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The BACP responds to NICE

April 17, 2009

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) despite it’s name has recently been acting more as the National Institute of Budget Care and Target Setting.

The fallacious and frankly ludicrous argumentforwarded by NICE is that because CBT is measurable using “randomised control trials” while other counselling apporaches are less so, that CBT is therefore the best/only psychotherapeutic method for treating anything from depression to schizophrenia.

This is either disingenious or naive. RCT is a laboratory research method, which presupposes a very discrete phenomenon with a limited range of outcomes. RCTs would not be able to predict how long the current economic recession will last or how to fix it, nor can it reliably guide the choice of treatements in the management of mental health.

I know that CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is an effective method for some patients when practised by a fully trained professional. But what beggars belief is that the Labour government plans to send junior staff on crash courses in CBT lite to manage the mental health crisis. In some cases patients in distress will be directed to a web site which will help the goverment the patient “feel better” with no human intervention at all.

It is plain that NICE are just being expedient. 

Read more:

Therapists’ anger at NHS downplaying of counselling and psychotherapy.

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