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Thursday, February 11, 2016

An American Psychiatric Horror Story

By Todd Essig
Originally posted January 24, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

In order to say denying care is a good thing Bennett has to denigrate the value of the care provided. He wants readers to believe weekly psychotherapy, or whatever frequency and duration a patient and therapist determine is in the patient’s best interests, has “limited potential to heal and protect.” He concludes this because, as he writes, “Objectively, there’s little evidence that the treatment relationship is as healing, powerful or anchoring as we and our patients wish it would be…”

That is such an absurd pretzel I have to resist the urge to turn on my caps lock. Of course treatment is NEVER as amazing as people wish it would be. That’s what makes them wishes and not plans. His is a meaningless statement because not gratifying wishes for transcendent change is not an outcome measure. It is an inevitability. But that’s the reason he says therapy has limited potential.

And I should point out, every (EVERY!) medical intervention has limits. Remember the old joke about the patient who gets an unequivocal yes after asking his surgeon if he’ll be able to play the piano after the life-saving operation only to say “that’s great, I can’t play now!” Well, according to Bennett that would be reason enough for an insurance company to deny coverage for the life-saving operation.

The article is here.