Talk Therapy or Drug Therapy?

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In 2011 I read an article in the NY Times called, "Since Talking Doesn’t Pay, Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy." 

I found this outlook to be pretty bleak, because helping treat people was what got me into this field in the first place. Treatment means treating the whole person, which means that everyone has different needs. 

For some patients--such as those with schizophrenia--medication may be a necessary part of a daily regimen. 

But for others, medication may only be the first step toward regaining good mental health, along with talk therapy, changes to diet, supplements and exercise. 

Where I tend to divert from my colleagues is that there are some common psychiatry medications--such as Benzodiazepines, Xanax, and Klonopin--that I rarely prescribe. In my professional opinion, the costs of such highly addictive medications far outweigh the short-term benefits.

In my specialty of psychiatry, I do psychiatric evaluations, order and interpret lab work, prescribe medications and do psychotherapy. Most insurances will reimburse my fees. 

Patients tend to prefer advanced practice psychiatric nurses (that's me!) to psychiatrists because we spend more time listening to them. Most of my patients I see for 45 minutes, and many I see once or twice weekly.

Because I spend more time with my patients, I feel I can be more effective in medication management, and know better how to help them. 

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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