By Rich Simon “Psychotherapy’s Image Problem,” an op-ed piece in the New York Times, created quite a stir this week by citing a 34% decline in the number of patients receiving psychotherapy between 1998 and 2007. The author of the article argued that our field needed to do a better public relations job of touting therapy’s demonstrated effectiveness, established in thousands of studies over the past 50 years. But he appeared to miss the larger point that the future of our profession hinges less on our promoting our own narrow guild interests than on working together with movements and thinkers beyond our field dedicated to bringing our perspective on human relationships, emotional awareness, and change to the attention of the wider culture.
By Rich Simon In “Therapy Isn’t Brain Science,” a provocative article in the July/August Networker, Steve Andreas took aim at what he called psychotherapy’s collective case of “brain fever.” “The neuroscience information that’s currently in vogue seems primarily useful in convincing clients that we’re ‘experts’—that we have hard scientific knowledge about what’s happening inside their skulls,” wrote Andreas. “But so far I haven’t seen any persuasive direct application of neuroscience to the practice of therapy.”