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Garson Leder
Medical College of Wisconsin
  1. Psychotherapy, Placebos, and Informed Consent.Garson Leder - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (7):444-447.
    Several authors have recently argued that psychotherapy, as it is commonly practiced, is deceptive and undermines patients’ ability to give informed consent to treatment. This ‘deception’ claim is based on the findings that some, and possibly most, of the ameliorative effects in psychotherapeutic interventions are mediated by therapeutic common factors shared by successful treatments, rather than because of theory-specific techniques. These findings have led to claims that psychotherapy is, at least partly, likely a placebo, and that practitioners of psychotherapy have (...)
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  2. Know Thyself? Questioning the Theoretical Foundations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.Garson Leder - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):391-410.
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has become the dominant form of psychotherapy in North America. The CBT model is theoretically based on the idea that all external and internal stimuli are filtered through meaning-making, consciously accessible cognitive schemas. The goal of CBT is to identify dysfunctional or maladaptive thoughts and beliefs, and replace them with more adaptive cognitive interpretations. While CBT is clearly effective as a treatment, there is good reason to be skeptical that its efficacy is due to the causal mechanisms (...)
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  3. What Does It Mean to Have a Meaning Problem? Meaning, Skill, and the Mechanisms of Change in Psychotherapy.Garson Leder - 2019 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 26 (3):35-50.
    Psychotherapy is effective. Since the 1970’s, meta-analyses, and meta-analyses of meta-analyses, have consistently shown a significant effect size for psychotherapeutic interventions when compared to no treatment or placebo treatments. This effectiveness is normally taken as a sign of the scientific legitimization of clinical psychotherapy. A significant problem, however, is that most psychotherapies appear to be equally effective. This poses a problem for specific psychotherapies: they may work, but likely not for the reasons that ground their theoretical explanations for their effectiveness. (...)
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    How to Obtain Informed Consent for Psychotherapy: A Reply to Criticism.Garson Leder - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (7):450-451.
    In ‘Psychotherapy, Placebos and Informed Consent’, I argued that the minimal standard for informed consent in psychotherapy requires that ‘patients understand that there is currently no consensus about the mechanisms of change in psychotherapy, and that the therapy on offer…is based on disputed theoretical foundations’, and that the dissemination of this information is compatible with the delivery of many theory-specific forms of psychotherapy (including cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT]). I also argued that the minimal requirements for informed consent do not include (...)
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