Psychotherapy as a treatment has been around since the term was coined in the early 1870’s. For over a century psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers and other mental health professionals have used a wide range of modalities to treat varying degrees of mental illness. For decades it was the standard of care for individuals who suffered from, what was then called “neurosis”, which is now likely considered a depressive and/or anxiety disorder (depending on presentation). However, over the past 40 years, with the advent of psychopharmacological “interventions”, psychology and psychotherapy took a backseat as a primary form of treatment.
Recent research on psychotherapy has shown that patients treated with combination therapy (psychopharmacological plus psychotherapy) show the most gains and better outcomes in the treatment of a multitude of mental disorders. In a recent American Psychological Association study, it was found that individuals suffering from depression/anxiety disorders had better outcomes and committed to treatment when prescribed psychotherapy alone, instead of just medication.
In my practice I have patients who are currently on medication, I have patients who may need a referral for medication and I have patients who wish to come off their medications. I am trained in helping patients evaluate whether a medication intervention is needed and I can make those referrals when appropriate. In either circumstance I can help patients and support their recovery through psychotherapy.
The benefits of psychotherapy continue to emerge as more and more studies prove the inherent benefits of this treatment method. It is a modality of treatment that has evolved over the past century and continues to improve as more and more empirical evidence supports its efficacy. In many European and South American countries psychotherapy has been incorporated into the standard of care and as a result their citizens report lower rates of depression and anxiety. Psychotherapy is making a resurgence and is helping many people live healthy, satisfying lives.