I saw this linked by Tyler Cowen’s blog, that yes, money does buy happiness. Psychotherapy, however, does not make people happier:
We study the economic and psychological effects of a USD 1076 PPP unconditional cash transfer, a five-week psychotherapy program, and the combination of both interventions among 5,756 individuals in rural Kenya. One year after the interventions, cash transfer recipients had higher consumption, asset holdings, and revenue, as well as higher levels of psychological well-being than control households. In contrast, the psychotherapy program had no measurable effects on either psychological or economic outcomes, both for individuals with poor mental health at baseline and others. The effects of the combined treatment are similar to those of the cash transfer alone.The Comparative Impact of Cash Transfers and a Psychotherapy Program on Psychological and Economic Well-being
Obviously, this is just one study, has limitations, etc. But it does conform to my pre-existing prejudices that in many situations, simple solutions that empower people to take control of their own lives are better than sending an expert to talk to them.