Controversy on Types of Therapy Ignites Mental Health Field

The Los Angeles Times has recently picked up on a report released in November that examines differences in types of therapy practiced by professionals throughout the industry, noting that clashes between supporters of cognitive behavioral therapy and those who insist that more varied treatments are needed have become highly contentious. The report also suggests that many of those who practice mental health treatment services may be basing their techniques on personal experience or intuition rather than scientific evidence, a claim that several professionals have supported, and which others have angrily refuted.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Victoria L

    Victoria L

    January 13th, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Again just another scary story where doctors are not necessarily doing what is right for the patient but instead basing treatment on what feels right for them. Unbelievable

  • Mike


    January 13th, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    No, Victoria, they are doing what is right for their clients. Because they know their clients and they want the best therapy for them. And because a lot of meta-analyses showed that all bonafide therapies are equal, they adjust the therapy to the client. And not, like some blind CBT-therapists want to do: adjusting the client to the CBT- therapy (with, of course, poor results, like in depression).
    Just like in medicine: doctors are still thinking (!) about the patient and are not applying only one form of treatment for all their patients, if they know there are a lot of alternatives that are sometimes better. They think about the conditions of the patient and sometimes give treatment X and sometimes treatment Y. Because every doctor knows very well the limitations of the so called ‘evidence based medicine’.
    So they are doing quite right, the opposite: CBT for all is a real danger for their clients!

  • finch


    January 14th, 2010 at 4:48 AM

    I don’t think health care professionals would be complacent about the type of treatment adopted and would go for the best method suited for the particular case. This may seems wrong theoretically, but would actually be suited to the particular case…

  • Victoria


    January 14th, 2010 at 5:32 AM

    And my response to that is that in my experience over the years, not in this field but in others, it seems there are doctors who do not want to learn more and do better for their patients- they only want to do what feels comfortable to them. I think that it is great when there are new innovations in a field and a doctor and a patient can come together to reach the most appropriate treatment plan. Sadly though I think that there are fewer and fewer doctors who are taking this kind of approach. The term alternative scares them and they stick with what feels safe. And that is what is unbelieveable to me- the fact that they would rather stick with the safety of what they know rather than try anything to help someone.

  • arnold kennedy

    arnold kennedy

    January 14th, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Well the choice of treatment type and method is up to the medical professional and if done under the consent of a patient, I dont see why anybody should have an issue with it. After all, all the methods that are practices are approved.

  • Caroline


    January 14th, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    All I ask is that my doctors keep an open mind when prescribing treatment and I have to hope that what they are recommending is done specifically with me in mind. If I do not feel like that is what is happening then I am certainly going to find someone else that I can go to and trust. This is your life you are messing with, and that is not something to be taken lightly!

  • betty cooper

    betty cooper

    January 15th, 2010 at 2:44 AM

    I dont see what the controversy is all about…they are the professionals and we have to have faith in their treatment methods, if we dont, then it does not make sense to go to a doctor at all!

  • Julie p

    Julie p

    January 16th, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Completely agree with Betty- leave it to the prose. Hopefully they know what they are doing, and if we don’t believe that they do then the ebst thing that we can do is stay home and keep our money for something else.

Leave a Comment

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of's Terms and Conditions of Use.

* Indicates required field.

GoodTherapy uses cookies to personalize content and ads to provide better services for our users and to analyze our traffic. By continuing to use this site you consent to our cookies.