If All You Have Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

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As many of you know, I’m not a big fan of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Sure, it has it’s place but that place has gotten rather large of late. Because of  pressure coming mainly from insurance companies, it often seems as if all mental health therapists have in their modality toolboxes is cognitive-behavioral therapy. To paraphrase a popular saying (which I have seen attributed to Abraham Maslow), “If all you have is cognitive-behavioral therapy, then everything looks like a behavioral problem.”

It would seem that I’m not the only one who takes a dim view of cognitive-behavioral therapy. While reading an article on Marx and neoliberalism over at, I ran across a delightful analogy that speaks truth to the existential nothingness that often surrounds the use of cognitive-behavioral modalities. Cognitive-behavioral modality disses aside, I found this article to be rather interesting. Once you have had a good laugh at cognitive-behavioral therapy’s expense, you may wish to read this article in its entirety. Enjoy.

For the moment, the neo-Keynesian blog posts bear the same relationship to the [current economic] crisis as cognitive behavioral therapy does to a patient’s troubles. Here is something insightful, helpful; listen carefully and it might save your life. But when the acute pain passes you will be left with the chronic problem of who and what you are. The suffering individual has psychoanalysis to turn to. In economics, the analogous route is Marxism, which like psychoanalysis has a dubious reputation—and an explanatory power and long-term perspective that its rivals can’t touch.

via t r u t h o u t | On Your Marx: Neoliberalism on the Rocks.

The article from which the above excerpt was taken originally appeared in the Intellectual Situation of Issue 8 (“Recessional,” Fall 2009).