The COVID crisis throws into relief what happens when grief has—quite literally—nowhere to go. The evidence suggests that most people summon strengths that surpass their own expectations.
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More than just meds.
Steven Reidbord M.D.
Like everyone else, we therapists differ in our risk tolerance. But reopening our offices involves other issues as well.
A proposed new diagnosis — and why we shouldn't use it.
In a viral pandemic, therapy should be done remotely if at all possible. But when the crisis is over, will we still value in-person therapy as offering something more?
The new trend is another example of neurobiological hype.
Psychotherapy is so last century. But verbal neuromodulation? That's something academic researchers and the public can really get behind.
"Dialectical" is usually associated with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). But this powerful concept and the related "union of opposites" underlies all schools of psychotherapy.
All mainstream psychotherapy is "evidence-based." Yet this term may be used as a vague selling point, to wrongly imply that other approaches are unsupported by evidence.
Hubris: excessive pride or dangerous over-confidence. Yes, psychiatry is guilty of that. But some of our critics are guilty of bad faith, which is arguably worse.
Are dynamic therapy and psychoanalysis "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM)? They share CAM's individualized, subtle healing principles—and its skeptics as well.
Tribalism divides us into small warring camps. But realizing we are ultimately a camp of one may guide us back to the big camp of humanity.
More and more, personal and social issues are declared "medical." First addiction, then other destructive behaviors, now even suicide and divisive politics. What are the risks?
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was recently featured on TV as "making a comeback." Highly effective for severe depression? Yes. A miracle treatment to popularize? No.
A Toronto killer is arrested without bloodshed, while American suspects are gunned down. De-escalation training, taught to hospital workers, could save lives on U.S. streets.
Treated like dirt? On the road and elsewhere, we react to interpersonal slights as we perceive them. We may be mistaken.
There are few resources specifically for "accidental killers." Can people with severe or unusual emotional suffering get help from mainstream sources?
We live in an age of political splitting. From left to right, differences are highlighted, commonalities submerged. Individual and cultural health instead demands a balance.
In medicine and surgery, a "high risk case" means the patient is at risk. In mental health, sometimes it's the doctor.
A psychodynamic perspective can enhance and individualize non-analytic treatment — even "med checks."
What does psychiatric diagnosis add to political criticism of President Trump?
The story of Rudy, and how his boss helped him gain acceptance by his coworkers.
Many medications can be abused. Prescribing doctors are gatekeepers who separate legitimate use from abuse. However, this distinction is becoming less clear.
Psychiatry's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual" serves many functions. Surprisingly, the routine practice of clinical psychiatry isn't one of them.
There is a growing movement for primary-care doctors to avoid insurance and only accept cash. Psychiatrists have been there first. What lessons can we pass along?
Blaming ourselves (and others) for emotions isn't fair.
One-upmanship is staying a step ahead of rivals by showing superiority. The converse is gaining an edge by appearing weak, inferior, or victimized. It's trickier but quite common.
Prominent psychiatrists declare that all mental disorders are biological diseases. Is there proof? If not, can they say it anyway?
We each find a comfort zone between the poles of paranoia and gullibility, and proudly defend our spot at the expense of adaptive flexibility.
Working with an impaired psychotherapist is like hiring a surgeon with one arm.
Our ability to abstract, infer, and categorize is a gift. But it's also the root of prejudice and stereotyping.
The physicians' guild may have been paternalistic and self-serving, but it also stood for high quality medical care. Will patient care suffer as commercialism and populism take its place?
Steven Reidbord, M.D., is a psychiatrist and psychiatric educator with a private practice in San Francisco.
These posts are a selection from Dr. Reidbord's personal psychiatry blog "Reidbord's Reflections," aimed for a wider audience.