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Comment by shri_s on Different Worlds · 2017-10-06T12:10:44.091Z · LW · GW


One of the best predictors of successful outcomes for a therapy patient, is that the patient trusts the therapist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapeutic_relationship

This position is roughly 80 years old. Personally I think the best heuristic for telling wether a therapist is any good is whether they believe the connection between the two of you is more important than their personal preferred theoretic approach.

Relevant scholarship:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodo_bird_verdict
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_factors_theory

I model therapy as an art and craft, a special subset of social skills, just like empathetic listening or building rapport, rather than a deterministic applied science like EEng or MechEng. Then, getting different results from the same therapist doing the same technique is exactly what I would expect because they probably aren't doing all the non-verbal communication which makes the largest impact in social situations. Just like Scott has the passive ability of making people around him devolve into really civil calm discussions, a desired social effect is not something easily reproduced by others, nor learned in many cases less rare than Scott's reality distortion field of civility.

I feel like I'm being a little mean and condescending here. My apologies, I've been up too late. But I think it's poor practice to throw stones at glass houses of the academy, without doing some good scholarship first.