Before I get into my talk I feel the need to state that I am not here to sell my services or try and convince you to send clients my way. As you know psychiatrists have one corner of the therapy market all sewed up thanks to Medicare. Otherwise, commercial values have taken over the world of therapy as it has become dominated by managed health care agencies and insurance companies, each of which encourages brief therapy [3-6 sessions] and medication. Of course, pharmaceutical companies play a major role in defining the status quo. These organizations also treat therapists as numbers, as if to say that one therapist is as good as the next. Rather than choosing therapists on the basis of character, or integrity, they are selected on the basis of symptom specialization and the therapist’s networking acumen.
Cost effectiveness also seems to be a ruling ethic. In addition to encouraging brief therapy and medication, managed health care organizations tend to pay therapists relatively low rates. But they are in the driver’s seat as they manage, as one agency executive put it to me, the front end marketing! Otherwise therapists of all stripes, some of whom are educated while others are not very much, market their wares in a variety of ways, often making dubious claims. It is an appalling situation for anyone concerned with truth and the psychological well- being of our community.