Disclaimer: This is a “stream of consciousness” post designed to encourage open discussion about therapies, be they evidence-based or anecdotal.
Always remember to research any therapy you are interested in experiencing or studying. Don’t just take my word for it (not that you will get my word per se but you may get a slant or a slice of my opinion, which is just that).
It seems there are very divided camps in the therapy world. Like the “spiritual” versus the “rational”, the “evidence-based” versus the “anecdotal”. I maintain to some degree “it doesn’t matter”. If someone is charging a LOT of money for something, it doesn’t make it right or wrong; it is YOUR choice what you do with YOUR money… but are you always fully aware of what can help and what certainly won’t help? To a degree you won’t really know until you’ve tried the therapy you’re interested in and additionally many therapists are trained in a great number of modalities so that they can get the best outcome for their clients. As most well-qualified therapists will explain, it is the therapeutic relationship that will ensure the best outcome. Occasionally I have heard people say that their last therapist was “crap” or “not that good” and my take will be perhaps you just didn’t get along; so that therapist may well have been perfect for someone else.
Sometimes you don’t have all the information you need to make the right choice and then it is your responsibility to do the research. Some vulnerable people can fall prey to charlatans and this has the potential to truly mislead and cause damage. If that particular therapist does not practice evidence based therapy, or is not a member of a professional body, doesn’t have professional indemnity insurance then perhaps it’s worth considering the ethics of that particular therapist or healer and AVOID.
Clearly the main body of evidence based therapies encompass the following:
Psychotherapy – encompasses the majority of “talking-based therapies” as below, but some argue it’s a “deeper” form of counselling and takes longer to study as a result which was my experience.
Counselling (See Mick Cooper’s The Facts are Friendly)
Hypnotherapy (read Adam Eason’s – evidence based hypnotherapist – blogs)
Emotional Freedom Technique
Many more evidence-based “talking” therapies come under this banner and include:
BWRT® (See here for evidence)
Cognitive analytical therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT)
Person Centred Therapy (PC)
Psychodynamic Therapy (PD)
Transactional Analysis (TA)
CBT is more often practised under the NHS as part of a treatment plan as is supported by research; however CBH (Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy) is reputed to fast track CBT through its hypnotherapeutic delivery)
Other, more esoteric therapies or healing modalities, which can include:
Emotion / Body Code (trapped emotions? We probably all have those!)
Matrix Energetics (ME)
Angel Healing (Angelic Reiki, Angel Card readings)
Can be viewed as pseudo quackery and have little or no evidence whatsoever to back them up, bar anecdotal. This doesn’t necessarily make them wrong; after all, there is some evidence for the placebo effect! If you believe something will work then chances are it will.
How much does it matter?
Clearly it matters if vulnerable people are drawn into these methodologies and are shortchanged or the condition is made worse. At best many may feel more relaxed and better able to cope with life’s tribulations, at worst who honestly knows?
Perhaps there are many areas of life where one can part with a lot of money and feel shortchanged, having put their faith into another person, not just therapy. We believe the promises we are told, we believe people around us who have life experience … how do you choose the right intervention for YOU?
I believe what matters is that people are heard, acknowledged, listened to and validated if necessary, but what also matters is taking personal responsibility for your life and making effective changes to smooth our existence in life. Sometimes this is a matter of in depth research combined with education, experience and being completely and fully conscious as to how we feel about things that we experience.