Eleven Blunders that Cripple Psychotherapy in America.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Pub Date: 12/22/2008
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Winter, 2008 Source Volume: 11 Source Issue: 4
Topic: NamedWork: Eleven Blunders that Cripple Psychotherapy in America (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Cummings, Nicholas A.; Donohue, William T. O'
Accession Number: 192800791
Full Text: Eleven Blunders that Cripple Psychotherapy in America

by Nicholas A. Cummings and William T. O' Donohue


I insist that if you are going to refer to yourself as a psychologist or a psychotherapist that you read this book. No--absorb it. I know that's a strong statement, but in this case I truly believe this book must be read by all serious practitioners. To know where we are going in uncertain times, one must understand from where we came. Nick Cummings, skillfully with the able assistance of William O'Donohue, outlines more than just a simple history of the blunders that we have committed in the maturation of psychology. Together they paint a rich history of the mistakes we made in the process of going down the wrong roads. Sure, it's easy to point out the mistakes that we have made, but more than that, they point out the corrections that need to be implemented to preserve psychology and psychotherapy as professions in the 21st century.

Dr. Cummings has been predicting the correct roads for psychology and psychotherapists since 1948. He has fought to make our profession successful. He predicted the correct road and fought against the blunders the profession has made and continues to make. He has been a prognosticator, a warrior, a guide, and sometimes a spiritual leader for psychology. For 60 years, he has been leading the way for psychology with clear visions. Much of organized psychology has chosen at times not to heed his warnings, and we have in turn paid for that short-sightedness.

He fought for licensing before organized psychology would accept it; he battled to include us in Medicare. He taught us about HMOs and built them successfully. While he was creating and offering psychology his gifts, organized psychology was turning him down and digging the deep hole in which we stand today, surrounded by quicksand.

He reminds us of such salient issues as business is not inherently evil. We should be wooing insurance companies, not suing insurance companies. He reminds us that we have never agreed upon core goals and curricula in the education of our doctoral students. We fight organized medicine and the health-care industry when we should be an integral part of the health-care system, bringing our skills and unique talents to collaboration and integration with the system.

We seem to have worked so hard to deny our involvement with the health-care system; no wonder we have been left out. We are a public relations disaster. We don't sell ourselves to the public. We don't stand up and apologize when we have been wrong. We have lost our credibility with the public. Cummings and O'Donohue provide powerful examples of these blunders. More importantly, they map out a method for our recovery.

This is a fascinating book and an incredible read of 336 pages. I promise you won't be able to put it down. You will laugh, and you will cry. You will be enraged. I promise you, you will not be bored. The authors will tantalize you with their observations of political correctness as the enemy of science and our foolish expenditures of energy on diversity. We use diversity to camouflage the important issues that face psychology for which we have no answers. They discuss the importance of embracing evidenced-based therapies, something we must learn if we are to survive and be taken seriously as a scientific profession.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.