Psychologists warn about the dangers of rising psychological pseudoscience

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A rise in psychological pseudoscience is putting people at risk, psychologists have warned, with social media and celebrity endorsements partly to blame.

Mental health apps, mood-boosting supplements and energy therapies are among the therapies that could do ‘more harm than good’ according to psychologists Jonathan Stea and Stephen Hupp in their new book Investigating Clinical Psychology.

“This is the age of health misinformation. It is everywhere. It is in our social media feeds, promoted by celebrities and influencers, and permeates the legacy news media. We are bombarded with advertisements pushing unsupported therapies and practices. Health misinformation has also worked its way into TV shows, movies, and books. And, increasingly, it is embraced and promoted by prominent politicians.”

Stea, Hupp and a slew of experts in the field have come together in a series of expert-led deep-dives into the world of clinical psychology with a focus on debunking and differentiating between pseudoscientific- and scientific approaches.

The book covers a variety of topics, including crystal healing, detoxing, animal-assisted therapies, hypnosis, and energy medicine.

“There have been many important contributions to clinical psychology that have flourished in the last century, but there has been an equally powerful but harmful rise in pseudoscience,” Hupp explains. “It is great that more people are talking about mental health – but it must be linked to scientific evidence.”

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