Continuing Education Module
'Fringe Psychotherapies: The Public at Risk' by Barry L. Beyerstein
The entire Beyerstein article is great. It is excellent for persons who cannot easily get a copy of Lilienfeld, Lynn and Lohr's book Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology 2003.
Beyerstein's article is on a website that has additional resources. Name of the site is Americans Against Fraudulent Self Help
Here are some excerpts from Dr. Beyerstein's article to whet our appetites. Dont stop here. Read the WHOLE thing.
‘And with the growth of the “New Age” movement, the market has also been flooded by a growing cadre of therapists with little formal training but an immense investment in pop-psychology and “post modernist” psychobabble.
"In most jurisdicitions, these entrepreneurs cannot call themselves psychologists or psychiatrists because licensing statutes restrict these titles to professionals with specified credentials and training. They can however, offer their services (where local laws permit) by appropriating unreserved titles** such as counselor, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, sex therapist, pastoral counselor, Dianetics auditor (one of several pseudonyms for Scientology), New Age guide, relationship advisor, mental therapist, etc.
**(Pop quiz: How many other 'unreserved titles' have we observed in use by persons using powerful methods without proper training, oversight or accountablity? C)
(p3) At the highest levels of the profession, the erosion of the likage between science and clinical practice was further aggravated in recent years when many research psychologists left the American Psychological Association (APA) to form the rival American Psychological Society. The defectors felt that the APA was undervaluing the scientific side of its mandate as it devoted more effort to lobbying and other professional issues primarily of concern to clinicians. Many also felt that the APA had been too timid in disciplining those of its members who engage in scientifically dubious practices. On several occasions, I have witnessed this reluctance to chastise peddlers of outlandish wares myself. My disappointments spring from fruitless attempts to get various psychological associations to rein in their members who charge clients for scientifically discredited services such as subliminal audiotapes, graphology (handwriting analysis), dubious psychological tests, bogus therapy techniques, and various so called ‘rejuvenation’ techniques for recovering supposedly repressed memories.
"I continue to be appalled to see journals of various psychological associations with advertisements for courses carrying official continuing education credits for therapists that promote this kind of pseudoscience.’
"Even if minimally-trained therapists can do some good, there remains the danger that they will divert clients from treatments that would help them more.
"More worrisome is the possibility that their limited knowledge will lead them to apply risky procedures than exacerbate existing conditions or even create serious problems of their own.
"When such malpractice occurs, these uncertified therapists have no professional associations and disciplinary boards to whom dissatisified customers can turn. It is when therapeutic fads emerge from a research vacuum and treatments lack proper outcome evaluations that these safety concerns arise. "
And..the Beyerstein article was published in a special issue of this new and much needed publication:The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine
Their website is here:
The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine (SRAM) is the only peer-reviewed journal devoted exclusively to objectively analyzing the claims of "alternative medicine."
The purpose of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine is to apply the best tools of science and reason to determine whether hypotheses are valid and treatments are effective. It will reject no claims because it fits, or fails to fit, some paradigm. It will simply seek justified answers to two questions: "Is it true?" and "Does this treatment work?"
The publication of SRAM has been endorsed by the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health, a panel that includes prominent physicians, scientists, and Nobel prizewinners.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2008 10:46PM by corboy.