Ryan Howes, Ph.D., ABPP

Psychotherapy User's Guide

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Therapy User's Guide
I truly believe psychotherapy can improve life. 
I also know there are numerous obstacles that prevent this improvement from taking place. For starters:
  • Ineffective or unethical therapists
  • Unproven psychological theories
  • The social stigma of therapy
  • Vague, ever-changing standards for diagnosis
  • Money and managed care
  • Time commitment
  • The therapist/client match (or mismatch)
  • Communication problems in therapy
  • Clients feeling unequipped to be an active participant in their therapy
  • Etc., etc.
The list could go on and on. With more than a century of professional psychotherapy under our belt, we psychologists have done a terrible job of defining what we do, setting standards for what we do and explaining what we do in a way that non-psychologists can understand. Despite this horribly inefficient marketing, about one in four people have sought out mental health services in the past couple years. How many of them encountered one of the problems listed above? 
I've always felt a duty to demystify psychotherapy. The more the public understands about this process, the quicker they'll leave bad therapy, fight the stigma, challenge the limitations of managed care and become an active, empowered participant in their own healing process. I believe a little education will save money and time, prevent aggravation and eventually help improve lives. 
For years I've been taking complicated psychological concepts and translating them into the language normal people use. From the years I spent teaching at a community college and graduate schools to my book and eventually my blog, the aim has been the same: make psychology accessible. Below you find links to blogs and other articles that keep this in mind, I hope you find it helpful.


Index of My Articles on the Psychology Today Website

Therapy Basics

Making the Most of Therapy 
Understanding the Finer Points of Therapy
Assorted Musings 
Blog Series 
The Seven Questions Project
I asked the same seven therapy-related questions to the top authors, theorists and policymakers in the field. 
Donald Meichenbaum: Founder, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Nada Stotland: President, American Psychiatric Association
John Gray: Bestselling relationship author
Glen Gabbard: Contemporary psychoanalyst and author
Jeffrey Barnett: President, APA Division 29 (Psychotherapy)
David Burns: Author of the "most prescribed self help book"
Harriet Lerner: Bestselling author and relationship expert
James Bray: President, American Psychological Association
Thomas Szasz: Outspoken author of The Myth of Mental Illness
Daniel Amen: World renowned brain expert
Harville Hendrix: Founder, Imago Relationship Therapy
Judith Beck: Prominent Cognitive Behavior Therapy author
Warren Procci: President, American Psychoanalytic Association
Irvin Yalom: Popular author and speaker
My responses to the Seven Questions
Ten Coolest Psychotherapy Interventions
To introduce some well-known and obscure therapy techniques I made a top 10 list and interviewed the experts.  

The Varieties of Religious Therapy

Interviews with therapists from twelve diverse belief systems



Native American Spirituality





African Spirituality

Biblical Counseling


Twelve Step Spirituality

Christian Psychology


Named a Top Ten Blog by Blogs.com
© 2014, Ryan A. Howes, Ph.D.

Ryan Howes, Ph.D., ABPP * 595 E. Colorado Blvd. #432 * Pasadena, CA * 91101 * 626.449.1434

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