Our expert says:
As with any form of therapy, its not so much important whether it is given by a psychiatrist or pychologist ( so long as it is given by a properly qualified mental health specialist ) and more important as to whether the specialist has had some training and knows how to use the method.
I wish there was a proper list of suitably experienced doctors in SA, but there isn't so far. They really need to get themselves organized into some sort of organization. I have noticed previously that the Depression and Anxiety Support Group SADAG on their website provides listings of some doctors interested in depression and anxiety, and they listed some of them as providing CBT - a growing number of SA shrinks are indeed learning and using this method.
A word of explanation. In the area of psychological / talking therapies, I used to especially recommend ( in appropriate situations ) Behaviour Therapy, a field developed by a great South African shrink Joe Wolpe, opriginally from Joburg, who I worked with and befriended when we both worked in Philadelphia. It was a scientifically based and effective method that focussed on changing inconvenient and unhelpful behaviours. More recently it has ben updated and expended into CBT, which includes Cognitive, that is thinking aspects of problems, and thus is applicable to a much wider range of conditions.
Currently I strongly recommend CBT as the method that at this stage, has the most good quality evidence from proper scientific studies that it is effective with lasting benefits in a growing range of situations. I like that it places responsibility on the client / patient, empowering them and treating them as intelligent people capable of change for the better, and that it discourages dependence on the shrink. And that it doesn't take forever,too !
If better evidence arrives that some other method is even more reliably effective, then I would switch my recommendations to that.
Some of the older therapies are more like cults in that you have to believe in them and spend large amounts of time and money on the process, even though the amount of scientifically good quality research showing them to be effective, is limited or absent
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