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March 11, 2011

Psychiatry Turns to Drug Therapy

An article in the New York Times entitled “Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy” discusses how insurance companies have cut or eliminated reimbursement for talk therapy. They discuss how one psychiatrist has changed his practice, from spending up to an hour with each patient providing psychotherapy and medication management, to brief appointments limited to dispensing and managing medication.  Unfortunately, this is the current state of medicine in the world of managed care.  The emphasis is placed on “giving a medication” after a cursory evaluation, so that the patient feels they are getting something out of the interaction.  The net result is that many persons with psychological problems are overmedicated or on the wrong medications.  Many are on multiple medications, some of which may be counterproductive.

At PCH Treatment Center, each Client undergoes a psychiatric evaluation with analysis and, when necessary, adjustment of their medication regimen.  We find Clients are frequently not on the right medications or are on too many medications.  Thus, the first step to healing is to remove medications that aren’t helping and find ones that work, in conjunction with intensive psychotherapies.  To quote one of the Psychiatrists interviewed in this article, “Medication is important,” she said, “but it’s the relationship that gets people better.”  At PCH Treatment Center, we agree with this sentiment.  Individual psychotherapy, group therapies, holistic activities, and a healing milieu are critical to our Clients to allow them to recover and heal from psychological issues that are adversely affecting their lives.

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