Does Psychotherapy Actually Work? (NSQ Ep. 35)

January 17, 2021 @ 5:00am


Also: how many “selves” is it okay to have?

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Relevant Research & References

Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:


Aaron Beck, psychiatrist and professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.
Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.


“Behavior Change,” by Angela Duckworth and James Gross (Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2020).
“The Comparative Impact of Cash Transfers and a Psychotherapy Program on Psychological and Economic Well-Being,” by Johannes Haushofer, Robert Mudida, and Jeremy P. Shapiro (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020).
“The Theory of Modes: Applications to Schizophrenia and Other Psychological Conditions,” by Aaron T. Beck, Molly R. Finkel, and Judith S. Beck (Cognitive Therapy and Research, 2020).
“The Real Relationship and its Role in Psychotherapy Outcome: A Meta-Analysis,” by C. J. Gelso, D. M. Kivlighan, Jr., and R. D. Markin (Psychotherapy, 2018).
“Sigmund Freud’s Theories,” by Saul McLeod (SimplyPsychology, 2018).
“Socio-Economic Variations in the Mental Health Treatment Gap for People with Anxiety, Mood, and Substance Use Disorders: Results from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys,” by S. Evans-Lacko, S. Aguilar-Gaxiola, A. Al-Hamzawi, J. Alonso, C. Benjet, R. Bruffaerts, W. T. Chiu, S. Florescu, G. de Girolamo, O. Gureje, J. M. Haro, Y. He, C. Hu, E. G. Karam, N. Kawakami, S. Lee, C. Lund, V. Kovess-Masfety, D. Levinson, F. Navarro-Mateu, B. E. Pennell, N. A. Sampson, K. M. Scott, H. Tachimori, M. Ten Have, M. C. Viana, D. R. Williams, B. J. Wojtyniak, Z. Zarkov, R. C. Kessler, S. Chatterji, and G. Thornicroft (Psychological Medicine, 2018).
“The Efficacy of Psychotherapy, Pharmacotherapy and their Combination on Functioning and Quality of Life in Depression: A Meta-Analysis,” by K. Kamenov, C. Twomey, M. Cabello, A. M. Prina and J. L. Ayuso-Mateos (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court, by John Wooden (1997).
I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked, by Upton Sinclair (1935).
“Song of Myself,” by Walt Whitman (1892).
A Treatise of Human Nature, by David Hume (1739).


Tags: Angela Duckworth, Rebecca Lee Douglas, Stephen Dubner