November 11, 2008

Employment nightmare erases American dream

I read with both empathy and dismay the "Out of work" article (Nov. 9). Two thoughts crossed my mind. First, the people interviewed seemingly were all law-abiding, upstanding citizens. Second, the magnitude of this epidemic was exacerbated by the fact that the employment niches ran the economic gamut, from janitor to information technologist.

Look around. These people are our neighbors, our co-workers and in some cases our brothers and sisters, or mothers and fathers. Who could have anticipated this debacle just two or three years ago?

Fear, loathing and paranoia have become the buzzwords regarding remaining gainfully employed in our nation. Who will keep their jobs, and who will become the next economic pariahs?

How did the pursuit of the American dream so rapidly devolve into the American nightmare?

Patrick R. Lynch, Baltimore

Other forms of therapy likely just as effective

While it is always heartening to read a reminder of the powerful effectiveness of psychotherapy ("Talk that works," Nov. 9) and of Maryland's substantial investment in psychological services for families in its juvenile justice system, we must be careful before anointing Multisystemic Therapy as superior to other models of therapy.

All therapy works some of the time with some patients, but no therapy works all of the time with all patients. Though some forms of therapy appear to be well-researched, their superior differential effectiveness is not confirmed in unbiased, head-to-head studies. It is quite likely that if Maryland were to dedicate another $1.5 million (or $8,000 per child) to provide comprehensive, intensive, in-home, family-based services by carefully selected therapists with reduced caseloads and extra supervision, regardless of the model of therapy, the state would see positive outcomes similar to those of Multisystemic Therapy.

Psychotherapy works effectively, efficiently, reliably and durably. However, although some treaters are better than others, all treatments are equally effective.

Daniel L. Buccino, Baltimore

The writer is founder and director of the Baltimore Psychotherapy Institute.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.