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Is Antidepressant Ketamine a Game-Changer?

Despite Its Growing Popularity, Some Therapists are Cautious

Chris Lyford

By Chris Lyford - In just a few years, the number of clinics administering ketamine, an anesthetic-turned-antidepressant, has spiked rapidly. After about six ketamine infusions, 70 to 80 percent of participants with treatment-resistant depression no longer experience symptoms, and usually within hours. But despite the hype, some therapists are recommending caution.

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Could Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Be the Next Big Thing?

One Woman's Story

Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - Could the insights psychedelic and empathogenic drugs bring—the sense of spiritual grounding and vaporized defenses—finally help trauma survivors and those suffering from common clinical issues turn their lives around? One woman shares why psychedelic-assisted therapy was "the most profound healing she ever experienced."

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VIDEO: How to Think Scientifically about Medications

Why Having a Hypothesis Works for the Non-Medical Therapist

Steven Dubovsky

Despite the increasing popularity of psychiatric meds as the go-to remedy for everything from seasonal depression to social anxiety, drugs are often not the best treatment alternative. In the following video clip, Steven Dubovsky, MD, explains why therapists should create a hypothesis about what might be causing a client’s suffering and investigate it thoroughly before deciding to recommend medication.

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The Biomedical Model is Failing Us

Andrew Weil on Why We Need Integrative Mental Health

Andrew Weil

By Andrew Weil - Depression and anxiety should be as fully conquered as smallpox and polio. But more of us than ever aren't experiencing optimum emotional well-being. Why is the vast enterprise of professional mental health unable to help us feel better? I want you to consider the possibility that the basic assumptions of mainstream psychiatric medicine are obsolete and no longer serve us well. Those assumptions constitute the biomedical model of mental health and dominate the whole field.

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The Problem with Psychopharmacology's Biomedical Model

Andrew Weil Paints a Broader Picture of Emotional Wellness

Andrew Weil

I want you to consider the possibility that the basic assumptions of mainstream psychiatric medicine are obsolete and no longer serve us well. Those assumptions constitute the biomedical model of mental health and dominate the whole field. This leaves no room within its framework for the social, psychological, and behavioral dimensions of illness. Our health or lack of it is the result of biochemical interactions and genetics, dietary choices, exercise patterns, sleep habits, hopes, fears, families, friends, jobs, hobbies, cultures, ecosystems, and more.

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The Internal Family Systems Approach to Psychopharmacology

Frank Anderson on Using IFS to Explore Clients' Feelings About Medication

Frank Anderson

As both a prescriber and a therapist, I believe that the chemical effect of pills is only part of their impact. The other part may seem a little weird, I warn clients, but it has to do with their thoughts, feelings, and expectations around the medications they take—in other words, their relationship with their drugs. I emphasize that for some people, more may be riding on this relationship, the source of so much hope and potential disappointment, than on any other in their life.

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Ketamine: Leading the New Wave of Antidepressants?

Fast-Acting Party Drug Could be in the Pipeline for Depression Treatment

Chris Lyford

Since it was introduced as an anesthetic in the 1970s, ketamine has occupied an uncertain pharmacological status. It’s been used as both a Vietnam-era battlefield painkiller and an illicit party drug, better known as Special K. But recent findings in studies around the world have some researchers wondering whether it might be the silver bullet for depression that Prozac and its sidekicks never turned out to be.

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Antidepressants and Therapy, a Strange Alliance

With Psychopharmacology So Popular, Do We Still Need Therapy?

Scott Miller

In the last decade, a vast intellectual and emotional sea change has taken place. We now inhabit a culture where many people hold the view that their emotional pain is "biochemical" and can be cured by simply taking a pill. In this prevailing cultural script, therapy is sometimes ignored altogether. These views have taken on the luster of scientific truths. But they are not truths. They are myths. Our culture's exaggerated faith in these psychiatric medications rests not on science, but on brilliant marketing by a profit-driven industry. Outcome research has not found these drugs to be any better than therapy, and only marginally better than placebos.

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The Divided Self

Inside the World of 21st Century Teens

Ron Taffel

While at first glance, 21st-century adolescents appear impossibly cool--cooler than we could have ever been ourselves--teens today are running hot. They're not just hormonally hot, but hot with cultural forces that have redefined the nature of their consciousness and experience of selfhood. Millennium kids live in a context that spawns fragmentation, what I call a "divided-self" experience: cool and often cruel on the surface, they hide surprisingly healthy passions beneath.

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The Profound Influence of Today’s Antidepressants

Today’s Video: Can Antidepressants Change Our Personalities?

Rich Simon

For decades, our field has debated the effectiveness of antidepressants in therapy: how much of recovery comes from the placebo effect? Do SSRIs help people achieve anything more than basic levels of functioning? Do they even work at all?

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