The Evolution of Psychotherapy

I must confess that I’m not a natural at talk therapy. There’s a lot of quiet time in the room during sessions, while I desperately think of something to say , and the various therapists…well, I don’t know what they’re thinking. probably catching up on their shut-eye, or perhaps thinking about their stock portfolio, or maybe wondering if the sky is falling.

So my experiences with psychotherapy have been–how shall we say?–limited, although I keep trying again because the stats are so good on therapy’s healing power in bipolar disorder in conjunction with good psychopharmacology.

Bu “limited” doesn’t begin to describe how psychotherapy was practiced way back. In fact, it  it seems “torturous ” might be a better term.

From boring holes in heads to letting out the evil spirits to bloodletting –which lets the psychosis escape –to (this is a personal favorite) spinning couch treatment (spinning, the theory went , would reduce brain congestion & thus cure illness)–to the dreadful lobotomies, the history of psychotherapy is replete with treatments that , I can only guess, seemed like a good idea at the time.

So good in fact that Egaz Moniz, whom we have to thank for lobotomies, was awarded the Nobel Prize for such in 1949. These lobotomies were practiced by another doctor from his “lobotomibile”, from which he would insert an ice pick into the patient’s brain through the eye socket and wiggle it around.

It’s enough to give me fond feeling for Freud.

But I did find an upbeat note from this infographic, especially for me, an untalking-talk-therapy failure.

Apparently the  future of Psychotherapy lies  in smartphone apps. Now I’m all for that. No more 45 minutes of my morose silence while the psychologist subtly plans her getaway to Tahiti ,and I fork over at the end. Just my iPhone and I — not a spinning couch or a lobotomy in sight.

The Evolution of Psychotherapy
Image source: www.bestcounselingdegrees.net

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