This list doesn’t include every book or article that is critical of
the Con psychotherapy, just the ones I have read so far, in no particular order. There are LOTS more.
Commenters, feel free to add your recommendations.
Notice how much has been written against therapy. That’s a red flag in itself.
I find it interesting and troubling that the criticisms of psychotherapy go back decades, and yet there is still so little change or improvement in psychotherapy practice. It is as if
Grifters psychotherapists are either unaware of these criticisms, or simply do not care. As long as the public believes that psychotherapy is helpful and remains ignorant of these criticisms, I suppose psychotherapists have no incentive to change. They can just keep practising their nonsense and collecting their fees.
There are also numerous first-person accounts of experiences in therapy. You can also read the texts associated with different therapeutic approaches – and marvel at the lack of critical thinking, the anecdotes that always prove the theory (and never an anecdote that challenges the theory), and the underlying smugness that practitioners of this therapy are never wrong, and any clients who think so are merely showing how badly they need to be cured.
Shouldn’t I Be Feeling Better By Now? Edited by Yvonne Bates. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Mind Games. Robert A. Baker. Prometheus Books, 1996.
The Psychological Society. Martin L. Gross. Random House, 1978.
House of Cards: Psychology and Psychiatry Built on Myth. Robyn Dawes. Free Press,1996.
Witchdoctors and Psychiatrists: The Common Roots of Psychotherapy and Its Future. E. Fuller Torrey. Emerson Hall Publishers; 1st edition (1972)
“The Bait-and-Switch Tactic in Psychotherapy” by Martin H. Williams, in Psychotherapy, 1985, vol. 22, pp. 110-13.
“Fringe Psychotherapies: The Public at Risk” by Barry L. Beyerstein for The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, circa 2002.
Smoke and Mirrors: The Devastating Effect of False Sexual Abuse Claims. Terence W. Campbell. Da Capo Press, 1998.
Psychotherapy: The Purchase of Friendship. William Schofield. A Spectrum book, 1964 (updated in 1986).
Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing. Jeffrey M. Masson. Common Courage Press, 1993 (revised edition, I think the first came out in 1988).
Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People. Tana Dineen. Robert Davies Multimedia Publishing (US),1998.
What Therapists Don’t Talk About and Why: Understanding Taboos that Hurt Us and Our Clients. Pope, Sonne, and Greene. American Psychological Association, 2006.
Therapy’s Delusions: The Myth of the Unconscious and Exploitation of Today’s Walking Worried. Ofshe and Watters. Scribner, 1999.
Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy, and Sexual Hysteria. Ofshe and Watters. University of California Press, 1996.
Crazy Therapies: What Are They? Do They Work? Singer and Lalich. Jossey-Bass, 1996.
Gaslighting, the Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Methods of Covert Control in Psychotherapy and Analysis. Theodore L. Dorpat. Jason Aronson, 1996.
The Death of Psychotherapy: From Freud to Alien Abductions. Donald A. Eisner. Praeger, 2000.
The Shrinking of America: Myths of Psychological Change. Bernie Zilbergeld. Little, Brown, and Company, 1983.
The Illusion of Psychotherapy. William M. Epstein. Transaction Publishers, 1995.
Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology. Edited by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn and Jeffrey M. Mohr. The Guildford Press, 2003.
Demystifying Therapy. Ernesto Spinelli. Constable and Company Ltd, 1994.
Psychotherapy and its Discontents. Edited by Windy Dryden and Colin Feltham. Open University Press, 1992.
Can Psychotherapists Hurt You? Judi Striano. Professional Press, 1988.
Other interesting authors: Thomas Szasz, David Smail, Irving Yalom, Hans Strupp
I’ve heard that Alex Howard’s Challenges to Counselling & Psychotherapy is a good book.