Eleven Blunders that Cripple Psychotherapy in America
A Remedial Unblundering
Routledge – 2008 – 402 pages
After a period of economic success and high regard in society, clinical psychology has fallen onto hard times, assert authors Nicholas Cummings and William O’Donohue. In the 1960s, clinical psychologists with doctorates were well paid in relation to comparable professions; today, starting salaries are lower than many jobs that require only a bachelor’s degree. Clinical psychology in the 1960s was preferred and valued over other fields as a profession; today it is not even on the list of top 20 fields for graduates to enter. Psychologists’ opinions on social issues are disregarded by the public. What was and continues to be the reason for the decline and continuing descent of clinical psychology? The authors posit that the profession blundered and has not adapted to the profound changes that have taken place in American society over the past 40 years. Psychotherapy practice is based on a 50-minute hour, yet mental health treatment must operate at a much briefer, more efficient pace. Clinicians ignore the findings of scientific research for effective treatments and favor the overblown pronouncements of gurus who preach without substance. Clinicians failed to adapt their practice to the needs of the healthcare industry and do not recognize that psychotherapy is health profession. An anti-business bias has contributed to training programs that ignore the economic realities of running a practice. The failure to secure prescription privileges, the invention of diagnoses, and political correctness are among the other blunders that pull the profession away from its primary mission -- mental health treatment -- and contribute to the low esteem in which psychologists are held. The authors enumerate and discuss the Eleven Blunders That Cripple Psychotherapy in America and offer remedies to correct the ongoing decline of the field.
"…psychologists who participate in the health care system may want to turn to this provocative volume to stimulate our thinking as we chart our role in our own future.Eleven Blunders That Cripple Psychotherapy in America: A Remedial Unblundering is likely to be of greatest interest to psychologists who participate in…organizations that will influence the direction, form, and implementation of mental health's place within health care reform…Cummings's vsion has historically been bold, and this volume is no exception."
- Jean Carter, Ph.D., PsychCRITIQUES
Preface: The 50-minute Hour in a Nanosecond Era. Foreword: Our Founders Were Economically Savvy. Blunder 1: We Successors are Economic Illiterates. Blunder 2: We Turned Our Charismatic Leaders into Gurus. Blunder 3: Don’t Worry, Managed Care is a Passing Fad. Blunder 4: We are Not a Healthcare Profession. Blunder 5: At War with Ourselves: Failure of the Profession to Own its Training. Blunder 6: Our Anti-business Bias, an Inadvertent Vow of Poverty. Blunder 7: Our Public Relations: A Disaster or Just a Fiasco? Blunder 8: Political Correctness: We No Longer Speak as a Science and Profession. Blunder 9: Creating Patients Where There are None. Blunder 10: Diversity Fiddles While Practice Burns. Blunder 11: RxP: Is this Our Sole Economic Thrust? Afterword: Hope for a Profession of Endearing Losers.
Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D., is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Clinical Psychology, and President, Foundation for Behavioral Health at the University of Nevada at Reno. Dr. Cummings is a Past-President of the American Psychological Association.
William T. O’Donohue, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in Nevada. He is a full professor of clinical psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a member of the Association for the Advancement for Behavior Therapy. He has edited over thirty books, co-authored three books, and published more than one hundred articles in scholarly journals.