Sunday, October 3, 2010

Psychiatrists vs. Psychologists: New Rules

Freud's office: Buddha heads and the original psychotherapist's couch (

(TIME) Psychologists and psychiatrists tend to hate each other. The reasons are historical: beginning even before Freud, psychologists held enormous power over the cultural imagination. The whole idea of psychiatry — an explicitly chemical rather than behavioral treatment of the mind — didn't start until the industrial age, and for a long time afterward, psychiatrists were held in disregard.

Friday morning, psychiatrists take a bit of revenge. Even after years of symposia and papers designed to reconnect the two tendril branches of mental-health treatment, the American Psychiatric Association has released new guidelines for treatment of depression that still denigrate the cognitive and behavioral approaches of the American Psychological Association.

(Both organizations are called A.P.A., and neither will relinquish the shortened form to the other, because as it turns out, the nation's mental-health leaders act like children.)

According to the new guidelines — which will govern treatment for the 200,000 in-patient psychiatric patients in the U.S., as well as the 20 million or so who get out-patient treatment — the No.-1 preferred approach is drugs. Just drugs. More>>

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