Therapy 36543546

How has that therapy worked out for you?

Therapy doesn’t always work. Sometimes, it makes things worse. And a study indicates that the only person guaranteed to feel better about life after someone sits down on a psychologist’s couch is the psychologist. In a special report being published next month to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the journal American Psychologist has suggested that in their eagerness to help survivors to cope with the terrorist attacks, some mental health professionals may have exacerbated the trauma. Experts greatly over-estimated the number of survivors who might want treatment, and used discredited methods to help those who came to see them…

Mental health professionals flooded into New York after 9/11, according to the report, which describes their response as “trauma tourism”. Freudian analysts set up shop at fire stations, while major employers, who had never had to cope with a comparable disaster, asked professionals to install therapy centres in their offices. There was but one problem: for many New Yorkers, reliving the events by talking about them simply exacerbated the trauma. And while no one will deny that some of the survivors who received treatment ultimately benefited, opinion is divided as to whether it represented a net benefit for the overall majority of patients.

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