Do you have the basic advertising working? Perfect, we can skip the basics and concentrate on the additional value of knowing how the brain and the mind work: enhancing the treatment effect. While “placebo treatment” is rather unethical under normal conditions, it is ethical end recommended to enhance evidence-based treatments by exploiting their placebo potential in addition to their biological effect. As an illustration of possible effect sizes, see the study finding placebo surgery of Parkinsonian patients more efficient compared to real transplantation of dopamine neurons disguised as sham procedure. In other words: patients who were told they underwent surgery recovered to higher extent compared to those who really received the surgical treatment but were told they did not.

Talking of placebo, clients are always happier when you care about them. In case of patients, they even improve more if you work on their motivation, building the right attitude, improving compliance, and building trust and optimism. Building the right mindset while staying on the ground of probabilistic effects of most treatments in mental health can be tricky. There is a way out, though: presenting conservative, data-based recommendations when to buy a service or a device, to be used predominantly for decision making, together with optimistic stories triggering subconscious expectations.

And there are many more spots for improvement. Can you imagine your patients receiving a letter explaining their condition, the treatment, and your personal interest in your clinical work, even before their arrive at the first consultation? Or, knowing that research conditions improve compliance and placebo, how about reminding your patients that you care about them via diaries or questionnaires after they leave your practice / buy your product? And talking of diaries, the patients can track relevant aspects of their lifestyle, with the self-tracking further adding to the treatment effect.