Discussion on Progress in Psychology and Psychiatry

April 9, 2008

In the April 9, 2008, New York Times Opinion pages, in a piece entitled, "How Much Progress Have Psychology and Psychiatry Really Made? A Freakonomics Quorum", Stephen J. Dubner has invited six knowledgeable people to answer the questions: "How much progress have psychology and psychiatry really made in the last century?" and "Do we know enough about the human psyche to prescribe the medication that we do?" They cover topics such as the effectiveness of therapy and psychiatric drugs and the usefulness of relevant research. Their responses, and the early responsive commentary, are thoughtful, informed, interesting and, in some instances, provocative.

There is a lot left out of this discussion, understandably, some of which is addressed by responding commenters. Some questions that remain for me are, "How is progress measured in these contexts" and "While many aspects of psychology certainly are measurable scientifically, what can be reliably measured in the psychotherapeutic process"?

What do you think?

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