VIDEO: When Meds Pave the Way for Successful Therapy

Reducing Arousal with Meds

Rich Simon

Have you ever had a new client come to a first session and announce—with a formality that seems right out of the DSM—exactly what his diagnosis is? Perhaps this client is also certain about what symptoms are the result of a “chemical imbalance” and thus can be immediately treated with medication, not therapy. He may be willing to talk about some things in therapy, like his job or his marriage—but in terms of his anxiety, that’s what the pills are for.


Steven Dubovsky on why the interrelated mind and body should inform treatment.


 Not so, according to psychiatrist Steven Dubovsky, author of Psychotropic Drug Prescriber’s Survival Guide, who believes it’s wrong to think of meds exclusively in terms of handling brain chemistry and talk therapy as only managing nebulous emotions. In reality, talk therapy and medication often work best in conjunction, since medication can pave the way for therapy to be more fully effective.

In this brief video clip, Steven explains that clients are rarely cured by medication or therapy alone. “The two complement each other,” he says. “Medications are especially useful with issues like OCD and anxiety disorders. After reducing high levels of arousal, they make exposure, relaxation, and cognitive restructuring possible.”


In the Networker Webcast series Meds: Myths and Realities, Steven shares tips for opening up skeptical clients to the possibility of psychiatric treatment and shows you the best way to deal with clients who thinks meds are the quickest, easiest, and only road to recovery.

Topic: Psychopharmacology | Anxiety/Depression

Tags: anxiety disorders | diagnosing | DSM | mind and body | mind-body | ocd | psychiatric treatment | psychiatrist | therapy

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