Sometimes psychoactive medication can work wonders with agitated young clients in the throes of a psychological emergency. But psychiatrist Robert Hedaya, an expert in alternative psychotherapy and founder of the Whole Psychiatry methodology, is concerned with how little we know about the effects of meds on the brains of children and teens.

In this brief video clip, Robert uses the example of a troubled young client to explain why medication shouldn’t always be our first line of defense. “Medicating children is a huge experiment,” Robert says. “We’re dropping chemicals into kids’ bodies, and we don’t even have any long-term studies to show results. That’s a big problem.”



Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.

Robert Hedaya

Robert J. Hedaya, MD, DFAPA, is often referred to as the “thinking person’s doctor” because of his comprehensive data-driven approach to mental illness. A diversely trained and experienced psychiatrist, he is on the faculty of the Institute of Functional Medicine and is a professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University. Dr. Hedaya is the author of Understanding Biological Psychiatry, The Antidepressant Survival Program: How to Beat the Side Effects and Enhance the Benefits of Your Medication, and Depression: Advancing the Treatment Paradigm, as well as a chapter in the Textbook of Functional Medicine. He makes frequent presentations across the country, and has frequently been an expert consultant on Fox TV as well as appearing on the Today Show, CBS Evening News, 20/20, MSNBC, and CNN.