Irving Kirsch





Irving Kirsch

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Average rating: 3.97 · 231 ratings · 43 reviews · 14 distinct works · Similar authors
The Emperor's New Drugs: Ex...
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 212 ratings — published 2009 — 13 editions
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Clinical Hypnosis and Self-...
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4.67 of 5 stars 4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1999
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Hypnosis: Theory, Research ...
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2006
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How Expectancies Shape Expe...
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 1999
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The Emperor's New Drugs Bra...
0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2010 — 2 editions
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The Emperor's New Drugs Bra...
0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2010
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Sex therapy
0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 1973
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Suggestion and the Power of...
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0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2007
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Changing Expectations
0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 1990
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Essentials Of Clinical Hypn...
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4.6 of 5 stars 4.60 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2006
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“Depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it is not cured by medication. Depression may not even be an illness at all. Often, it can be a normal reaction to abnormal situations. Poverty, unemployment, and the loss of loved ones can make people depressed, and these social and situational causes of depression cannot be changed by drugs.”
Irving Kirsch, The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth

“Like antidepressants, a substantial part of the benefit of psychotherapy depends on a placebo effect, or as Moerman calls it, the meaning response. At least part of the improvement that is produced by these treatments is due to the relationship between the therapist and the client and to the client's expectancy of getting better. That is a problem for antidepressant treatment. It is a problem because drugs are supposed to work because of their chemistry, not because of the psychological factors. But it is not a problem for psychotherapy. Psychotherapists are trained to provide a warm and caring environment in which therapeutic change can take place. Their intention is to replace the hopelessness of depression with a sense of hope and faith in the future. These tasks are part of the essence of psychotherapy. The fact that psychotherapy can mobilize the meaning response - and that it can do so without deception - is one of its strengths, no one of its weaknesses. Because hopelessness is a fundamental characteristic of depression, instilling hope is a specific treatment for it it. Invoking the meaning response is essential for the effective treatment of depression, and the best treatments are those that can do this most effectively and that can do without deception.”
Irving Kirsch, The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth

“Depression, we are told over and over again, is a brain disease, a chemical imbalance that can be adjusted by antidepressant medication. In an informational brochure issued to inform the public about depression, the US National Institute for Mental Health tells people that 'depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain' and adds that 'important neurotransmitters - chemicals that brain cells use to communicate - appear to be out of balance'. This view is so widespread that it was even proffered by the editors of PLoS [Public Library of Science] Medicine in their summary that accompanied our article. 'Depression,' they wrote, 'is a serious medical illness caused by imbalances in the brain chemicals that regulate mood', and they went on to say that antidepressants are supposed to work by correcting these imbalances.
The editors wrote their comment on chemical imbalances as if it were an established fact, and this is also how it is presented by drug companies. Actually, it is not. Instead, even its proponents have to admit that it is a controversial hypothesis that has not yet been proven. Not only is the chemical-imbalance hypothesis unproven, but I will argue that it is about as close as a theory gets in science to being dis-proven by the evidence.”
Irving Kirsch, The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth



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