Archives for May, 2010
We continue with Dr. Carole. Are there any benefits to just doing medication visits? For example, it is less expensive for the patient to see a psychologist or other psychotherapist for regular therapy appointments. If a psychiatrist and a psychologist (or social worker or MFCC) work closely together, in the same office or same clinic, and have regularly scheduled meetings to discuss the cases they have in common, they could, theoretically provide good treatment to a patient, with less overall cost. However, in the real world, this doesn’t happen as diligently as it should. Regularly scheduled weekly meetings to discuss cases become five-minute telephone calls every six weeks, if that.
Therapy Soup is fortunate enough to be able to speak with three-time Emmy award winning psychiatrist and author, Dr. Carole Lieberman. We wanted to discuss why the vast majority of psychiatrists no longer do psychotherapy and why Dr. Carole (who is a psychiatrist who does psychotherapy), believes this to be detrimental to the patient. Welcome, Dr. Carole. Can you tell us a little bit about the genesis of psychiatry and how it has changed over the years? Before the advent of psychiatric medication, the influence of Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, and his ‘talking cure’ was profound. Then medications became the ‘shiny new toy’ that caught the eye of psychiatrists and gradually distracted them away from getting at the underlying root of the problem through therapy. There is no doubt that psychiatric medications can be, literally, lifesaving for many patients, but they should not be used without psychotherapy given along with them. Otherwise, the medications are simply masking the symptoms and allowing the patient to pretend that he doesn’t have any underlying problems. If a patient has a problem serious enough to require medication, then he certainly needs psychotherapy, as well.
Paris and Donovan’s story touched many people’s hearts--we know because readers always ask us about them. This young, talented couple had an incredibly wounding therapy experience. Paris shares a bit about the past and what has happened since then. Can you tell us briefly about why you chose to share your story of Therapy-Gone-Wrong in Therapy Revolution? What most defined our story was this scenario of the professional, austere therapist, sitting in his mahogany office, bearing all the trappings of authority, and myself – an intelligent but essentially vulnerable woman trying to make sense of her life and her marriage. There was virtually no input from the therapist, no continuity from session to session.
In Part One of our interview with Dr. Hal Urschel we were introduced to the importance of using proven methods of addiction treatment. Dr. Urschel, with dual-diagnosed patients, especially, who are coping with symptoms of many kinds, prescribing medications is generally a medical necessity, correct? Yes. And now we know that many addiction patients have at least two and often more diseases. For example sometimes a patient might have liver disease, alcoholism, depression, and brain trauma—that’s three or four diseases!
Part One We are very excited to introduce you to Dr. Harold C. Urschel, MD, the acclaimed author of the New York Times Bestseller, Healing the Addicted Brain: The Revolutionary, Science-Based Alcoholism and Addiction Recovery Program. In his book Dr. Urschel shows readers the state-of-the-art, scientifically proven addiction treatments and helps them tap into the approaches to treatment that really work.
[Below are brief excerpts from Paris and Donovan's story of therapy-gone-wrong in Therapy Revolution. Paris, an extremely intelligent and sensitive young woman, displayed extraordinary fortitude in her quest for help.] Paris and Donovan were young, stylish, and newly wed. Donovan was a successful writer and Paris was a portrait painter. They both had strong family connections and shared similar values and goals, but like many newlyweds, found the first year or two of marriage to be stressful. In addition to dynamic careers, they had baby Oliver less than a year after the wedding. Life was busy! Paris and Donovan scheduled a session with Dr. Lange [a psychologist]. He charged $200 for a fifty-minute session—a practice I am not fond of.
In the first part of Therapy-Gone-Wrong we introduce Angelica, one of the patients we interviewed for our book. Now we hear from Angelica in her own words: Dear Richard, Congratulations on another book of the month award. I was really happy to see it especially because everything I went through and how the advice you gave really helped me. I know how much just telling my story really helped me and seeing it in print has somehow lifted a weight off my shoulders. I’m famous! Only anonymously. Reading your blog and the other blogs on PsychCentral also really helps. It is good to know that this community is here. I really like Kelly McAleer’s blog too and some others. And because I got married (big surprise) I like reading Lisa Kift. Her web site is great. I need all the help I can get trying to figure things out in relationship issues. I didn’t have the greatest role models. I didn’t have any role models!
Before we catch up with Angelica, we want to belatedly thank PsychCentral’s founder, Dr. John Grohol, for choosing Therapy Revolution as PsychCentral’s book of the month for May, National Mental Health Month. We feel honored and grateful. Also, this mention has led to us receiving many e-mails about not only the book but the Therapy Soup blog, too. Since we've been repeatedly getting e-mails asking if the patient and therapist stories in our book were true, we want to come clean: YES! Every single story in the book is true except in the case of the composite patients we use as examples in one section (and they are still based on real-life patient experiences). Over a period of six months we interviewed dozens of patients and many of their families and several therapists. Recently some of you have asked us what has happened to the patients since then. We are actually in touch with many of them, and even though we didn't know some of them before we interviewed them we made some great new friendships. Now, some of the interviewees have agreed to share their news.
In an eleven- year study of 6000 British workers, those who worked three to four hours of overtime were found to be 60 percent more likely to have coronary problems than those working seven hours a day, or even a regular work day with a couple of hours overtime. Over the years we've seen many people with stress-related physical and emotional poblems who definitely fit the description of "work-a-holic". But despite vociferous objections and warnings from physicians and in the media, in the past decade there seems to have been a precipitous rise in the number of hours many people are working, at least the people we know--including us. No longer is it at all unusual to do business as usual on a Sunday and the weekend seems to have simply disappeared.
In part one of Food and Mood: Losing 100 Pounds, we told you of my experience with raw and living foods. Now we want to tell you about Supercharge Me: 30 Days Raw, the intriguing, award-winning documentary by Jenna Norwood. It shows her experience as she goes through a 30 day raw-food detox. Before we begin our interview with Jenna, a warm, delightful woman with an incredible zest for life, we want to mention that we do not advocate a raw food diet or any other diet for anyone -- we are not nutritionists and we do not know your individual physical and mental health backgrounds. However, there is ample evidence that though there are a variety of healthy ways to eat out there, and though many of them have some nutritional flaws, including raw and living foods diets, incorporating more living and raw foods in your diet is a good choice for many.