Wednesday, March 08, 2017

A (very) critical "review" of CBT: music therapy

Even though the psychotherapy program I did for depression was called "cognitive behavioral" it had some elements which I’d classify as psychodynamic, namely the "art-therapy" and the "music-therapy". Luckily I got rid of both of them pretty fast.

In the art therapy we had to do stuff like drawing our feelings. Surely you can make up a visual metaphor for everything, but to me it didn’t make a lot of sense, nor did I want to provoke the therapist with blank papers. The music-therapy however was a lot stranger than that, it didn’t have really anything to do with music, even though that’s what it was called. Well, to be fair, I could have played an instrument, the therapist had asked if I wanted, but I didn’t want. So she thought up her own therapy for me, which consisted of figuring out how many parts you (I) have and naming them. Since I told her, that I am, fortunately or not, only one person, who – as everyone else – of course has different personality traits or aspects but no different parts, she did the work for me and defined and named different parts. I don’t remember all of them, but one was the self and a supposed other one was a waiting person. She wrote these "parts" on individual pieces of paper and asked me to lay them down on the floor. So I did; I placed the stack of papers on the floor. Of course my stupid part didn’t get *how* she wanted the pieces to be laid down; I had to put them besides each other, kind of like a mind map. But even when I did that, it wasn’t right. The therapist didn’t feel that I’d placed them the right distances apart, so she asked me to step on one piece of paper while she stood on another and asked me if that was a comfortable distance. It was not, I don’t like standing face to face with another person, without any distance. But I’m sure this didn’t have to do anything with the pieces of paper on the floor. So I told her about my suspicions about cause and effect here. And that’s how I got rid of that therapy :).

To be honest it is quite mysterious to me why the health insurances even pays for a therapy like that. They don’t if you are not inpatient, but if you are in a psychiatry they pay for all kind of stuff. However, there were other patients (though not many!) who said that it helped them. But then, if it’s not evidence based (and it isn’t by the insurances own criteria; otherwise they had to pay it on an outpatient basis as well), you don’t know what else might have helped them….

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