobegon Effect

Michal Lambert on preventing treatment failures (and why you’re not as good as you think):
Dr. Michael Lambert’s groundbreaking work on tracking client outcomes has revealed a huge blindspot for psychotherapists: We don’t notice when our patients are getting worse. But he’s got the solution if you’re willing to try something new.

How To Tell If Your Therapist Is Crazy (Part One)

How To Tell If Your Therapist Is Crazy (Part Two)

Why Shrinks Have Problems
Suicide, stress, divorce — psychologists and other mental health professionals may actually be more screwed up than the rest of us.

Therapy Beyond Modernity: Deconstructing and Transcending Profession-Centred Therapy

Therapy is all talk
A new book argues that psychotherapy is better at recycling cultural myths than figuring out what’s in your head.

Is Psychotherapy Superstition?

Why psychology isn’t science

Breaking Away From the Cult
Final Analysis:  The Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst.

The Trouble With Talk Therapy
“What brand is your therapist?” Exploring the latest marketing trend among psychotherapists.

The case against psychotherapy

Against Therapy

Is The Rest Of The World ‘Crazy Like Us’?

Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

Holding Therapy: Blowing The Whistle on Institutionalised Child Abuse in the UK

Rage Reduction Therapy

“How ‘therapy’ becomes a disguise for abuse”

Harmful Side Effects of Psychotherapy

What’s the harm?

Therapist Types: The Narcissist

Destructive Patterns In Asymmetrical Therapy (and Other) Relationships

The asymmetrical dynamics in power-imbalanced relationships in which a person is devalued/dehumanized and dependency is fostered and exploitation follows is rampant in therapy relationships. The inherent structure of the therapy relationship, the one-way intimacy, and surrounding secrecy lends itself to emotional rape. As with domestic violence or priest sexual abuse, it’s a problem that people prefer to look away from and no one wants to think about or admit exists. There will continue to be more therapy victims until we’re ready to really take a look, and take action. (by a child psycho-analyst)

Having emotions versus therapizing emotions

Inverse Correlation Between Happiness and Therapy

Self-focused rumination increases depression:

“The single most important factor in living a happy and fulfilled life was love. … The people with close friends and family were the happiest.”

“Data indicate that when reporting therapists make inferences about [clients'] significant others, they predominantly couch them in critical terms. These results also suggest that blame-and-change maneuvers are alive and well in psychotherapy. When therapists disregard the strengths and resources of their clients’ significant others, they may resort to the therapeutic relationship as their primary vehicle for treatment.”

“Strikingly, more than half of them were getting therapy before or during the period when they became suicidal. Some clinicians e-mailed Nock to express anger that he would make such statistics public. Their position, he said, was that if you tell people treatment’s not effective [or increases suicide], they’ll stop coming.”

“Most suicidal adolescents (>80%) receive some form of mental health treatment. In most cases (>55%), treatment starts prior to onset of suicidal behaviors …”

Client Stories and Discussion

On Mutual/Reciprocal Vulnerability, Openness, Connection, and Wholeheartedness

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they [both] feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ― Brené Brown

“One of the greatest barriers to connection is … we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.” The truth is that we are both.” ― Brene Brown


“Always act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, at the same time as an end-in-itself and never merely as a means.” — Immanuel Kant
Kant’s Formula of Humanity, by Christine Korsgaard (Harvard University)

“Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” — Immanuel Kant
Kant’s Formula of Universal Law, by Christine Korsgaard (Harvard University)

“Every time you do an activity, or have a thought, you are changing a piece of yourself into something slightly different than it was before.
… a human life is not just a means to produce outcomes, it is an end in itself. When we evaluate our friends, we don’t just measure the consequences of their lives. We measure who they intrinsically are. We don’t merely want to know if they have done good. We want to know if they are good.” — David Brooks


Psychology Association’s Torture Link Fails “Do No Harm” Ethics

Two Beautiful Little Stories About The Meaning of Life

The Little Prince

The Velveteen Rabbit

Relevant TED Talks and Other Miscellaneous Links

Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree

Elizabeth Loftus: The Fiction of Memory

Margaret Heffernan: The Dangers of Willful Blindness

Onora O’neill: What We Don’t Understand About Trust

Stuart Firestein: The Pursuit of Ignorance

Thomas Goetz: It’s time to redesign medical data

Richard Feynman and Pseudoscience

Feynman and Scientific Method

Richard Feynman, Cargo Cult Science

The Role of Anecdotes in Science-Based Medicine

Science-based Medicine: Answering Our Critics

The Science of Clinical Trials

Why “Science”-Based Instead of “Evidence”-Based?

Dan Ariely: Beware conflicts of interest

Policy: NIH plans to enhance reproducibility

David Puttnam: Does the media [and other industries] have a “duty of care”?

Therapy is a con

The other 999 rooms

Becoming more authentic

The power of empathy

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