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The Death of Psychotherapy: From Freud to Alien Abductions Hardcover – January 30, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0275964139 ISBN-10: 0275964132

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (January 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275964132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275964139
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,743,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The Death of Psychotherapy skillfully presents a badly needed message: much of therapy lacks scientific backing. In tackling the sad lack of experimental confirmation of clinical findings, Eisner is sure to become a force for change."-Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D. Past-President, American Psychological Society

About the Author

DONALD A. EISNER is a licensed psychologist and a practicing attorney in Encino, California.

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Paul Chance on July 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There are something like 500 varieties of psychotherapy. One thing most of them have in common is a lack of scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. Yet people spend hundreds of hours of their time recalling their childhoods, describing their dreams, reliving miserable experiences, all without any reason to think it will help. And they pay dearly for it. Eisner takes a hard look at a great many of these therapies and concludes, "There are no empirically supportable therapies."
He overstates his case. There ARE some therapies that have been demonstrated to be highly effective: Behavior therapy and behavior modification have proven their usefulness in the treatment of severe behavior disorders, such as autism and mental retardation, in dealing with disruptive students, in treating phobias, anxiety disorders, compulsions, and a variety of other problems. Non-directive psychotherapy has also been shown to have some value for people with personal problems who need support. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is another that is supported by research (although there is some evidence that the effective part of the therapy may be the behavior therapy). So, there are SOME forms of therapy that have evidence to support their effectiveness.
But Eisner's overall point is valid: Most therapies are spun from someone's imagination and have little or no empirical support. Most therapists can't hand you a stack of articles from scientific journals showing the effectiveness of the therapy they offer, and if you ask them to do so they will either show you case studies and anecdotes or they will dismiss your question as proof of your neurosis.
This book is therefore important to anyone who is in or contemplating therapy. For the price of one therapy session (more or less), they can read about the kind of therapy they are receiving or contemplating and be better equipped to decide for themselves whether it is therapy or snake oil.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I found this book in a great big used bookstore, for which the owner likes to say, he's had everybook in the english language pass through in the last fifty years, I don't know if that's true, but, he did have this book. I read it and found the information very interesting and thorough. Now, I am a hypnotherapist, I am a Master NLP Practitioner, I am a Max Potential Trainer, and I have helped dozens of people get over fears, lose weight, stop their anxiety, increase their memories, gain more confidence, and one case, break a speech impediment.

The fears and weight loss I did less than the cost of this book--not counting products they bought after the events. Almost everything we knew about psychology from the Humanist perspective to Freudian Analysts to modern day Clinical care has been completely rebuffed in the last three or five years in simply what we've learned about the human brain. Does that however mean that psychology is ineffective, does it mean that we can't change our lives with it.

I went from a socially phobic 347 twenty year old, to a charismatic 220 pound adult who makes his living with public speaking, group trainings, and one on one training. I did this thanks a lot to NLP. However, I was also lucky that new brain information was coming out every day, and I began to research that as well.

The fact is that we know for a fact that people can change their own brains. We know for a fact that relaxation and visualization are tested and proven tools to personal change. We know that Relaxation and Visualization, which makes up 90% of all NLP, can lead to strong and lasting human change.

This book is good, but, it doesn't suggest what people are to do. I take real issue with people who say nothing works so don't bother...
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