Posted by: Chris | October 23, 2009

More on Recent Revelations

Expect a fuller discussion of current events here soon, but how can anyone reasonably see this type of stuff as anything but a scam (taken from a psychotherapy website):

In its pure form (that is, as developed by Sigmund Freud at the early 1900s), however, psychoanalysis can be quite demanding and expensive.

It requires daily (yes, daily!) visits to the psychoanalyst.

You lie on a couch with the analyst sitting out of sight behind you.

You are required to say whatever comes into your mind, without holding back anything—this is technically called free association (see below).

The analyst uses silence as a technique to encourage you to free associate and hardly ever says anything except to make an “interpretation” (i.e., the unconscious motives behind your actions or thoughts are pointed out to you).

There are no excuses for missing a session, and payment is required whether you attend the session or not.

. . . and this goes on for several years.




  1. It could actually be useful because…

    -The “free-association” talking brings up the points that are relevant to whatever psychological problem you are dealing with. By putting those points into words you help jog your mind into seeing a solution. The presence of an observer helps keep you thinking and talking instead of drifting into another activity. The fact that it is a psychotherapist instead of a person means that social constraints are lowered by the promise of confidentiality and lack of other interaction with the observer. Or…

    – The occasional comment by the psychotherapist nonetheless help to jog your mind into new ways of thinking, which over time can lead to mental healing. Or…

    – Simply being given a process and told clearly and confidently that it will help you leads you to get better on your own while undergoing that process. In that case it’s on the border between scam and genuine – it might be the case that it is just as effective e.g. if they told patients to speak in metaphors and similes for an hour a day while they wrote it all down on a clipboard, and the key common feature is that merely by confidently presenting patients with a definite process they cause the patients to cure themselves while undergoing the process. Even if this is so, ultimately you pay for improved mental health and get improved mental health, so it’s hard to say you were scammed.

    Any of these three arguments is plausible to me. It doesn’t sound as reliable as a flu vaccine, but that doesn’t mean it must be worthless.

  2. JJ, I was mostly refering to the bolded section. Hence the bolding.

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