Farhad Dalal

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Dr. Farhad Dalal is a British psychotherapist and group analyst, working with individuals, groups, and organizations. He has been in independent practice for more than thirty years, initially in London and now in Devon.[1] Dr. Farhad has written several books[2] including CBT: The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami: Managerialism, Politics and the Corruptions of Science.[3] Dr. Dalal writes, teaches, and lectures in Britain and internationally.[2]

Dr. Dalal is a critic of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) research. Dr. Dalal gave the lecture Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: The CBT Evidence Base[4][5] in which he discusses two clinical trials'[6][7] statistical corruption[8][9] that led to the overselling of mindfullness and CBT[8] and the failure of having "good science" behind them.[10]

Over the last decades, there has been a consistent trend toward deregulation for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry. This then is the research culture in which the science of CBT is cultivated. A culture of low standards and at times outright deceit. And as is bound to be the case, the science of CBT is contaminated by the culture in which it has grown and cultivated. — Many of the great congruent governments and policymakers have been gullible enough to believe them. Squandered prestigious amounts of public money and perversely caused more positive harm to many of the inhabitants of this land. — Dr. Farhad Dalal, 'Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: The CBT Evidence Base, Lecture at The Limbus Critical Psychotherapy Conference, Nov 1,2, 2014, YouTube @10:07, YouTube @44:45

Academic positions[edit | edit source]

  • Visiting Professor at the PhD School, Complexity & Organizations Programme, Open University of Holland
  • Formerly, Associate Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire's  Business School in the Complexity and Management Centre

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

  • 2015, Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: The Art of Overselling the CBT Evidence Base[8](Full Text) PDF
This paper takes a close look at two interlinked studies on mindful- ness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), Teasdale and colleagues, 2000 and Ma and Teasdale, 2004. The second study corroborates the find- ings of the first study to claim that MBCT is a cost-effective treatment that prevents the recurrence of depression in 50% of the population. A close reading of the statistical and linguistic manipulations reveals that the outcomes are closer to 25%, and then too for a very limited population. In sum, the paper argues that the evidence for MBCT is being vastly oversold, as is the evidence for the effectiveness for cogni- tive behavioural therapy (CBT) more generally.[8]
  • 2018, CBT: The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami: Managerialism, Politics and the Corruptions of Science[9](Abstract)
Is CBT all it claims to be? The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami: Managerialism, Politics, and the Corruptions of Science provides a powerful critique of CBT’s understanding of human suffering, as well as the apparent scientific basis underlying it. The book argues that CBT psychology has fetishized measurement to such a degree that it has come to believe that only the countable counts. It suggests that the so-called science of CBT is not just “bad science” but “corrupt science”. The rise of CBT has been fostered by neoliberalism and the phenomenon of New Public Management. The book not only critiques the science, psychology and philosophy of CBT, but also challenges the managerialist mentality and its hyper-rational understanding of “efficiency”, both of which are commonplace in organizational life today. The book suggests that these are perverse forms of thought, which have been institutionalised by NICE and IAPT and used by them to generate narratives of CBT’s prowess. It claims that CBT is an exercise in symptom reduction which vastly exaggerates the degree to which symptoms are reduced, the durability of the improvement, as well as the numbers of people it helps. Arguing that CBT is neither the cure nor the scientific treatment it claims to be, the book also serves as a broader cultural critique of the times we live in; a critique which draws on philosophy and politics, on economics and psychology, on sociology and history, and ultimately, on the idea of science itself. It will be of immense interest to psychotherapists, policymakers and those concerned about the excesses of managerialism.[9]

Clinic location[edit | edit source]

  • South Devon Psychotherapy & Counselling Services
4 Glenarm Terrace
TOTNES
Devon
TQ9 5PY
  • 01803 867413
  • 0778 222 0385
  • Website
  • e-mail: info@devonpsychotherapy.org.uk

Talks and interviews[edit | edit source]

Farhad Dalal - Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: The CBT Evidence Base (2014) By Farhad Dalal/Challenging the Cognitive Behavioural Therapies: The Overselling of CBT's Evidence Base
In this presentation I will subject elements of CBT research to a critique on its own terms - that is, from within the very 'Scientific' paradigm that CBT aspires to. I will begin arguing that as the 'third wave' of CBT (Mindfulness, CAT, ACT, DBT, etc) starts to give weight to ways of thinking that it previously disparaged, it comes to look more and more like the other psychotherapies that CBT seeks to distinguish itself from. I liken this process to that of colonisation and its way of appropriation.
Next, I take issue with manualisation itself, to say that the insistence that clinicians should stick closely to manualised protocols is driven by the needs of researchers (which is to keep control of the 'variables' in their experiments) rather than in the clinical interests of patients.
In the main part of the paper I will attend to the science behind the research and the ways that it gets written up. First up is the problem of 'publication bias', which when combined with the research requirements of NICE, constitutes a betrayal of the ideals of Science itself. Next, I will look closely at two interlinked well regarded research papers that demonstrate the efficacy of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, and are widely cited as examples of good research. A close reading of these papers will show that the picture is not as convincing as their abstracts would have us believe.[4]

Books[edit | edit source]

Online presence[edit | edit source]

  • e-mail: dalal@devontherapy.co.uk

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

The following studies are discussed by Dr. Dalal in his 2014 lecture Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: The CBT Evidence Base.

CBT and ME/CFS

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Farhad Dalal". www.dalal.org.uk. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019. 
  2. 2.02.1 "South Devon Psychotherapy & Counselling services (Farhad Dalal)". www.devontherapy.co.uk. About Us: Who we are. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019. 
  3. Dalal, Farhad (Sep 25, 2018). CBT: The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami: Managerialism, Politics and the Corruptions of Science (1 ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-1782206644. 
  4. 4.04.14.2 "Farhad Dalal - Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: The CBT Evidence Base". YouTube. Challenging the Cognitive Behavioural Therapies: The Overselling of CBT's Evidence Base. Jan 17, 2015. 
  5. 5.05.1 "Lectures and Workshops". www.dalal.org.uk. Nov 1, 2, 2014. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019. 
  6. 6.06.1 Teasdale, John D.; Segal, Zindel V.; Williams, J. Mark G.; Ridgeway, Valerie A.; Soulsby, Judith M.; Lau, Mark A. (2000). "Prevention of Relapse/Recurrence in Major Depression by Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy" (PDF). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 68 (4): 615–623. doi:10.1037//0022-006X.68.4.615 – via radboudcentrumvoormindfulness.nl. 
  7. 7.07.1 Ma, S. Helen (2004). "Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: Replication and Exploration of Differential Relapse Prevention Effects" (PDF). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 72 (1): 31–40. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.72.1.31 – via radboudcentrumvoormindfulness.nl. 
  8. 8.08.18.28.3 "(PDF) Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: The Art of Overselling the CBT Evidence Base". ResearchGate. Jun 2015. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019. 
  9. 9.09.19.2 "CBT: The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami: Managerialism, Politics and the Corruptions of Science | Request PDF". ResearchGate. Sep 2018. Retrieved Feb 20, 2019. 
  10. Farhad, Dalal (2018). "1". CBT: The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami Managerialism, Politics and the Corruptions of Science. UK: Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 9781782206644. The arguments of this book are that the claims of CBT are not rational but hyper-rational, and that its observations as well as its logical arguments, fall far short of the standards required by good science. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy[citation needed]

"Bias in research is "a systematic deviation of an observation from the true clinical state" (Sackett et al., 1986).[1]

Myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome, often used when both illnesses are considered the same.

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