I would like to share a very important article that was published in the New York Times a few days ago. It is called “Psychotherapy’s Image Problem”, and was written by Brandon A. Gaudiano of Brown University.

big pharma vs small therapy

Here is a brief summary of Dr Gaudiano’s main points:

  • The number of people using psychotherapy alone for mental health problems is dropping, while the number of people using medication alone is increasing
  • Recent trials show that therapy is more effective in the long run than medication for many of the most common disorders
  • Why are fewer people seeking psychotherapy? The author suggest that the profession has an “image problem”. In particular:
    1. There is no “Big Therapy” lobbying group to promote the field. On the other hand, Big Pharma has deep pockets to aggressively market their drugs
    2. Many practitioners are not using evidence-based therapies, giving the field as a whole a bad repuation
  • If we do not promote treatment guidelines that are firmly supported by evidence, psychotherapy risks being sidelined in the future

I highly recommend reading the whole article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/opinion/psychotherapys-image-problem.html

Fjola

Fjola  Helgadottir, PhD, MClinPsych, is a clinical psychologist, a senior research clinician at the University of Oxford, and is a co-creator of AI-Therapy.com, an online CBT treatment program for overcoming social anxiety