December 1st 1996
Psychotherapy is as old as civilization. Literally soul therapy, the term is a misnomer, since soul is a mystical notion and what is meant is the whole person. The misnomer also survives in the name psychiatry, literally soul medicine. Yet nobody is crusading against psychiatry and psychotherapy because soul is unscientific. What is important is that psychotherapy and psychiatry are job descriptions that refer to what we actually do when as providers or recipients of the service called psychotherapy, we use words to convey meaningful messages to each other, or to evoke desirable acts from each other.