Psychotherapy as Religion: The Civil Divide in America

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In Psychotherapy as Religion, author William M. Epstein seeks to demonstrate that the entire field of psychotherapy is based upon unscientific concepts and has never been shown to effectively treat any mental disorder. Dr. Epstein, a professor of social work at the University of Nevada, reports that the basis of his premises are derived from reviewing randomized controlled trials that addressed effectiveness and were published within the past decade in either the American Journal of Psychiatry, Archives of General Psychiatry, or the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. The introduction presents the author’s conclusion that psychotherapy, while lacking in efficacy, is widely accepted in America because it is in concordance with the nation’s “heroic individualism” and belief in personal responsibility for social ills.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2007;9(2):156