Re: thoughts on psychotherapy

From: Dana Hedberg (
Date: Mon Jul 10 2000 - 15:38:29 MDT

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> Exactly. There is much good stuff in psychology, but the public
> conception is right in that there are indeed some rather silly or
> unscientific parts too. I have found many parts of psychotherapy to
> have an epistemology that leaves much to be desired.
Yes, as have I. Why do you think that is the case, Anders? I've seen
some of the other postings on this thread and correctness aside, it is
interesting that psychotherapy seems to be a "victim" of its own
success. A lot of it is unfounded (Note: That doesn't mean it won't
work.), but the practice of psychological therapy in general seems to
attract quite a number of paying customers, even though most people I've
met chuckle and dismiss it all as the rantings of a coked-up, sexually
deviant mad man.

> Perhaps as a defense reaction (the classic Freudian answer/evasion)?
I might lump it into some type of cognitive dissonance. =) "I think all
therapy is bunk and untenable. So, why do I go? There must be something
there that works!" Hmmm...

> I'm myself interested in cognitive therapy, although due to my normal
> research I heavily lean towards the biological "everything is some
> neurotransmittor's fault"-perspective :-)
Heh. Sure is. Well, mostly. It seems intuitively possible that it may
not be the fault of individual neurons per se, but further upstream in
the transport of fuel (oxygen and sugars) from the blood into the brain.
I think the brain is complex enough that while gross loss of fuel
results in gross behavior (e.g., fainting, etc.), mild fluctuations can
significantly influence behaviors much more subtly. Of course, the same
argument can apply to even further upstream and out into the

"If the photons from that romantic comedy hadn't entered my retina, I
wouldn't be crying right now!" And again, of course, I didn't think you
were implying that the environment has no effect on our cognition.

> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
> GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y


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