Tags

A few articles on the state of psychology and psychotherapy research:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2014/jun/10/physics-envy-do-hard-sciences-hold-the-solution-to-the-replication-crisis-in-psychology

http://idiolect.org.uk/notes/?p=5890

http://blogs.plos.org/mindthebrain/2014/06/10/salvaging-psychotherapy-research-manifesto/

The essence of my comment here is that you can’t play dice with human lives.

The burden of proof is on proponents of these psychotherapies to show that they are making good use of their clients’ time and money, and that the risk-benefit ratio is favorable. In the absence of having met this burden, they ought to stop practicing, or at a bare minimum clearly inform all of their clients of the weak status of the evidence and indeterminate risk as part of a transparent informed consent process.

Lives have been ruined and people have even been killed from non-science-based therapies such as attachment therapy, repressed memory therapy, gay conversion therapy, etc. When a therapy is not grounded in robust replicable scientific evidence, the outcome is a crap-shoot: you’re recklessly experimenting with human lives with potentially profound and devastating consequences.

“If you won’t take responsibility when things go badly, you give up the right to take credit when things go well.”

The psychotherapy industry has done an egregiously poor job of tracking and taking responsibility for the harm it causes. See, for instance: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24607768 and http://www.comppsychjournal.com/article/S0010-440X%2814%2900006-6/abstract

There is no justification for therapists, no matter how good their intentions are, to go on playing dice with human lives.

Advertisements