The blog “Therapy Consumer Guide” has a post titled “What Are Your Therapy Goals?” Last week I made some comments on it. They stayed up for a while, but now they’re gone. However, I saved the post, so I can share with you what the comments were:
4 Responses to What Are Your Therapy Goals?
March 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm
A person who can do everything you recommend in paragraphs 2 & 3 isn’t likely to need a therapist. They have the intelligence and resources to figure out their problem on their own.
March 5, 2012 at 5:22 am
My experience and experiences of many other people that I know have showed me that intelligence may not be enough to figure out one’s problem on their own. Thank you for your comment, therapyisacon.
March 7, 2012 at 2:18 am
But the experiences of one person and their circle of acquaintances is far too limited a sample from which to draw any conclusions. People who manage without therapy have hardly been studied at all, yet they are by far the majority of people (especially when you take an historical perspective).
Anyway, I didn’t say intelligence alone was enough, I also said resources. It seems very unlikely that someone who is able to undertake the research process you describe – a process that requires intelligence, determination and critical thinking, plus access to quality materials – would not be able to use those same skills to sort out their emotional problems. No doubt you’ve heard of the YAVIS therapy client – a person so high-functioning and together that they not only would not need therapy, they would be due for an OBE!
March 7, 2012 at 3:48 am
“But the experiences of one person and their circle of acquaintances is far too limited a sample from which to draw any conclusions.”
I don’t know what conclusions you are referring to because I did not draw any conclusions from the fact that my and my acquaintances’ experiences showed something different from what you suggested.
“People who manage without therapy have hardly been studied at all, yet they are by far the majority of people (especially when you take an historical perspective).”
I never argued this point either, so if you are trying to say that many people don’t need therapy, no one argues that. This blog is for those who have had a mixed experience in therapy, those who have experienced both its harm and its benefits and also for those who contemplate seeing a therapist but don’t know where to start. If one doesn’t need therapy or believes that therapy can’t offer anything helpful to anyone, I can’t see any reason for them to be on this website.
“Anyway, I didn’t say intelligence alone was enough, I also said resources. It seems very unlikely that someone who is able to undertake the research process you describe – a process that requires intelligence, determination and critical thinking, plus access to quality materials – would not be able to use those same skills to sort out their emotional problems.”
My previous argument also applies to resources. You think that those individuals, who are able to undertake the process I described, have all they need to sort out their emotional problems, but my experience and the experiences of many others that I know have demonstrated otherwise. By saying this I am not jumping to a conclusion that the experiences that I am familiar with are the only experiences that exist. I believe that there might be people who can resolve their problems the way you suggested and wouldn’t need any therapy, but this website is not for them. Since you mentioned that no studies have been conducted, that means that we can’t generalize in any direction meaning that we can’t make a universal judgment about whether therapy is needed or not. It’s an individual decision for every person. If there are people who manage fine without therapy, that doesn’t mean that everyone can do the same and vice verse – if there are people who have been helped in therapy, that doesn’t mean that everyone needs therapy. As TCG disclaimer says, this is neither anti- nor pro- therapy website and the debate of whether therapy is needed or not is irrelevant to and inconsistent with the purpose of the website and, therefore, such debates will not take place here. Please, read the disclaimer again. Thank you for your comment.
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March 11, 2012 at 1:38 am
I read the disclaimer. It says this:
“The sole purpose of this site is to provide the public with as much objective information about psychotherapy process as possible…”
but it doesn’t say:
“but no information that suggests therapy might be unnecessary.”
In medical science, it’s totally OK to suggest that certain procedures don’t work or aren’t worth the risk or are inferior to other options. I.e. that those procedures shouldn’t be done anymore. For example, hardly any tonsillectomies are performed these days. Wisdom teeth are mostly left alone these days. Those are two of *many* abandoned medical procedures.
Why is psychotherapy off-limits for this sort of scrutiny?