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More than just meds.
Steven Reidbord M.D.
Tom Insel, former head of NIMH, has authored a useful roadmap for mental health care. Unfortunately, his new book also denigrates deep, meaningful psychotherapy.
Describing everyday actions, or the people who perform them, with clinical terms is a form of hype. It cuts through the noise of social media but adds to it, too.
"Being present" in therapy is essential, yet it can be impaired both by masks and by meeting without masks over video. Of the two, which preserves presence best?
An introduction to the "retronym," and how it can reveal implicit bias, by looking at an important example: comparing in-person psychotherapy to online.
Multiple reports show the public hesitating to relax masking and social distancing now that the CDC says it's safe. Why this lag (or hysteresis)?
After a year of virtual therapy, is it time to go back to the office? Vaccinated only need apply.
Lab animals suffer "experimental neurosis" when they can't distinguish reward and punishment conditions. COVID-19 is doing that to us.
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?
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.