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Myths of Counseling

This clinical psychologist says professional therapy is overused and overvalued. Christian counselors Louis McBurney, David Benner, Jay Adams, and Gary Collins respond.

After fifteen years of research, a Berkeley-trained psychologist named Bernie Zilbergeld has decided to speak frankly about his profession. His conclusions are based upon twelve years as a practicing therapist (and five as a patient), in-depth interviews with 140 former patients, and lengthy discussions with a cross-range of 14 colleagues.

Here, in an excerpt from his new book The Shrinking of America: Myths of Psychological Change (Little, Brown, 1983), he examines eight common assumptions about professional counseling.

LEADERSHIP sent this material to four prominent Christian counselors and asked for their reactions. Their comments follow.

Myth No. 1

THERE IS ONE BEST THERAPY

Each therapist tends to believe that his own approach is the best for just about everything. But most of the evidence does not support the idea of a single "best treatment." Most of the well known methods usually produce similar results for most problems. The same holds true for different formats: by and large, similar ...

July/August
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