Amazing. The fact that psychiatry is a completely bogus pseudoscience concocted by the lunatic ravings of an Austrian pervert couldn’t kill off credentialed talk therapy for more than 100 years, but simply making insurance companies pay for such “therapy” appears to have it on the edge of extinction in less than a decade.
Alone with his psychiatrist, the patient confided that his newborn had serious health problems, his distraught wife was screaming at him and he had started drinking again. With his life and second marriage falling apart, the man said he needed help. But the psychiatrist, Dr. Donald Levin, stopped him and said: “Hold it. I’m not your therapist. I could adjust your medications, but I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
Like many of the nation’s 48,000 psychiatrists, Dr. Levin, in large part because of changes in how much insurance will pay, no longer provides talk therapy, the form of psychiatry popularized by Sigmund Freud that dominated the profession for decades. Instead, he prescribes medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient.
Is there any chance we can force insurance companies to pay for Neo-Keynesian economics while we’re at it? But in light of how we were contemplating earlier those white-collar jobs that can be automated, it occurs to me that psychiatry is clearly an occupation that can be easily replaced with software programs that are much cheaper than psychologists or even social workers. How hard can it be to make a synthetic speech program that asks “so how does that make you feel”, “I’m sensing you harbor some ambivalence about your mother”, and “I’m just going to prescribe you Xanax and we’ll see how that works for you.”