Psychotherapy in the Age of Biological Psychiatry:

“Psychiatrists know about the latest drug trials, but they don’t always know about the latest clinical trials of psychotherapy"

How important it is that we not operate on the extremes, or in little niches. The progress in science and society should result in better outcomes and collaboration, not pendulum shifts that serve no one.


  1. Hi, Laura -

    Well said! I think there are many options to figuring out how to make peace with the past and how to find joy in the future. It is great when a therapist is flexible enough to incorporate what the client needs.

    - Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

  2. Much of the debate in this area seems to be about talk therapy versus medications. But there is also another kind of therapy for psychiatric disorders that is really neither one. It is exposure therapy: the idea is that entrenched patterns of thought and fears can be successfully addressed by directly influencing behaviors. For example, if a person has a debilitating fear of snakes, you expose them to snakes. If they fear food, you feed them. It sounds cruel, but in the long run it is humane. This kind of therapy may include talk therapy and medications, but it's in many ways a different, and third, approach.

  3. your blog is completely offensive. i do not have a brain disease, i grew up with a crappy family. you are just in denial that it was probably your fault that your daughter had an eating disorder. Are you a doctor? I didn't think so. SO you can stop talking like you know what is going on in my life and in the lives of millions of others you dumb bitch

  4. I am currently trying to recover and using a combination of both approaches. I have found medication is good for flat lining my moods, however am sceptical of those that rely on it entirely. Psychology sessions have been the key to my recovery as it provides the education and strategy formation I need to change the destructive behaviour patterns.
    Trying different mediums and finding the right balance of medication but also therapy, meditation, light exercise and creative therapies is the best approach.

  5. You make a great point here. The key is developing a full understanding for all of the empirically supported interventions for a particular disorder. Ideally, comparative effectiveness trials will be run too, allowing for direct comparisons of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments. Longitudinal studies allowing for proper assessments of relapse rates are key as well. The more we know, the better equipped we are as clinicians to offer effective care, even if that means referring the client to somebody else who specializes in the treatment with greater support, thereby developing a collaborative professional relationship.

  6. mmaannggaa - "joy in living" is such a beautiful way of putting it!

    Anonymous 1 - exposure therapy IS a part of talk therapy: cognitive behavioral therapy. And a promising one, indeed!

    Anonymous 2 - I apologize for offending you with my beliefs. I also apologize for being an imperfect parent. Your unkindness, however, I can't help you with.

    Karin - I celebrate the balance of tools you and your team bring to your recovery!

    Mike - the psych world does have to accept that it is inherently multi-disciplinary and is best improved by integrating all the knowledge we can gather in a methodical way!

  7. Anon2,

    Have you ever heard the phrase "the pot calling the kettle black"? Because you didn't say much that would make Laura look like a dumb bitch, but I could almost congratulate you for the fine job you did in making yourself look like a dumb bitch. I shall refrain from complementing you, however, because you didn't have the cojones to identify yourself.

    Even if you were correct in your assessment of Laura (which I can assure you that you are not), I can say that I take criticism better when a) someone doesn't insult me and b) they use proper grammar and capitalization. Just some friendly writer-ly advice.

    If you find Laura's blog annoying, my advice is simple: stop reading and shut up.


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