Is individual therapy overrated and outdated? Yes, says Alan Kazdin, a professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale University, writing in the leading journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.
Kazdin contends that treatments for mental health issues have made great strides over the last few decades, but the problem is that these evidence-based therapies aren’t getting to the people who need them. Nearly 50% of the American population will suffer some kind of mental illness at least once in their lifetimes, but the mental health field, which relies largely on individual psychotherapy to deliver care, isn’t equipped to help the vast majority of patients.
Q: Why did you decide to speak out about this issue?
A: For me, it’s like an emperor’s new clothes situation.All these people — including me — do very expensive controlled trials of therapy and yet we see that most people aren’t getting treatment at all. Something is wildly, drastically wrong.
Totally! [It is hard to get] evidence-based treatments. Among the many reasons is that scientific innovation in any field normally takes a decade or two to filter down to the public. It’s somewhat sad, but normal. Most people practicing who are 50 years old or older weren’t trained in them and they don’t know how.
Interesting and totally related to my thinking: psychological individualism is not the way to go. We need gestalt thinking