Psychotherapy Pays for Itself…

Psychotherapy can make you richer – especially if you are a man

Authors: Noemi Mantovan, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Bangor University, Guido Cozzi, Professor of Macroeconomics, University of St.Gallen; and Silvia Galli, University of St. Gallen Publisehd online on The Conversation, December 11, 2018 8.52am EST

“…data shows that men who reported… …consulting a psychotherapist experienced an income increase of 13% in the subsequent year. For women the income increase was only 8%. Though different, the boost is substantial for both genders and reflects an increase in productivity resulting from psychotherapy, with an associated reduction of poverty. Needless to say, in our analysis we filtered out the effect of several other factors affecting income – such as education, children, marital status, type of occupation, age, and more – to find a direct link between income and therapy.

“Psychotherapy is good for mental health, but it can be very expensive too. As economists we try to carefully model and evaluate the monetary effects of different actions and policies. So, for our recent study we decided to use our methodologies to look into psychotherapy, and work out how it can affect labour income.

“We analysed British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) data collected between 1995 and 2008. This survey observes the characteristics and decisions of 2,943 men and 5,064 women over time. The participants are randomly selected so that they statistically represent a much larger UK population. Using this information, we looked both at the effect of psychotherapy on mental health (measured using the general health questionnaire, which is used to identify common psychiatric conditions) and income. The results are clear and robust: psychotherapy helps people improve not only their future mental health, but also their future income.

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