Unwanted effects of psychotherapy

• Excessive dependence on therapy or the therapist may develop.

• Intensive techniques may cause distress and, occasionally, precipitate acute psychiatric breakdown.

• Disorders for which physical treatments are required, such as severe depression, or medical illness presenting with psychological symptoms, may be missed, especially by non-medical therapists.

• Ineffective psychotherapy wastes time and money and lowers morale.

Unwanted effects should be infrequent with skilled assessment, and well-trained therapists in proper supervision.

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