Popular talking therapy is not a long-term solution, says leading psychologist
People with mental health problems are victims of a ‘scam’ therapy that is wasting vast sums of money, a leading psychologist has warned.
They are being misled because the short-term fix offered by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) does not have a lasting benefit, says Oliver James.
The most popular of the ‘talking therapies’ CBT aims to help people manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave to become more positive.
It is frequently recommended for people with problems ranging from anxiety and depression to eating disorders.
In the short-term, 40 per cent of those who complete a course of CBT, typically five to 20 sessions of up to an hour, are said to have recovered.
But ‘extensive evidence’ shows that two years on, depressed or anxious people who had CBT were no more likely to have recovered than those who had no treatment, said Mr James.
He said: ‘As a treatment, rafts of studies have shown it to be ineffective in delivering long-term therapeutic benefits to patients with anxiety and depression.
‘While studies show that in the short-term - six to 12 months - patients who have received CBT are more likely to report themselves as ‘recovered’ compared to those who have received no treatment, these results are not sustained in the long-term.