Best Speech-Language Therapy Materials That Target Both Speech And Language The Therapy Delusion

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The Therapy Delusion

The illusion is that any particular psychotherapy is based on fact, not metaphor.

All psychotherapies can be reduced to these four equations:

E + R = B

B + R = I

I + R = T

T + P = C

Where:

E = Explanation

R = Ritual

I = input

B = Belief

T = Therapy

P = Practice

C = Change

In other words:

Explanation plus Ritual equals Belief

Belief plus Ritual equals Input

Input plus Ritual equals Therapy

Therapy plus Practice equals Change

Whichever of the 400 or more psychotherapies you choose you can be sure that there is a Ritual involved.

Three examples:

1. The Ritual of classical psychoanalysis consisted of:

Patient lying on a couch

Free association by the patient

Mostly silence from the therapist

2. The Ritual of Emotional Freedom Techniques [EFT] consists of:

I touch the finger on or from the client on the meridians in his body

Before and after measuring discomfort on an imagined scale 1 – 10.

Active involvement of the therapist.

3. The Hypnotherapy Ritual consists of:

An induction ritual [words, music and/or breathing techniques]

Positive suggestions for change and use of the client’s imagination

Active involvement of the therapist

All three therapies (and all others) are preceded by an Explanation.

This explanation can be offered directly to the client or patient or it can be implied. Books, movies, plays, TV and the Web often provide cultural expectations of what to expect in a therapist’s office.

These expectations coupled with the therapist and client relationship (arising from the 4 equations) are what bring about change. [This special relationship is also known as “Psychotherapeutic Eros”]

The Explanation is based on a Theory.

In the case of psychoanalysis, it was theorized that free association (allowing the patient to speak freely about what came into his head) eventually help to resolve the internal conflicts between his id, ego and superego.

In the case of EFT, the theory is that there is an imbalance in the energy running through the client’s body through a bundle of meridians.

In the case of hypnotherapy, the theory holds that the client is basically governed by his subconscious and that hypnotic techniques provide direct access to his subconscious mind.

No meridians, ids, egos, superegos or subconscious minds** can be seen under a microscope. In other words, it doesn’t really exist. But I believe they do—or at least behave as if they exist—encouraging the Belief.

And with Belief we have the beginning of successful psychotherapy. Because the fascinating fact is that Belief in any particular Ritual can bring a successful result.

In other words, the ritual itself is therapeutic because the client or patient, and often the therapist, believes it will be.

Let’s look at another therapy: Ruggerian. In contrast to classical psychoanalysis, the client becomes the therapist. Everything the client says is echoed back to her in similar words thus demonstrating the therapist’s understanding of the client.

“Unconditional positive regard” is a key element of the Rogerian Ritual.

The theory underlying the discussion of the Rogerian Ritual is that the internal forces in the client will be stimulated until the therapist continues to reflect the client’s words to her, while at the same time showing total acceptance of her as a person.

Another example of equation 4 is EMDR, which is basically a form of hypnosis.

It is CBT [Cognitive Behavioural Therapy] different? Clearly, when CBT works, the change in thoughts and behaviors is real, not metaphorical. But what allows one client to benefit from CBT and another not? It is the 4 equations presented here.

**Donald Robertson answers the question: Is there really such a thing as “the subconscious”?

“I don’t think so. The use of this term, in fact, really highlights one of the major problems in the field of hypnotherapy. This concept is not used in the original hypnotism of Braid, Bernheim, et al., and was only imported later by Pierre Janet – and “the unconscious” by Freud and his followers. It is a slightly metaphysical and pseudoscientific concept that is not normally used in mainstream psychology, having fallen out of fashion around half a century ago.

Hypnotherapists often incorporate elements of seriously outdated psychological or psychotherapeutic theories into their work. They do this simply because they tend to attend courses that take them away from modern research and towards slightly cultish or faddish “pop psychology” approaches such as NLP, or towards very old books written before the “cognitive revolution” in psychology penetrated in psychotherapy.

Obviously, there are things that we are not aware of at all times, and things that we cannot easily be aware of, such as certain internal processes of our body and nervous system. It seems clear, however, that people don’t just mean “brain” by “subconscious mind,” but something much more speculative.

Conveniently, the subconscious mind ends up being defined as a “realm” that can contain almost anything and that can be directly observed by neither therapist nor client. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it has become a magnet for pseudoscientific theories.

They say that wrong theories often collapse under their own internal contradictions. Freud thought the unconscious was the seat of the Oedipus complex, Adler thought it was the inferiority complex, Jung the archetypes, Klein the internalized chest, Rank thought it stored birth trauma, etc. for whatever they wanted to project into it – because no one could verify it.

There are, in fact, many different conceptual problems with the “subconscious mind.” (The subject of my master’s dissertation!) So perhaps the simplest point to make is that it has fallen out of use as a concept in most modern psychology, and has been replaced by reference to specific neurological processes non-conscious, etc.

To pick just one of the issues at stake, however, for anyone vaguely interested in the philosophy of science… Aristotle warned almost 2500 years ago against the tendency to take ‘potential’ entities and treat them as ‘ current” – a common mistake. in primitive science.

When Freud and many hypnotherapists talk about “the unconscious mind” or “the subconscious”, they are often only referring to the potential that a person has to experience certain emotions or memories, etc.

If I am “regressed”, for example, and remember an event in childhood, the hypnotist often says that it was stored in my subconscious mind. The appeal of this is that it is close to a figure of speech that we use in ordinary language. However, even in the common sense “popular psychology” people also recognize that by “stored” they often mean that traces or ingredients of an experience exist that are reconstituted at a later date.

The memory or emotions could be stored, in other words, in the same form (like a picture in the attic) or potentially, in another form (like music stored on a hard disk). It is generally recognized now that when people try to retrieve memories, they usually embellish them. The more vague or distant the memory, the more embellishment that occurs. It is because we are not only “discovering” a picture in the attic, but we reassemble it from a few ingredients every time we experience it, and fill the spaces with hypotheses.

If we think that memories or potential emotions are “hidden” in the subconscious waiting to be discovered, then we are usually led to many other similar false conclusions about the nature of human experience and psychotherapy.

For example, if we think of “repressed emotions” as lurking hidden from view in the unconscious mind, then it encourages the idea that “venting” should be therapeutic, a notion that makes little sense if we think that the potential emotions are not really. it exists except in the form of a predisposition to respond in certain circumstances. In fact, there is a general consensus among researchers that “venting” is of little long-term therapeutic value, and trying to “vent” anger often makes it stronger, rather than purging it from the mind.

Donald Robertson

College Principal and Executive Director

Senior Clinical Hypnotherapist (NCH)

Registered Psychotherapist (UKCP)

Member of the European Register of Psychotherapists (ERP)

Fellow of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (RSPH)

The UK College of Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy Ltd.

A great historical example of therapy delusion was published in The Skeptical Inquirer November/December 2012: The now almost dead therapy of Phrenology was exposed as “hugely influential despite being totally invalid”.

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