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Learning to Bear the Unbearable

How MDMA Works

Bessel van der Kolk, Rich Simon

By Bessel van der Kolk and Rich Simon - As a researcher and outspoken advocate for therapeutic innovation, Bessel van der Kolk has been as influential as anyone in shaping the landscape of trauma therapy today. He describes what’s distinctive about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

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The Limits of Big Pharma

Psychopharmacology Has Plateaued. Does It Have a Future?

Talia Puzantian

By Talia Puzantian - In the more than quarter century since the arrival of Prozac, few medications since then have represented any real expansion of our understanding of how to regulate the nervous system with chemicals. So what lies ahead for psychopharmacology? And where might the new advances come from?

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A Paradigm of Wholeness

Offering Medication as the Primary—And Often Only—Treatment Isn't Working

Henry Emmons

By Henry Emmons - Today, medication management remains the primary role of most psychiatrists. In my view, it’s not working well, either for our patients, or for ourselves. Feeling deeply that something was missing in my own psychiatry practice, I developed a three-stage process for treating depression through more holistic, integrative work.

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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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VIDEO: Frank Anderson on Bridging the Chasm between Psychotherapy and Psychiatry

How to Discuss Meds with Your Clients

Frank Anderson

Psychotherapists are usually on the front lines of mental health treatment, trained to spot and assess everything from changes in mood to unusual physical reactions. But given all their expertise, why don’t more of us make judgment calls when it comes to medication? And why do so many therapists show only a perfunctory interest in the ups and downs of their clients’ reactions to psychiatric medications?

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Diagnosing and Treating Subtle Bipolar II

A Perspective on "Depression Plus"

James Phelps

By James Phelps - Treatment for bipolar disorders used to focus on medication, but like many other mood specialists, I’ve found that most clients don’t get the help they need with medication alone, or even with established therapy approaches in combination with medication. Instead, a combination of new, lesser-known therapies plus medications has been shown to produce substantial gains in mood stabilization and daily functioning.

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What Has Psychopharmacology Taught Us?

And the Four Psychological Conditions We Now Know Are Lifelong Disorders

John Preston

By John Preston - Ultimately, while psychiatric drugs do save lives, the fact remains that integrative treatment (psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, exercise, and sometimes medications) works best. It behooves us to give our clients the best we have to offer, which involves much more than just offering pills to temporarily relieve symptoms.

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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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Does Prescription Medication Eliminate the Need for Therapy?

Michael Yapko on the Enduring Role of Talk Therapy

Michael Yapko

Americans have a history of valuing quick-fix solutions to difficult problems. But the simplistic psychopharmacological approach to depressive disorders underestimates the remarkable human capacity for self-transformation. We have the ability to use imagination and intelligence to change our life circumstances, our attitudes and emotions, even, to some extent, our personalities. It is the privilege of our profession to be able to help troubled people along this path, and though medications may make this journey less arduous, in the long run, therapists are indispensable for getting their clients to this destination.

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Childhood ADHD and the Prescription Drug Rush

ADHD Diagnoses in Children Spurred a Medication Boom

Lawrence Diller

Doctors, especially psychiatrists, have been changing their view of children's problems since the 1970s. Before then, based on the Freudian model, Johnny's problems were considered the result of inner conflicts generated primarily by his relationship with his mother. But in 1980, with the publication of DSM-III, a new concept---for most psychiatric conditions, including ADHD---was announced. The diagnosis of ADHD and the use of drugs like Ritalin rose at rates never before seen in this country---or anywhere else, for that matter. The year 1991 marked a veritable sea change---a social movement began that changed the way our society views children's misbehavior and underperformance.

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