The Decline of

By: Lauren Gill

recent NYTimes Op-Ed piece points out that the number of patients receiving psychotherapy treatments has fallen by 34 percent from 1998 to 2007 while the number of people on medications with no therapy has increased by 23 percent. This is not because therapy has been found to be less effective or less preferred than medication but rather is the result of the successful marketing and lobbying of the pharmaceutical industry. Author Brandon Gaudiano points out “medications, because of their potential side effects, should in most cases be considered only if therapy either doesn’t work well or if the patient isn’t willing to try counseling.” To strengthen the industry, therapists need to embrace the evidence based treatments that have been researched and proved to be effective and understand which ineffective treatments need to be abandoned. The quick fix of medication may be appealing to both insurers and patients but teaching people effective ways of dealing with their thoughts, feelings and relationships may ultimately be a less harmful and more sanctifying solution.