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  1. About Psychotherapy - Very Curious

    Hello all,

    I am currently on waiting lists to get myself back into treatment after I moved. What I would really like to know, ( And I guess this would be a good place to ask ) Is whether or not psychoanalysis, one of the oldest types of therapy is even practiced anymore. Since nowadays medicine and cognitive therapy seem to rule over everything else. I was wondering if psychoanalysis would even be considered beneficial to OCD and depression. The reason I ask this, is because I also have alot of anger, and tend to be reclusive. I also have alot of issues that I have not dealt with, mainly because I haven't had a confidant that I could turn to. I have read about psychoanalysis, and read books on case studies, though the therapists I've had in the past usualy kept it on the shallow end, asked me very general questions, and that was basis of the session.

  2. #2

    About Psychotherapy, Very Curious...

    Psychoanalysis is an expensive, time-consuming process that requires a substantial commitment of time from both the patient and the psychoanalyst. Additionally, there is little evidence to suggest that it is any more effective than other therapies and, for certain problems, quite a bit of evidence to suggest that it is of little benefit. Among those, I would tend to include the problems you mention (OCD, depression, anger).

    I will stop short of saying that it is a waste of time, but I would suggest that it is not a good option for most people.

    On the other hand, if your experience with other therapists has been limited to medication and cognitve behavior therapy, rest assured that that is only a small part of psychotherapy. If you arfe finding that a therapist is addressing only superficial issues, raise the question with your therapist -- if you are not satisfied with the response, find another therapist. Some therapists use only a single method (like CBT). The good ones will be more eclectic in their approaches.

  3. About Psychotherapy, Very Curious...

    Admin note: Most of the contents of this post are either over-simplifications or misleading, false, or innacurate. I thought of simply deleting it, but chose instead to let it stand because it does represent certain erroneous beliefs which are worth periodically addressing. See my comments below this post. -- D.J. Baxter

    Hi Silhouette,

    You are asking some very pertinent questions about therapists and therapies.

    As a nutritional psychologist I have some misgivings about the present options we have in treatment for mental illness in general.

    Conventional therapy is generally restricted to either medication and/or psychotherapy (talk therapy).

    Medication therapy is based on the assumption that mental illness is caused by some underlying biochemical disorder in the brain. Doctors attempt to redress this imbalance by drugs, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), that have the effects of artificially increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Yet it is also generally agreed among scientists that antidepressant medications usually mask the symptoms of, let us say, depression, but do nothing to address the underlying biochemical abnormality causing depression. Moreover, most drugs have serious side effects, which could indicate a further disturbance in the delicate biochemistry of the brain. Also drugs must be seen as ‘one-size-fits-all’ remedies that seem ignore the complexity of human biochemistry.

    As an alternative most psychologists believe and assume that depression is caused by negative thought patterns, irrational thinking, wrong attitudes and beliefs (RCBT), or caused by bad parents or parenting, or childhood experiences (psychoanalysis) that are hidden in the ‘subconscious” mind. It is assumed that by bringing these thought patterns into consciousness depressive thought will just disappear.
    However if depression is indeed due to a chemical imbalance, one could not expect talk therapy to address what is after all a physical disease. If we have an abnormal biochemistry, then we should expect to have ‘abnormal psychological’ experiences that should not be confused with the CAUSES of depression. They are symptoms!

    Thus it would appear to me that both these approaches are palliative, in the sense that they aim at treating symptoms but not the underlying causes of depression.

    The psychonutritional approach, that I represent, aims at treating BOTH the underlying biochemical disorder and the psychological aspects of depression without recourse to drugs. (There are some psychopathologies that need medications though as far as I am aware). Here the treatment of the biochemical disorder takes precedence over psychological treatment.

    This because depression - and many other forms of mental illness - is seen as a NUTRITIONAL DISORDER.

    I agree this in itself is a vast and complex topic, that needs specialized knowledge especially in the area of nutritional biochemistry. We need specialized therapists to pass on this knowledge to clients. It is unfortunate that Clinical Nutrition is not taught at universities and does not form part of any qualifications in counselling.

    It is to be hoped that in this century where we can fly to Mars and visit outer space, scientists of human behaviour become familiar with the connection between mental illness and nutrition as part of their normal education and qualifications to practice psychotherapy.

    Please read:

    “Depression a Nutritional Disorder” at our web site.

  4. #4

    About Psychotherapy, Very Curious...

    Jurplesman, please stop posting these oversimplified and erroneous claims. Frankly, you are beginning to sound like one of those spammers hawking the latest and greatest human growth hormone for increasing your IQ, curing cancer, and improving your sex life.

    Quote Originally Posted by jurplesman
    Medication therapy is based on the assumption that mental illness is caused by some underlying biochemical disorder in the brain.
    No it is not. It is based on the observations (1) that one of the symptoms or correlates of many conditions or disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, ADHD, etc., etc., is a disruption in the balance of neurochemistry which can be corrected with the use of these medications; and (2) that these medications work -- i.e., they herlp to relieve the symptoms of those conditions or disorders.

    Quote Originally Posted by jurplesman
    Doctors attempt to redress this imbalance by drugs, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), that have the effects of artificially increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Yet it is also generally agreed among scientists that antidepressant medications usually mask the symptoms of, let us say, depression, but do nothing to address the underlying biochemical abnormality causing depression.
    That is simply incorrect. All of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jurplesman
    Moreover, most drugs have serious side effects, which could indicate a further disturbance in the delicate biochemistry of the brain.
    Look at the list of possible side effects for many medications, including aspirin, and one might get that impression, but that would be based on a misreading of the actual data. See Making Sense of Medication Side-Effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by jurplesman
    Also drugs must be seen as ‘one-size-fits-all’ remedies that seem ignore the complexity of human biochemistry.
    Assuming you are in the hands of a even a semi-competent practitioner, this is false.

    Quote Originally Posted by jurplesman
    As an alternative most psychologists believe and assume that depression is caused by negative thought patterns, irrational thinking, wrong attitudes and beliefs (RCBT), or caused by bad parents or parenting, or childhood experiences (psychoanalysis) that are hidden in the ‘subconscious” mind. It is assumed that by bringing these thought patterns into consciousness depressive thought will just disappear.
    Absolute rot. This is at best an oversimplification and at worst a blatant misstatement of the facts. Most competent psychologists do not attempt to argue for a single cause nor a single cure for depression, and I don't know of a single psychologist or a single approach to treatment of depression which makes such assumptions. This is total hogwash.

    Quote Originally Posted by jurplesman
    However if depression is indeed due to a chemical imbalance, one could not expect talk therapy to address what is after all a physical disease. If we have an abnormal biochemistry, then we should expect to have ‘abnormal psychological’ experiences that should not be confused with the CAUSES of depression. They are symptoms! Thus it would appear to me that both these approaches are palliative, in the sense that they aim at treating symptoms but not the underlying causes of depression.
    You seem to have no idea at all what psychotherapy is all about. You also seem to have an entirely confused perception about the causes and treatments of depression.

    Quote Originally Posted by jurplesman
    The psychonutritional approach, that I represent, aims at treating BOTH the underlying biochemical disorder and the psychological aspects of depression without recourse to drugs. (There are some psychopathologies that need medications though as far as I am aware). Here the treatment of the biochemical disorder takes precedence over psychological treatment.

    This because depression - and many other forms of mental illness - is seen as a NUTRITIONAL DISORDER.
    Weren't you just accusing medicine and psychotherapy of taking a one-size approach to treatment of depression?

    This is a gross oversimplification and a dangerous conlusion to be propagating. As I have noted elsewhere, there may be cases where nutritional issues play a role in conditions like depression. To suggest that this is the model for ALL cases of depression is misleading and dangerous, not to mention unethical.

    You are beginning to sound exactly like a snake-oil salesman hawking his products from the back of a wagon.

    I would remind all members to review the Rules of this forum (click on the link at the top right of any page) and in particular:

    the following are expressly prohibited on this Forum:

    * POSTS THAT ARE ANTI-PSYCHIATRY OR ANTI-MEDICINE IN NATURE (there are other forums where you can engage in such debates -- this is not one of them).
    * POSTS THAT ADVISE ANY MEMBER OR PEOPLE IN GENERAL NOT TO TAKE MEDICATION PRESCRIBED BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR NOT TO FOLLOW OTHER ADVICE GIVEN BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL (remember that only the individual's physician or primary therapist is likely to know the full medical or personal or family history of that individual).
    ...and...

    Please note in particular that posts that imply support for suicide or hate-mongering, or that discuss methods for suicide or self-injury, or that in any way attempt to advise others to ignore the advice of their physicians or other mental health professionals will be deleted.

  5. About Psychotherapy, Very Curious...

    Heh. What's really rather amusing is that this is, by no means, a new approach. It was around in the 60's, at least in California. There was a Dr. Prastka (I think that was the name) that used the nutritional approach to treat depression and a number of other illnesses, including alcoholism. He, however, combined medication and therapy in his program. He even had his own hospital. ;o)

  6. #6

    About Psychotherapy, Very Curious...

    Thank goodness for rules!

  7. #7

    About Psychotherapy, Very Curious...

    I think it's a great idea to leave this post as an example, Dr. Baxter. It allows me to review it and look at how one can respond rationally to this type of selling approach that can be harmful.

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