When Will It Be Coming to the Large Discount Chain Stores? Psychotherapy as Commodity

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Like other products introduced to American consumers, psychotherapy follows the 4 typical phases of the market cycle: emergence, rapid growth, product maturity, and decline. Economic forces have pushed this product's life into the third phase, where managed care companies act to handle psychotherapy like a commodity. The present major purchasers, American businesses, are seeking bargain prices for basic services. Psychologists should stop chasing this market, which is driven primarily by cost, and use its resources toward innovation of new and effective services for narrower niche markets. Practitioners should refocus their practices away from the medical paradigm and toward the creation of effective total solutions for newly defined market segments.

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