We all have seen the classic cartoons, movies, and television shows where a man or woman lay on a couch in front of a therapist to solve some of their problems. But with all the fictional ideas that Hollywood creates, we need to ask ourselves some questions. Do people actually do this, and if they do, who does this? Who practices this so called therapy (or psychotherapy as the book calls it)? How is this practiced? What are some consequences? And most importantly, is psychotherapy actually effective? Chapter 16: Psychological and Biological Treatments explores all of these questions, and the results are quiet fascinating.
It turns out that for once, and most likely only once, Hollywood has projected an appropriate image of psychotherapy for Americans. According to a 2006 Newsweek poll, close to twenty percent of Americans have received some sort of psychological treatment during some point in their lives (Lilienfeld 632). In fact, the "it all began when I was a child..." phrase may happen more often than we know it. Chapter sixteen shows that there are three approaches and beliefs that psychodynamic therapists share and use to form a base to their approach.
These three are:
1. Causes of abnormal behavior can come from traumatic childhood events.
2. They strive to analyze.
3. If a client achieves insight into a past unconscious matter, the causes become clear and often cause the symptoms to disappear.
This blog only covers a fraction of what chapter sixteen is about, but you'll be surprised at how much of this you can connect to from what Hollywood has already created.