Does Psychotherapy work? If by psychotherapy we mean pure talk therapy - the answer is no!!! There is nothing worse than constantly repeating your story and not having anyone stop you. How often do you hear of someone being in therapy for five years and still having a messed-up life?
Not only does it not work, but it actually does harm. The more we repeat our dysfunctional story, the more hard-wired it becomes. Therapists who sit back, say nothing, and let us just keep yapping on as they collect our money, do us a grave disservice. We need to be stopped; we need the story to end and we are hoping someone will stop us. That is why we are paying a professional - we want to be stopped.
Freud was right about some things. He said the basis of our existence was love and work. He was right about that. But psychotherapy - he was wrong about that. The client needs a dialogue with the therapist and sometimes a monologue from the therapist. The same way parents teach children by modeling, that is the way the therapist needs to teach the client. As parents, would we ever just let our child keep making the same mistake again and again without stepping in?
Clients come to therapists because they are hoping we know something they don't. If we don't speak up, who will?