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Talk:Primal therapy

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Quackery?[edit]

I am at least a little confused why this would be considered quackery, in particular the criticism of re-experiencing traumas and discharging it. My cognitive-behavioral therapy worked in much the same way, and I do not believe that is considered quackery, nor do I believe my university would tolerate such therapy being done by the counselors hired for the students. In my CBT, I would choose something I obsessed over, expose myself to it, and then monitor as my distress level went down, and repeat the process. Is the difference that the CBT covered traumas and the like that were occurring for me daily, as opposed to some distant traumas I would have no memory of?

Imarcuson (talk) 01:38, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

The CBT therapy you are talking about is designed to deal with specific psychological disturbances directly associated with a traumatic event. Usually symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that involve people "reliving" traumatic events after particular trigger mechanisms causing distress and anxiety. There is some pretty solid evidence that PTSD like symptoms can be linked to stress hormones that disrupt normal pre-frontal cortext connections that form with memories. Basically you get whats called a "Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis" connection with no inhibitory connections which disrupts the flight or flight responses. The simplistic version of this is the HPA axis shouldn't kick in for a rubber snake, and it is the frontal cortex inhibition that tells the brain it is a fake snake, or maybe snake behind glass at the zoo.
All of this has well described mechanisms of action, as well as empirical proof that it can help with a specific set of symptoms.
Primal scream therapy isn't like this at all. Some key differences: it is not designed around a helping a specific set of symptoms but rather claims a multitude (or pretty much all) undesired personality and cognitive elements are traceable to childhood trauma. This is false. It has no proposed mechanism of action, and makes no testable predictions. It has never been shown to help anyone. It also developed a cult like following, people who had went through the therapy sessions were encouraged to only associate with others that did as well, that people who hadn't wouldn't understand. tmtoulouse 01:50, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. That clears that up. Imarcuson (talk) 03:30, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
tmtoulouse - do you mind adding what you wrote above to the article, or me paraphrasing it and adding it? You nailed it. Secret Squirrel (talk) 00:15, 14 March 2012 (UTC)