Given this blog’s theme, I feel obliged to report on a recent study on the effectiveness of therapy.
Benedict Carey summarizes the results in The New York Times:
Most adolescents who plan or attempt suicide have already received at least some mental health treatment, raising questions about the effectiveness of current approaches to helping troubled youths, according to the largest in-depth analysis to date of suicidal behaviors in American teenagers.
The study, in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, found that 55 percent of suicidal teenagers had received some therapy before they thought about suicide, planned it or tried to kill themselves, contradicting the widely held belief that suicide is due in part to a lack of access to treatment.
Allow me to emphasize the salient point. We have all been taught that we as a nation need to provide more therapy for more mental health problems. No one should be surprised that the therapy industry has wanted to obscure the issue.
When the issue is debated in political and media circles no one seems to ask whether the therapy we provide is effective. Everyone just assumes that it is.
Over the years, on this blog, I have tried to debunk the assumption about the effectiveness of therapy.
I am not heartened to see that the new study confirms my beliefs, but hopefully it will help therapists to improve their practice. It is sorely in need of improvement.