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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Medication Alone Isn't as Effective as Psychotherapy to Overcome Anxiety or Depression

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on taking medication to overcome anxiety or depression.  While medication can be helpful, medication alone often isn't enough.  Aside from the possible side effects, medication alone doesn't help you to make the kind of changes you need to make to overcome anxiety or depression.  Rather than relying on medication alone, attending psychotherapy with an experienced therapist is usually more effective.

Medication Alone Isn't as Effective as Psychotherapy to Overcome Anxiety or Depression

Medication Alone Isn't Enough to Overcome Anxiety or Depression
Believing that medication alone is enough for you to overcome anxiety or depression is a seductive idea.  It sounds simple and quick.  There are lots of commercials on TV that lead you to believe that all you have to do is pop a pill to fill better.  But this idea is deceptive.

Psychotherapy is Effective in Helping You to Make Changes in Your Life to Overcome Anxiety or Depression 
Just taking medication alone won't help you to make much-needed changes in your life to overcome anxiety or depression.  There might be things that you're doing (or not doing) that might be contributing to your anxiety or depression.

By simply taking a pill, you won't learn to make the necessary changes that might be exacerbating your condition.

For instance, medication won't help you to develop emotional intelligence to handle your problems.  Developing emotional intelligence is something you learn to do in therapy.

Also, medication alone won't help to motivate you to engage in the type of self care that might actually make it unnecessary to take medication.

So, for instance, research has shown that, in many instances, doing exercise can be as effective to alleviate anxiety or depressive symptoms as medication and without the side effects.  In therapy, you can develop the motivation to exercise and engage in other types of self care that can help you to feel better.

In many cases, either psychotherapy alone or psychotherapy and medication can be effective, depending upon the client and the severity of the symptoms.

It's very important that you consult with your doctor before you stop taking medication.

See the link below for my article about APA research, which reveals that psychotherapy is effective, but it's underutilized.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or send me an email: 

APA: Research Reveals That Psychotherapy Is Effective But Underutilized

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