People come into therapy to better understand their predicament and for help in doing the sensible thing. This requires a therapist with sound training, ample experience, integrity, a good heart, and good sense.
I like to call what I do Sensible Psychotherapy. Using sensible therapy methods and the experience I have accumulated, we can tailor the treatment appropriately for each individual case, and bring good sense to bear on the problems. However, a sensible approach is not as common as it should be.
The treatment methods of psychology, counseling, and psychiatry have not always been particularly helpful to the clients. From the first treatment available, Freudian psychoanalysis, we have seen a lot of silliness and wasted money. In more recent years, we have seen other unfortunate results from therapists.
For example, in the past some therapists blamed the parents of seriously mentally ill patients, not recognizing that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were biologically based brain diseases. In the 80’s and 90’s, we have seen an epidemic of accusations of sexual abuse come from therapists eliciting false memories, some rather absurd. Throughout the past several decades we have seen a variety of other psychological theories and fads come and go. Even now, if you look in some of the therapy journals, you can find advertisements for many fancy sounding therapy “technologies” of dubious efficacy.
Fortunately, there have also been reliable, tried and true methods. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a straightforward, effective, even if unglamorous treatment for depression, obsession, or phobia. Family therapy is extremely helpful for many problems, such as behavioral disorders, most anxiety disorders, and adjustment disorders, and it is particularly helpful with marital problems or divorce. There is a new, straightforward approach available to learning problems and attention deficit which delivers significant benefits. Last but not least, individual therapy which simply confronts and talks through problems can really help as well.