Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

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Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Nemo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:34 pm

I was reading John Haslam's Observations on Madness and Melancholy. It was compiled in the 1790's. His cure rate for psychiatric illness was 34.5% in 1794. Today the full remission rate is roughly one third. Completely unchanged in 220 years. His miracle cure for psychiatric illness was cupping. Cupping involves lancing a vein on the scalp and using a suction cup to remove roughly a half pint of blood. He also used very strong laxatives, cold baths and camphor.

If today's psychiatric interventions have no better outcomes than Haslam's time it is possible modern treatments are mostly placebo. It would seem that one third of psychiatric patients recover from their injury on their own.

Could psychotherapy be the modern day astrology of it's time?
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:15 pm

Who is saying astrology is placebo?
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Nemo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:29 pm

I am wondering if astrology with the addition of faith was as or even more effective than psychotherapy. But I am also considering that the paradigms used by both are not a significant contributor to their therapeutic effect. Perhaps placebo and simple support from other human beings for the natural healing process is what is the most therapeutic. But this is based on the fact that I think cupping is probably a bogus treatment.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Virgo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:56 pm

I don;'t think Astrology was ever really used for therapeutic purposes historically. It was more functional, ie. this is a good day to do this, this isn't; this is a good time to plant crops, this isn't; this is a good time to have a child, this isn't, etc.

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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:02 pm

Virgo wrote:I don;'t think Astrology was ever really used for therapeutic purposes historically. It was more functional, ie. this is a good day to do this, this isn't; this is a good time to plant crops, this isn't; this is a good time to have a child, this isn't, etc.

Kevin


It depends on the type of astrology, -- in the Vedic system things are not looked at in as much of a fatalistic way, there is a whole science of harnessing the planetary energies of gemstones, or doing pujas related to different planetary energies, to circumvent negative effects or promote positive ones. There is a similar type of knowledge within Buddhist tantric methods in play with Tibetan astrology, and Chinese astrology has it's own version of this as well. In modern Western astrology, which is a bit of a broken lineage, this knowledge is not readily available, but I imagine it once was.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Virgo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:11 pm

:rolling: that's not therapy.

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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Motova » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:21 pm

Adamantine wrote:Who is saying astrology is placebo?


:hi:

Me.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:46 pm

Virgo wrote::rolling: that's not therapy.

Kevin


Well, if you have an illness, mental or physical, that is indicated by an Ayurevedic or Tibetan doctor to be arising from an astrological affliction, and they prescribe an amulet to wear and a puja to be performed, and it works: that is indeed a cure, or a healing method, and thus it will be correct to call it a "therapy" according to modern English. Even if it doesn't work, the intention would still be a therapeutic one.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:47 pm

Motova wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Who is saying astrology is placebo?


:hi:

Me.


You've done double-blind controlled trials?
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:55 pm

Nemo wrote:I was reading John Haslam's Observations on Madness and Melancholy. It was compiled in the 1790's. His cure rate for psychiatric illness was 34.5% in 1794. Today the full remission rate is roughly one third. Completely unchanged in 220 years. His miracle cure for psychiatric illness was cupping. Cupping involves lancing a vein on the scalp and using a suction cup to remove roughly a half pint of blood. He also used very strong laxatives, cold baths and camphor.

If today's psychiatric interventions have no better outcomes than Haslam's time it is possible modern treatments are mostly placebo. It would seem that one third of psychiatric patients recover from their injury on their own.

Could psychotherapy be the modern day astrology of it's time?

I think you need to define your terms .
What do you mean by psychiatric illness ?
And what do you by psychotherapy ?
If you mean the main psychoses the schizophrenias, bipolar disorder, etc then it is true that we still have only a crude understanding of their aetiology and a dirth of management options.
If you mean depressive conditions, phobias, obsessional states then there is a growing repetoire of non drug options which are loosely driven by CBT and variations.
Incidentally few psychotherapists are psychiatrists, and most psychiatrists are not psychotherapists... They are quite different.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Virgo » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:55 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Virgo wrote::rolling: that's not therapy.

Kevin


Well, if you have an illness, mental or physical, that is indicated by an Ayurevedic or Tibetan doctor to be arising from an astrological affliction, and they prescribe an amulet to wear and a puja to be performed, and it works: that is indeed a cure, or a healing method, and thus it will be correct to call it a "therapy" according to modern English. Even if it doesn't work, the intention would still be a therapeutic one.

It's the energies that are treated, not the person. Treating a wound, a disease, etc., is treating a person. Astro remedies alter energies that effect persons, they do not treat persons, in my opinion.

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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Nemo » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:52 am

Simon E. wrote:
Nemo wrote:I was reading John Haslam's Observations on Madness and Melancholy. It was compiled in the 1790's. His cure rate for psychiatric illness was 34.5% in 1794. Today the full remission rate is roughly one third. Completely unchanged in 220 years. His miracle cure for psychiatric illness was cupping. Cupping involves lancing a vein on the scalp and using a suction cup to remove roughly a half pint of blood. He also used very strong laxatives, cold baths and camphor.

If today's psychiatric interventions have no better outcomes than Haslam's time it is possible modern treatments are mostly placebo. It would seem that one third of psychiatric patients recover from their injury on their own.

Could psychotherapy be the modern day astrology of it's time?

I think you need to define your terms .
What do you mean by psychiatric illness ?
And what do you by psychotherapy ?
If you mean the main psychoses the schizophrenias, bipolar disorder, etc then it is true that we still betternly a crude understanding of their aetiology and a dirth of management options.
If you mean depressive conditions, phobias, obsessional states then there is a growing repetoire of non drug options which are loosely driven by CBT and variations.
Incidentally few psychotherapists are psychiatrists, and most psychiatrists are not psychotherapists... They are quite different.


Haslam ran an asylum that treated all types of madness and melancholy. I honestly doubt the type of therapy matters. Name a mental illness requiring hospitalization that has a better remission rate(released cured) with treatment than Haslam's 34.5%. You already have an advantage as Haslam had organically damaged brains is his cohort. Both stroke patients and syphilitic brain infections brought down his average.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Jikan » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:59 am

Simon's right to ask for refined categories, but given the long historical view Nemo has proposed, that may be impossible. What counts as pathology (madness or melancholy) varies more than a little over time and context

http://www.amazon.com/History-Madness-M ... 0415477263

much of Foucault is overdone but here he's on his game
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Motova » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:14 am

Adamantine wrote:
Motova wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Who is saying astrology is placebo?


:hi:

Me.


You've done double-blind controlled trials?


Admittedly I know nothing about it.

I just think it's silly to think planets and stars have some magical control over our lives.

I don't see any logic behind it.

Also where are the OP's references?

I feel this thread should be transformed to the validity of astrology, specifically Tibetan Astrology, as I feel this is kind of a joke. No offense to the OP.

Astrology is where I draw the line in my list of "crazy beliefs".
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby theanarchist » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:06 pm

Nemo wrote:I was reading John Haslam's Observations on Madness and Melancholy. It was compiled in the 1790's. His cure rate for psychiatric illness was 34.5% in 1794. Today the full remission rate is roughly one third. Completely unchanged in 220 years. His miracle cure for psychiatric illness was cupping. Cupping involves lancing a vein on the scalp and using a suction cup to remove roughly a half pint of blood. He also used very strong laxatives, cold baths and camphor.

If today's psychiatric interventions have no better outcomes than Haslam's time it is possible modern treatments are mostly placebo. It would seem that one third of psychiatric patients recover from their injury on their own.

Could psychotherapy be the modern day astrology of it's time?



That's really nonsense. Back then there was not even a standard for diagnosing psychiatric illnesses and there was no evaluation of the outcome of the treatments. That guy probably had a zero cure rate with those means with anyone truely suffering from a psychiatric illness. It might have helped with some psychosomatic problems that respond well to placebo effects.

Mental illnesses come in a wide range of shapes and forms and range from mild to severe. That there is no higher total remission rate overall than 30% is really not surprising because a lot of them are a lifelong problem that developed early in childhood so the whole mental development as a child went wrong. Like the personality disorders How do you want to erase that and replace those developmental deficits with a correct development in the adult? Yes, those can be improved with therapy but expecting a "full recovery" is really totally absurd in a case like that. What counts is quality of life for the sufferer.

Then there are those psychiatric diseases that don't respond to psychotherapy that well, that depend on medications in their treatment, like psychosis and the bipolar disorder. A lot of those need lifelong mediction to keep the symptoms in check, these diseases obviously have a strong physical basis in the brain and noone would expect psychotherapy to cure these. Again, what counts is quality of life for the sufferers.



And astrology, I mean, why do you even compare psychotherapy with astrology. The concept of astrology is not that the stars make things happen, the concept is, that the movements of the stars show an anology to what happens on earth.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:09 pm

:good:


Agreed on all points.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Nemo » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:37 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Nemo wrote:I was reading John Haslam's Observations on Madness and Melancholy. It was compiled in the 1790's. His cure rate for psychiatric illness was 34.5% in 1794. Today the full remission rate is roughly one third. Completely unchanged in 220 years. His miracle cure for psychiatric illness was cupping. Cupping involves lancing a vein on the scalp and using a suction cup to remove roughly a half pint of blood. He also used very strong laxatives, cold baths and camphor.

If today's psychiatric interventions have no better outcomes than Haslam's time it is possible modern treatments are mostly placebo. It would seem that one third of psychiatric patients recover from their injury on their own.

Could psychotherapy be the modern day astrology of it's time?



That's really nonsense. Back then there was not even a standard for diagnosing psychiatric illnesses and there was no evaluation of the outcome of the treatments. That guy probably had a zero cure rate with those means with anyone truely suffering from a psychiatric illness. It might have helped with some psychosomatic problems that respond well to placebo effects.

Mental illnesses come in a wide range of shapes and forms and range from mild to severe. That there is no higher total remission rate overall than 30% is really not surprising because a lot of them are a lifelong problem that developed early in childhood so the whole mental development as a child went wrong. Like the personality disorders How do you want to erase that and replace those developmental deficits with a correct development in the adult? Yes, those can be improved with therapy but expecting a "full recovery" is really totally absurd in a case like that. What counts is quality of life for the sufferer.

Then there are those psychiatric diseases that don't respond to psychotherapy that well, that depend on medications in their treatment, like psychosis and the bipolar disorder. A lot of those need lifelong mediction to keep the symptoms in check, these diseases obviously have a strong physical basis in the brain and noone would expect psychotherapy to cure these. Again, what counts is quality of life for the sufferers.



And astrology, I mean, why do you even compare psychotherapy with astrology. The concept of astrology is not that the stars make things happen, the concept is, that the movements of the stars show an anology to what happens on earth.


Nonsense,... Perhaps you should call it poppycock. Haslam was just as self assured as you were of the barbarity of previous medical interventions and the therapeutic value of his own. That has not changed either in the last two centuries. Though anecdotal in some respects it seems that about a third of mental illness heals on it's own. If modern therapies cannot do better than that they are pseudoscience. If it were real science there would be diagnostic tests that didn't involve having a chat and outcomes would be improving. The coloured in MRIs are prettier but they are no more useful than Haslam's brain autopsies for diagnosis. (Except that one is done posthumously of course. Many brain injuries still need to be diagnosed by dissection and don't appear even in weighted MRI'S. I am speaking organic brain injury and Tau proteins specifically.) At best the DSM is a benign lie, but sometimes I wonder if it is truly benign.

Bleeding.

Where the patient is strong, and of a plethoric habit, and where the disorder has not been of any long continuance, bleeding has been found of considerable advantage, and as far as I have yet observed, is the most beneficial remedy that has been employed. The melancholic cases have been equally relieved with the maniacal by this mode of treatment. Venesection by the arm is, however, inferior in its good effects[Pg 314] to blood taken from the head by cupping. This operation, performed in the manner to which I have been accustomed, consists in having the head previously shaven, and six or eight cupping glasses applied on the scalp. By these means any quantity of blood may be taken, and in as short a time, as by an orifice made in a vein by the lancet. When the raving paroxysm has continued for a considerable time, and the scalp has become unusually flaccid; or where a stupid state has succeeded to violence of considerable duration, no benefit has been derived from bleeding: indeed these states are generally attended by a degree of bodily weakness, sufficient to prohibit such practice independently of other considerations.

The quantity of blood to be taken, must be left to the discretion of the practitioner: from eight to sixteen ounces may be drawn,[Pg 315] and the operation occasionally repeated, as circumstances may require.

In some cases where blood was drawn at the commencement of the disease from the arm, and from patients who were extremely furious and ungovernable, it was covered with a buffy coat; but in other cases it has seldom or never such an appearance. In more than two hundred patients, male and female, who were let blood by venesection, there were only six whose blood could be termed sizy.

In some few instances hemoptysis has preceded convalescence, as has also a bleeding from the hemorrhoidal veins. Epistaxis has not, to my knowledge, ever occurred.

Before particular remedies, to be employed for the cure of mania and melancholia, are recommended, it may be necessary to give[Pg 316] some directions concerning the means to be used for their certain administration.

Maniacs in general feel a great aversion to become benefited from those medicinal preparations which practitioners employ for their relief; and on many occasions they refuse them altogether. Presuming that some good is to be procured by the operation of medicines on persons so affected, and aware of their propensity to reject them, it becomes a proper object of enquiry how such salutary agents may most securely, and with the least disadvantage, be conveyed into the stomachs of these refractory subjects.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby theanarchist » Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:32 pm

Nemo wrote:Nonsense,... Perhaps you should call it poppycock. Haslam was just as self assured as you were of the barbarity of previous medical interventions and the therapeutic value of his own. That has not changed either in the last two centuries. Though anecdotal in some respects it seems that about a third of mental illness heals on it's own. If modern therapies cannot do better than that they are pseudoscience.



Again, there are many very different types of mental illnesses, and they come in a wide spectrum ov severity.

Of course you can have one depressive episode or emotional crisis in your life that heals on it's own. I am sure that happens quite often.

You will certainly not find a single person with a personality disorder or bipolar disorder where the problem healed spontanesously. It can also not be healed with medications and psychotherapy.

Again: In many cases it would be a completely unrealistic goal for such a discease to get a 100% remission. In those many cases psychotherapy and also medication has the job to improved the quality of life of the people living with them, to help them cope with life better. And a good, qualified psychotherapy is definitely able to do that.

Mental illnesses are not a black and white affair. A lot of "healthy" people for example show neurotic behaviours and live with it. You can not even draw a clear line where "normal" neurotic behaviour ends and a diagnosable mental illness starts.


Apparently you have no real insight into the topic so I would recommend you stop making wild claims about it.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:16 pm

Virgo wrote:I don;'t think Astrology was ever really used for therapeutic purposes historically. It was more functional, ie. this is a good day to do this, this isn't; this is a good time to plant crops, this isn't; this is a good time to have a child, this isn't, etc.

Kevin



Astrology has been used as a diagnostic tool in medicine for centuries.
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Re: Is Psychotherapy Better Than Astrology?

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:22 pm

theanarchist wrote:

That's really nonsense. Back then there was not even a standard for diagnosing psychiatric illnesses and there was no evaluation of the outcome of the treatments. That guy probably had a zero cure rate with those means with anyone truely suffering from a psychiatric illness. It might have helped with some psychosomatic problems that respond well to placebo effects.



Diagnosis, especially of mental illnesses, reflect cultural norms, not scientifically established pathologies.


Then there are those psychiatric diseases that don't respond to psychotherapy that well, that depend on medications in their treatment, like psychosis and the bipolar disorder.


These are mislabeled -- they are not "psychiatric illnesses", they are physical diseases
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