New Web Site Provides a Roadmap for the “Psychotherapy Labyrinth”
Finding one’s way through the plethora of available mental health treatments and therapies can be confusing and even dangerous to both consumers and therapists. Numerous theories, approaches, techniques, and schools of thought—some with empirical grounding and some without—create such a puzzling maze that even guides need a roadmap. It is a formidable task for practitioners, patients, and their families to decide what is beneficial and what is not.
A group of consumers and mental health professionals hope to remedy that. Psychjourney (www.psychjourney.com) is an association formed to educate the public and “consumer-centric” therapists about the confusing proliferation of knowledge and pseudo knowledge in mental health practice. Using Internet radio shows and articles written in plain, easy-to-understand English, Psychjourney provides consumers with a wealth of information on how and what to choose—and what to avoid—from the many possibilities.
Consumer-centric therapists put the interests of the consumer, patient, or potential patient above all other concerns. Such therapists are firmly committed to evidence-based practice with strong values grounded in intellectual honesty. This does not exclude the intuitive or the faith based therapist; it does, however, ensure that therapists incorporate built-in safety checks against runaway egotism and grandiose claims that outstrip research evidence. Consumer-centric therapists are clear and explicit, especially to themselves, about what part of their practice is grounded in solid research and what is not. They present their biases and values clearly as such, allowing the consumer to make informed decisions.
Survey data indicate that many practicing therapists fail to integrate science with their practice, either ignoring research or utilizing it selectively to support preconceived notions. Some even renounce efforts to conduct research on the efficacy of treatments.
To address these concerns, Psychjourney launched an Internet radio program, The Labyrinth: Negotiating the Mental Health Maze in November 2003,. The program, hosted by John Riolo, provides information to consumers and practitioners from guests with divergent points of view.
Each domain provides useful articles and educational material for consumers and practitioners and incorporates the latest research from the field in a palatable and digestible style.
John A. Riolo, PhD(licsw),
Garry Cooper, LCSW, and
Deborah J. Harper, President, Psychjourney