By Nicolas Gurley
Since the later part of the twentieth century we have seen a significant rise in the use of medication for the treatment of all and any psychological disorders despite how moderate or mild they may be. This is mostly due to the fact that the pharmaceutical companies heavily market their products directly to the public as well as to mental health professionals. Unfortunately this significant marketing has undermined the value and effectiveness of another form of treatment, such as psychotherapy, which has shown to be more cost effective in the long run as it more effective in treating non psychotic symptoms such as mild to moderate depression or anxiety with lower rates of relapse than treatment plans that rely more heavily on medications.
Of course, psychotherapy and other forms of talk therapy are only as good as the therapist him or herself, which is why the authors of an article in the apa’s monitor on psychology specify what you want to look for in a good therapist:
Has a sophisticated set of interpersonal skills.
Builds trust, understanding and belief from the client.
Has an alliance with client.
Has an acceptable and adaptive explanation of the client’s condition.
Has a treatment plan and allows it to be flexible.
Is influential, persuasive and convincing.
Monitors [client] progress.
Offers hope and optimism (realistic optimism, not Pollyanna-ish).
Is aware of a client’s characteristics in context.Is reflective.
Relies on best research evidence.
Continually improves through professional development.
You can read the whole article here: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/10/psychotherapy.aspx
If you are interested in this kind of approach to mental health treatment you can give us a call because in our practice we strongly favor the use of talk therapies over the use of medications.