Encapsulating psychotherapy in a few pages can be a very difficult task. As Bruce Wampold, author of The Great Psychotherapy Debate: Models, Methods and Findings, pointed out, there are more than 250 distinct approaches under the umbrella of psychotherapy, each one remarkably different from the other (Wampold 1). Unfortunately, it is precisely this sheer volume of methods associated with psychotherapy that has led many critics to question its scientific basis and declare it a sham medical treatment. Derided as no more than talk therapy, psychotherapy is bogged down by the difficulty of ascertaining a common ground for the treatment, due to the voluminous number of methods linked to it. As the book Therapy's Delusions rightfully notes, no one agrees on what psychotherapy is. (Watters and Ofshe 129)
[...] So what are these benefits that clients of psychotherapy can expect from treatment? Benefits of Psychotherapy First of all, psychotherapy leads to remoralization. When a client first visits a psychotherapist, the main feeling is usually of helplessness. A client is suffering from any particular mental or emotional discomfort (be it a major mental disorder or a problem or a complaint), hence the need to seek out an expert. These patients can be described as “demoralized”; their daily routine of work and lifestyle is disrupted by their negative emotions or less than perfect mental health. [...]
[...] Criticism against Psychotherapy The problem, however, is that the wide range of potential clients that psychotherapy can accommodate leads to non-specificity. Psychotherapy is not exactly similar to other medical treatments, wherein there is a specific diagnosis, treatment charts and prescriptions. Because of this non-specificity, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have begun turning down members' requests for long-term therapy treatments. Unless the client is suffering from a major mental disorder with a corresponding medical prescription, then these organizations will not consider it a valid treatment worthy of coverage. [...]
[...] An overwhelming number of controlled studies reveal a positive therapeutic effect when compared with no treatment.” (Jacobson and Christensen 1032) As such, studies have repeatedly and categorically identified the efficiency and validity of psychotherapy as a treatment for mental and emotional health issue that is far from the “rhetorical counseling” that critics purport it to be. Having established the validity of psychotherapy, what then are the benefits of submitting to long-term therapeutic treatment? The effects of psychotherapy are described as only statistically significant but also clinically meaningful” (Jacobson and Christensen 1032). This means that the benefits of psychotherapy are not merely significant on paper and in research studies, but also has long-term positive effects on clients. [...]
[...] It not only speeds up the natural healing process but also often provides additional coping strategies and methods for dealing with future problems.” (Jacobson and Christensen 1032) The third benefit of psychotherapy is its ability to rehabilitate certain problem areas of the clients' life. As the issues and symptoms of the client are uncovered, the therapist will be able to identify particular problematic patterns that lead to distressing and disruptive outcomes in the clients' life. These patterns may include problematic relationship patterns, attitude problems and disruptive work habits that serve as the springboard for the client's inability to function fully and healthily in particular areas of life. [...]
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