Why Placebos Work
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal summarizes some of the explanations about how we think placebos work. If you read an earlier blog post I wrote about placebos, what I find so fascinating about all this is that even when subjects/patients are told they are receiving a placebo (either in the form of […]
Happiness Promotes Health
In a recent presentation, US Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy said, “If there was a factor in your life that could reduce your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, that could increase your chances of living longer, and would make your children less likely to engage in crime or use drugs, and […]
Is Psychotherapy Better Than Medication?
The American College of Physicians has released a new clinical guideline on the treatment of depression in the Annals of Internal Medicine. They suggested that psychotherapy is as effective for treating depression as antidepressants, and “given its relative lack of potential harms, should be strongly considered as the first-line treatment.” This is consistent with the […]
Primary Care Providers to Screen all Patients for Depression
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now officially recommends that primary care health clinicians screen all of their patients for depression. Though this is wonderful, this is very, very long overdue. The costs associated with depression and other mental health screen are insignificant relative to the potential gains of “catching” otherwise unrecognized suffering patients. […]
Can Talk Therapy Change Your Brain?
I teach a great professional development and clinical consultation class at Loyola University Maryland. Yesterday morning my doctoral students and I had a great discussion about what makes psychotherapy work (among some other very stimulating discussions). This morning I received an email with a link to an article entitled, Revival of psychotherapy? How “talk” therapy […]
Therapy, Medication or Both (or Neither)?
I stumbled upon this brief piece in the Huffington Post about when patients should consider doing psychotherapy, trying medication, doing both at the same time or not doing anything at all. I liked this article because it was short and to the point while giving some nice examples behind the answer to the question: “it […]
Over the years of doing psychotherapy with individuals and couples I have often observed a thematic trend from patient to patient. Sometimes I get a bunch of calls about relationship problems or several existing patients will bring up similar issues in the same week or even the same day. Lately I have noticed that I […]
Psychotherapy Helps Prevent Suicide
An article was recently published in The Lancet Psychiatry and nicely summarized in Forbes describing the benefits of even short-term psychotherapy on repeated suicide attempts and suicide related deaths. Not surprisingly, the data suggest that talk therapy serves to significantly reduce the frequency of suicide following a previous suicide attempt. The Forbes article also very […]
Blood test for Depression?
A couple months ago there were a few articles that ran about developing a blood test for Major Depressive Disorder ( see: The Chicago Tribune, CBS News, TIME, Medscape, Huffington Post, Newsweek, New York Magazine and HealthDay). This sounds great: it could revolutionize the diagnostic process making more precise distinctions between Depression and other disorders, […]
Psychotherapy lasts longer than medications
A recent study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics suggests that both psychotherapy and antidepressants are both quite effective in reducing depression. However in contrast to medication, the benefits of psychotherapy appear to be longer-lasting. The authors of the study used PET imaging, clinical evaluations and a variety of psychological instruments to measure the changes. The study […]