The InterPsych Newsletter 2(9)

 


 

IPN 2(9) Section G: Letters


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VOLUME 2, ISSUE 9   THE INTERPSYCH NEWSLETTER     NOVEMBER, 1995
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                       SECTION G: LETTERS

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                          * INDEX *
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1:   Good Therapy (IPN Vol.2, Iss.7): 1 letter
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Letter 1
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Dear Prof. Schaler,

I have read your article with great interest and delight. I 
would like to address and comment some of its points.

HEADS I WIN, TAILS YOU ARE RESISTING THERAPY
I trully enjoyed and agreed with your positions concerning the 
psychodynamic chimeras that are frequently used to let the 
therapist do whatever he/she pleases. Attention should be paid 
when the client complains. We should listen when he/she is s
peaking, instead of analysing what he/she is saying. It is a shame 
for some - or most - therapists to exploit their clients in such 
a way. 

THE CASE OF INACTIVE LEGISLATION IN GREECE
However, I am one of the psychologists wishing and attempting 
the installation of licensing legislation in Greece, for 
psychologists. During the former years, there was a law concerning 
the licensure of psychologists,but it was not put into effect 
until recently. The results are quite beyond what one would imagine. 
Almost any person, including in large numbers elementary teachers, 
literature teachers, graduates of philosophy, could (and still do) 
call themselves a "psychologist" and they were allowed to form and 
join psychologist's associations, have private practise, even gain
positions at universities. 

Their education is below any standard. The profession of psychology 
and the associated psychotherapy a psychologist might offer, 
receives very low or hardly any appreciation in the Greek society. 
Psychologists in effect have a scant status. By some lay persons 
they are not considered as scientists, not to mention how low they 
are in the hierarchy of most institutions. 

MALPRACTISE IN GREECE
Many people have been hurt by psychotherapy malpractise, including 
suicide, but there is no possible way to prove much. Most other 
practioners in the neighborhood are equally handicaped. In case 
something reached the courtrooms, they would defend their collegue. 
The establishment of a contract, although being a good measure, 
cannot in the present situation present any improvement. 

MALPRACTISE IN GENERAL
I agree that diagnosis is a skilled and scientific way of providing 
artifacts. On the other side, what measures could be possibly used 
to select "good" from "bad" practise (as referenced in such a 
contract)? Behavior is something controlled by the client consciously 
or unconsciously. The same results can be transported to any scale 
that is devised to measure behavior. It's in the client's hands to 
let go of any symptoms. Accordingly, it is always in the client's 
hands to release the therapist from such a contract. 

But let's assume we can count therapeutic effects, objectively, 
without the involvement of the client, which is an involved part, 
with clearcut motives, in the contract.

Consider the case of Medical Doctors. The rejoining of a bone is 
something measurable. Have you heard of any Medical Doctor that 
would operate on a contract? There are difficult cases in which 
the patient may or may not wake up after a succesful operation. 
Would any surgeon operate on difficult cases? 

On the other hand, anybody would welcome the legal prosecution of 
a hair stylist performing a surgery - bound by a contract or not. 

Concluding, the legislation and any qualifications required for the
profession of psychotherapy, are not enough to make good psycho-
therapists, however, they increase the average level of psychotherapy 
offered. The licensure for psychotherapy is a gift psychology (at 
least) in Northern America possesses. If you give it away, I believe 
you will begin appreciating it.

Sincerely,
Pavlos Stamboulides
Psychologist
pstamb@prometheus.hol.gr