Psychotherapy Scams?

Emberfire
Emberfire

Hey guys, I was wondering: do any of you happen to know if there's such a thing as companies that are specifically designed and created to scam people out of their money with psychotherapy? I mean, is it particularly common?

I know that there's people who will immediately say that all of psychotherapy is one big scam, and that the effectiveness of psychotherapy relies largely on patients' faith that it will work. So psychotherapy can be just as effective as anything else that people have faith on, whether it be: prayer, homeopathy, witchcraft, placebos, meditation, etc.

But are there companies in which the psychotherapists are all fully aware that the "psychotherapy treatment" they offer is complete and utter bullshit?

I ask because I've recently begun what is apparently referred to as "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy" and so far paid $600 for 6 sessions (it was recommended that I go to this so-called "psychotherapy" for a total a six months, so that would be about 24 sessions in total... amounting to about $2,400)... but the whole thing just feels like bullshit to me. And I think that my therapist may also be fully aware that it's all bullshit and that I'm being scammed out of my money real good. Or maybe it's because of compassion fatigue. Maybe they just stopped giving a fuck long ago.

What do you guys think?

Other urls found in this thread:

dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2828509/CBT-scam-waste-money-Popular-talking-therapy-not-long-term-solution-says-leading-psychologist.html

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

CBT
Ohh lord this shit
Try to find a good Freudian or Lacanian psychotherapist

RumChicken
RumChicken

1. CBT and Psychotherapy are two different disciplines with very different approaches.
2. CBT is generally accepted by the establishment to be effective, at the very least there is less skepticism about CBT than Psychoanalysis or Psychodynamics etc.
3. A lot of counseling by people without even a fucking degree is exactly the kind of scam you're talking about; people like to indulge their narcissism, it's basically the church confessional for the modern age -- suddenly it's all about you. An truth be told, there is a lot to be said about how talking through problems is actually benefitial to a patient because it forces them to see cause-and-effect and become self-aware of how their attitudes may be interpreted by others... however then you get into the whole thing of individual locus.

So short answer: it's possible, just invent your own David Wolffe tier new-age therapy bullshit, and wear the fact that it's not part of the medical establishment as a badge of pride rather than a red-flag. Ya know... if you actually don't want to help people

Supergrass
Supergrass

The issue with CBT:
These people try to view psychology as something that has characteristics of an empirical science. It is also normative in that it is supposed to regulate and control behaviors that are not considered 'normal'

If you actually want to get something out of therapy that isn't some person trying to mold your mind, you should try to find a therapist that assists you in introspection. Lacanian and Freudian psychology are not popular because of the CBT DSMV 5 and pharmaceutical industry, but they were the norm for most of the history of psychotherapy. Also, 'muh sexism' makes them unpopular

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

3. A lot of counseling by people without even a fucking degree is exactly the kind of scam you're talking about

This is what I considered at first. So I decided to look these people up to find out whether or not they were legitimate, and it does seem that they are, in fact, legitimate. For example: I looked up my current therapist's “PSB” license number on the California Department of Consumer Affairs web site, and she shows up as a “Registered Psychological Assistant”. I also found her LinkedIn profile, but I'm not exactly sure how to verify some of the stuff that's on there... like I'm not exactly sure how to find out whether or not she really got a “PsyD.” at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology—do I just call the school and ask?

Anyway, her boss (a psychologist with a PhD.) evaluated me for personality disorders back in July of last year, and he told me that he didn't think me to have a personality disorder, however; he did diagnose me as having three disorders—Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder—pic related: it's page 2 of my psychological evaluation report. He then recommended that I begin my psychotherapy treatment with one of the therapists (my current therapist) that works with him. I've also looked this guy up on the California Department of Consumer Affairs web site, on LinkedIn, and I ran something of a background check on these people using BeenVerified and a few other web sites. These people seem legitimate, but then when I look up their corporation on certain web sites such as Yelp... they do show up, but they have absolutely zero reviews. So I have no idea what their other patients think.

And the way this psychologist and my current therapist behave around me is also very strange. It's like they're just stringing me along until I figure out that it's all bullshit and I decide to bail on them, only to be replaced by another clueless patient.

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

What is the deal with Lacan? Like redpill me because I only know of him from quotes in the kind of overly formalist dissertations on film theory that attach symbolic significance to everything except for the actual gesture and emotive performance of the actors

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

not American, but as I understand it you cannot call yourself a Psychologist or Psychiatrist without either being a member of the American Psychological Association or whatever it's called, or having some kind of government approved formal training.

It's like they're just stringing me along until I figure out that it's all bullshit and I decide to bail on them, only to be replaced by another clueless patient.
As someone who spent their entire childhood going through psychologist offices, even once a Psychologist/Hypnotherapist I can tell you the only way to get results is to determine what you want to get out of the sessions.

There's a couple of things mentioned in that pic you posted, which one do you think would benefit you most? The interpersonal skills? The drive to get steady employment? Is it focus you lack, is that why you think they prescribe you adderall?

What Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett and a bunch of other Veeky Forums leaders do is they pick one thing and focus on it. You don't have to tell me what you want to do, but you do need to make a decision and go back to your therapist and say "I want to fix THIS" if you don't feel like you make progress after 3 sessions, find another therapist.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

Psychotherapy and CBT are different.

The benefits of psychotherapy aren't inherent to the practice. Instead, they provide a framework for you to make sense of the neuroses in your life. I went with Jocasta to the movies and returned home to worry about getting castrated. I'm anxious because my id is out of control from a childhood experience etc. The point isn't that this thinking is correct, it's just that it makes sense to you enough that your problems become understandable.

CBT has more of a mechanical approach in getting you to avoid thinking about bad thoughts and start thinking about more productive thoughts while also reinforcing certain patterns of behavior over maladaptive patterns. It will likely come off as overly simplistic and unsophisticated if you actually want to make sense of your life on your own terms.

Each operates on their own premises and are validated by statistics, but there's never been a cure for this or that mental illness because there is no cure for the human condition. Just because you cut up thoughts, feelings, and behavior into normal and abnormal doesn't mean you can 'fix' people. Their metanarrative begins with the assumption that disease exists, and then works towards changing that. It 'works' but I highly doubt any permanent change from any therapy without philosophy.

Give it a shot if it's in your budget but therapy never works when you don't put yourself into it. Faith isn't placebo either. It's a sign that your worldviews are changing towards whatever horizon it is you're aiming for. World makes sense when you know where you're going.

As for whether that's a scam, I wouldn't say so. It's just not the most effective thing you can do. Therapy has its basis in psychology (at least, it should) and psychology has its basis on philosophy (essentialism, positivism, constructivism). I find that going straight to the source has been better in providing directives. Therapy is a watered down, easy answer.

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

Yes. It's called psychoanalysis. They scam people pretending to be some sort of brain priests or augurs.

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

You should probably discuss those thoughts with them, it could be a part of your anxiety.
What they know, for sure, is a lot of stuff about the brain. Whether they are using that knowledge to respond to you in a way you'll think it useful isn't what is going to happen.
In fact, in my experience with them the main thing they've said is they are supposed to make you 'uncomfortable' with your familiar thoughts. Because you were the one who came in for help, there's something bothering you so they want you to try thinking differently, and that shifts your frame of reference, which shifts your subconscious, which shifts your base feeling and then you don't need them anymore because you don't believe there is a problem.
People who need therapy are the one's who seek it out. Therapists understand and manipulate that dependency, it's all in an attempt to make you more comfortable with yourself.
That's why they are taught to reflect the patient's feelings back at them, because often the patient won't process their thoughts the same way if they say it out loud.

If you really want to save some money and actually progress your mental health, start a journal. Write down all your impressions, thoughts, feelings, and forecasting. Just seeing and physically writing down your thoughts is enormously effective on your subconscious because you relate heavily with written word.
Specifically, the brain responds to images and words. That's why journaling is so effective as a means of therapy. If you can't do that yet, then a therapist is money well spent.

MPmaster
MPmaster

Yes, it's called Scientology. Other cults do the same thing.

Important questions to consider if it is a cult/scam:

Did you ever go to a weekend long intensive course? Do they exalt the leader of the company? Were you recruited by one of your friends? Are they getting you to recruit people? What do the courses look like, any closed-eye visualizations? Staring at something for a long time? "Meditation"? Any heavy breathing or chanting? Hypnosis?

Let us know.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

You should probably discuss those thoughts with them, it could be a part of your anxiety.

It's all a really long, weird, and complicated story that could take me 20+ posts to explain, but I'll try my best to summarize as much as I can in this post.

I paid my psychologist $700 to test me for disorders, and afterward he wrote me my PsychEval report and sent it over to me in .pdf format via e-mail.

Meanwhile, my psychiatrist wanted to stop prescribing Adderall to me because he believed that I was "delusional". So I printed out my PsychEval report (which states that I'm neither delusional nor hallucinating, and that it's perfectly safe for me to continue taking Adderall) and handed it over to my psychiatrist. At first, my psychiatrist seemed to take my PsychEval report seriously and agreed to continue prescribing Adderall to me. But two months later, he suddenly decided to change his mind and tell me that I was "delusional" and that he would stop prescribing Adderall to me. I told my psychologist all of this through various e-mails and begged him to speak to my psychiatrist to back up what was written on the PsychEval... but my psychologist ended up writing to me: "It is very simple: What you ask of me to do is not a service I provide."

I still had many questions that I wanted to ask my psychologist (such as why he wasn't willing to speak with my psychiatrist, when he could have just handed me a "Individual Patient Authorization" form which I know his corporation uses for communication between providers from different practices) but he'd simply tell me: "I am repeating my offer to provide you with psychotherapy. All questions (such as the recent one) can be addressed within that appropriate time and space."

So I ended up seeing the therapist that he recommended I begin seeing only to realize that she can't really answer any of the questions that I had for my psychologist because she has no idea what my psychologist and I talked about.

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

There's a couple of things mentioned in that pic you posted, which one do you think would benefit you most? The interpersonal skills? The drive to get steady employment? Is it focus you lack, is that why you think they prescribe you adderall?

I'm not exactly sure what I want to get out of the sessions at this point. My psychologist recommended that I begin meeting with one of his therapists nearly eight months ago, but I felt undecided until last month. I finally gave in and I decided to begin seeing this therapist, hoping to get some answers from my psychologist who told me the following throughout various e-mails over these past few months:

I would be happy to provide you with psychotherapy

In order for this to work, you will have to accept some limited guidance from me

I am repeating my offer to provide you with psychotherapy. All questions (such as the recent one) can be addressed within that appropriate time and space

Once I decided to begin therapy with this therapist he recommended, he ended up e-mailing me the following:

I believe that it would be best to leave all these questions for the time being and dedicate to yourself instead. I suggest you concentrate on your therapy and give it some time to help you

I have neither spoken nor seen my psychologist since July of last year, yet he claimed that he would: provide me with psychotherapy, give me some "limited guidance", and answer my questions. I've already met with this therapist for a total of six sessions and paid $600, and I still don't have my answers. My therapist cannot answer any of my questions because they were intended for her boss, as only her boss can answer them because only he knows what he and I talked about months ago. And there seems to be limited communication between my therapist and my psychologist in regards to me. He has stopped responding to my e-mails.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

My psychologist had initially explained to me that this therapy was apparently intended to help me deal with my social anxiety so that I could improve my interactions with people and become a more productive member of society.

However, on my first session with this therapist she admitted to me about how subjective all of this is and explained to me that my current diagnosis—Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder—could completely change at any point during therapy.

She could also easily decide at any point that I actually do have a personality disorder (such as, like, say something like: Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which was one of the personality disorders at the top of my list that I was concerned about having and wanted to get tested for) even though I've been told by several different people of the mental health care system that for testing for personality disorders there is only the "Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory" (MMPI) which I've already taken and been told by the psychologist who tested me that I don't have a personality disorder and that it was his "expert opinion" and that it would never change.

And yet here my therapist was telling me that it could turn out that I actually do have a personality disorder. I mean, how exactly is that supposed to work? Can she just randomly decide that my self-esteem is "too high" or that something I said was intended as an insult towards her, and she ends up diagnosing me with Narcissistic Personality Disorder? And then what? They might decide that they need to adapt my therapy so as to treat this personality disorder, and that I need six more months of therapy? I even tried asking her about all of this but she didn't respond.

Illusionz
Illusionz

I was in a psych unit for about a week where they give free CBT. I acted like a normal person and they let me go. Only to attempt suicide again soon afterward. CBT only works when you act like yourself.

eGremlin
eGremlin

You don't have to tell me what you want to do, but you do need to make a decision and go back to your therapist and say "I want to fix THIS" if you don't feel like you make progress after 3 sessions, find another therapist.

As for my current therapist... I'm not exactly sure what to think of her. Her personality seems wildly inconsistent.

On my first session with her she seemed quirky, quick-witted, and even came off as mildly immature. She interrupted me several times by saying what she assumed I was about to say. After she interrupted me for about the fifth or sixth time, she started laughing.

During the second session she seemed like an almost completely different person. Her appearance was radically different, like she was trying to pull of a "mature" or even "wise" look. She also came off as slightly bitchy. She seemed mostly bored or even annoyed as she kept sighing a lot throughout the session. At some point I started talking about something that I felt was relevant in regards to my family, like how they seem largely anti-science because whenever I start talking to them about science-related topics (whether they be about: genetics, neurology, mental illness, astronomy, etc.) they tend to get unusually defensive and start talking about God like how I was somehow offending him.

At that point my therapist then cut me off and said something like: "Right. Science. You're really big on science. You're Mr. Science Man."

That was just so weird and random, I just respond with: "Uhhh... yeah." And I didn't bother finishing the point that I was trying to make. I remember thinking to myself: "The hell was that about? That was kind of bitchy. Did she do that on purpose? Is she testing me somehow? Or maybe she's just religious and she felt offended. This might get awkward. I'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to help me overcome social anxiety."

In the third session I could swear that she must've been high as fuck on Adderall.

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

do any of you happen to know if there's such a thing as companies that are specifically designed and created to scam people out of their money with psychotherapy?
like the church of scientology?

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

1. CBT and Psychotherapy are two different disciplines with very different approaches.

I'm not exactly sure how it works with my current therapist (the therapist with the professional doctoral degree in psychology.) Her boss (the psychologist with the PhD.) told me that I would begin "psychotherapy" with one of his subordinates (this therapist), but then this therapist told me that these sessions would be part of what is referred to as "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy" when I asked her about CBT.

Also, when I look at their page on the PsychologyToday web site, I see this:

Treatment Approach

Treatment Orientation

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
Emotionally Focused
Humanistic
Integrative
Motivational Interviewing
Psychodynamic

So I'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to work. I'm not sure if this therapist randomly switches back and forth between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to psychodynamic therapy to psychotherapy... I'd ask her but she tends to get easily annoyed and starts sighing so I end up feeling awkward, embarrassed, and even uncomfortable most of the time. The whole thing feels so chaotic, so aimless... I'm not exactly sure what I should be expecting here. I feel completely unfamiliar in these territories.

So far it just kind of feels like boring, directionless talk therapy where she spends a lot of the time asking me a lot of random questions, sometimes even repeating questions, and then getting annoyed at me whenever I point out that she's already asked me a particular question before. It's almost as if she's intentionally creating filler to waste my time and take as much of my money as possible.

Is this what therapy is supposed to be like?

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

Scratch what I said, it was naive of me. Clinical psychology in America is retarded. Ditch that shit and find a psychiatrist who will give you meds that help a bit while you try other things like microdosing LSD, ashwaganda, niacinamide, taurine, inositol, and kava. Be discreet when you tell them you're ending your session, they'll probably give themselves away somehow.

Supergrass
Supergrass

2. CBT is generally accepted by the establishment to be effective, at the very least there is less skepticism about CBT than Psychoanalysis or Psychodynamics etc.

Well, now. According to the psychologist Oliver James in this article, psychodynamic therapy is apparently more effective than CBT:

dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2828509/CBT-scam-waste-money-Popular-talking-therapy-not-long-term-solution-says-leading-psychologist.html

People with mental health problems are victims of a ‘scam’ therapy that is wasting vast sums of money, a leading psychologist has warned.

In the short-term, 40 per cent of those who complete a course of CBT, typically five to 20 sessions of up to an hour, are said to have recovered.

But ‘extensive evidence’ shows that two years on, depressed or anxious people who had CBT were no more likely to have recovered than those who had no treatment, said Mr James.

He said: ‘As a treatment, rafts of studies have shown it to be ineffective in delivering long-term therapeutic benefits to patients with anxiety and depression.

‘While studies show that in the short-term - six to 12 months - patients who have received CBT are more likely to report themselves as ‘recovered’ compared to those who have received no treatment, these results are not sustained in the long-term.

‘Unfortunately, shiny services tend not to last. CBT fails to address the root cause of many people’s problems, which often stem from traumatic experiences during their childhood.

He and other psychotherapists are calling on the Government and policymakers to refocus funding into alternative talking treatments, such as psychodynamic therapy, which focus on addressing the root cause of people’s cognitive problems.

But Mr James says research shows CBT is no more effective than placebo in treating anxiety or depression

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

Sounds ridiculously suspect, get out now.
Even if they are legit and you're just fucking nuts, it requires a good relationship for therapy to be effective and it sounds like you don't even have faith that who you are working with is competent.
Ditch them, tear up your paperwork, find someone well-reviewed. Chalk it up to hiring the wrong contractor.

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

I'm not exactly sure what I want to get out of the sessions at this point.
Well the great thing is there's no right or wrong answer, just pick one. Any progress is better than none.

I've already met with this therapist for a total of six sessions and paid $600, and I still don't have my answers.
Well sounds to me like it's a good thing you stopped seeing them.

I even tried asking her about all of this but she didn't respond.
Again, this is why you need to set the agenda. You're not there to pigeonholed, you're there to get better.
hard for me to comment on this, I wasn't there.

I'd ask her but she tends to get easily annoyed and starts sighing so I end up feeling awkward, embarrassed, and even uncomfortable most of the time.

they are different approaches towards the same goal, a bad analogy would be TA and Value Investing. A single practitioner may be trained in multiple disciplines, you don't need to worry about that, any experienced practitioner who's good at what they do would have their own time-tested spin on it that comes from years of dealing with people to the point it becomes intuitive.

The whole thing feels so chaotic, so aimless... I'm not exactly sure what I should be expecting here. I feel completely unfamiliar in these territories.
That's why I keep stressing you need to se the agenda. Pick something you want to attenuate the negative behavior of, or get better at, one thing and make that the focus of your sessions, specifically ask:
"How can I best manage my social anxiety?" (or whatever problem you chose)

Pot calling the Kettle Black when the Daily Mail outs a scam. They are a stalwart of Fake News and meaningless celebrity drivel
Notice it just says "studies" not citing particular ones.

Anyway man, hope it works out for you. Remember: chose your own agenda.