The Quick Fix:
What is possible?
Treatments that are quick, inexpensive and "evidence-based" seem very appealing. The media and insurance companies would have you believe that changes in human nature and behavior occur easily. Even if you wish this were the case, is that true to your own experience?
Many of the studies rely upon "before" and "after" ratings that are designed to measure symptom improvement. Yet they don't address whether these changes result in generalized feelings of empowerment and well-being, nor do they assess how long there "positive" changes last. Among many mental health professionals, "quick-fix" therapies are often referred to as band-aid treatments. They seek to short circuit processes of introspection and minimize the value of an empathic relationship that includes talking openly and listening deeply. They cover wounds, not heal them. They teach techniques and recipes that are easily forgotten.
Research has shown that talk therapies share ONE DISTINGUISHING FEATURE.
This is the only kind of treatment where patients continue to report improvements even AFTER the therapy has ended. They acquire self-knowledge and "tools for living" that continue to enhance their lives and relationships even when the therapist is no longer present.
Dr. Jonathan ShedlerDr. Jonathan Schedler, (American Psychologist, 2010) has published the most extensive and authoritative empirical study comparing the main therapeutic approaches in use today. Talk therapy is not only EFFECTIVE, but more importantly, it has proven to be the most "robust type of treatment". What this means is that THE BENEFITS LAST, and patients continue to improve over time, even after work with the therapist has terminated. His research shows that other therapies can be helpful, but they show a decrease in the effectiveness over. An earlier study reported by De Matt et al. in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry (2009) had identical findings.