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The Psychotherapy Action Network is a global community of mental health professionals and stakeholders dedicated to promoting psychotherapies of depth, insight and relationship. PsiAN aims to restore these therapies to their fundamental place in the mental health landscape through education and advocacy regarding their personal, economic, and sociocultural effectiveness in alleviating suffering and transforming lives.
We are professionals, academics, policy makers and clients concerned about the direction of mental health care and ready to speak up for mental health policies and practices that are effective and truly humane.
We welcome everyone who shares our values, regardless of discipline and theoretical orientation. We share ideas, formulate initiatives and organize actions to collectively advocate for psychological policy that makes sense.
There is a deeply troubling trend in psychotherapy training and policy that emphasizes a view of emotional distress as a disease. This trend leads to factoring out the importance of relationships, categorizing human problems mainly in terms of symptoms or superficial forms of diagnosis, and viewing medication and short-term, structured, manualized, or automated treatments as first-line remedies. These policies and practices undermine the core elements of successful mental health treatment, serving the commercial needs of Big Pharma and health insurance companies ahead of the needs of individuals and families.
Professional training and legislative policy must reflect the evidence found in a wealth of long-term research: therapies involving a substantive understanding of unique individuals, within the context of ongoing therapeutic relationships, yield benefits that are most likely to be sustained over the long term. While such training and treatment may represent a greater initial economic outlay, they ultimately cost less than ineffective, shorter term, non-relational alternatives that often must be repeated following relapse. Numerous studies have shown that psychotherapy actually reduces overall health care costs, as there are strong relationships between effective mental health care and better physical health.