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Unread April 16th, 2011, 08:59 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Bellingham, Washington
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Default Psychiatry Turning to Drug Therapy

In a March 5th, 2011 article in the New York Times, reporter Gardiner Harris describes the trend of psychiatrists in the united States giving up talk therapy completely and only prescribing medication. Reduced insurance payments and pressure from hospitals and corporation have resulted in many psychiatrists seeing 1,200 patients for prescription adjustments, in 12-15 minute visits, often several months apart. With a catastrophic loss of intimacy, many psychiatrists cannot even remember their patients' names. A typical psychiatrist now sees 3-4 people in an hour, working an 11-hour day (40 patients/day!). In 2005, only 11 percent of psychiatrists provided talk therapy, leaving the field open to psychologists, marriage & family therapists, and social workers. Sadly, the profession seems to have caved in to a hard-nosed business practice. However, a few adventurous psychiatrists have cut ties with insurers, relying on full payment from clients and word-of-mouth referrals. The article does acknowledge that there is no evidence that psychiatrists provide higher quality talk therapy than psychologists, marriage and family therapists, or social workers. Is it possible that some of these psychiatrists might have been able to sustain a talk therapy practice by getting better training?
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