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Monday, January 24, 2011


It brings up the interesting question of whether psychology is closer to the sciences or humanities. Science and technology are cumulative. Cardiology is objectively better than the cardiology of fifty years ago.

The arts and philosophy do not "improve," they merely grow in extent and complexity over time.

Obviously psychotherapy is not a monolithic entity, but one can ask whether psychotherapy as practiced today is objectively better than that practiced fifty years ago. (I don't know the answer).

All valid points. When we're talking about cognitive-behavioral therapy, I think we can identify more effective treatments that have emerged--the cognitive component itself, for example, but in the other major schools, the growth often looks more like growth in philosophy and the arts.

Testing is more science-y, but still, the 'facts' are soft, having to do with correlations and predictions that are thought to represent certain mental constructs.

Medicine and Psychology are way out of my league, but I like the TV medical series, HOUSE. I suppose I like the idea of the diagnostic sleuth; the medical maverick whose own neuroses and addiction seem to drive his improbable genius. I know---it is only TV fiction. But the anti-hero, Gregory House, appears to thrive on enigmas. Cases propel his unorthodoxy, not the diseases themselves. He is a fictional oddball---do these oddballs exist in the real world? I have heard they do, but have never met one---yet.

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