May 22, 2013

Less therapy = less trauma

Andrew Sullivan's blog links to an interesting study that suggests many single counseling therapy sessions are not only ineffective but counterproductive:
In our trauma-focused society, it is often forgotten that the majority of people who experience the ravages of natural disaster, become the victims of violence or lose loved ones in tragedy will need no assistance from mental health professionals. 
Most people will be shaken up, distressed and bereaved, but these are natural reactions, not in themselves disorders. Only a minority of people – rarely more than 30% in well-conducted studies and often considerably less – will develop psychological difficulties as a result of their experiences, and the single most common outcome is recovery without the need of professional help. 
… [W]hat the individual therapist can’t see is that [recovery] would happen more effectively, leaving less people traumatised, if they did nothing. 
More here.

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