Given the work I do matching individuals and couples with counselors, I found the article in the link below very interesting. It addresses the contradictory finding that while a majority of clients say they prefer psychotherapy to medications, studies show that the use of psychotherapy alone is decreasing while the use of medication alone is increasing. The article states that a lot of the reason for this shift is due to the high level of marketing done by pharmaceutical companies and the low level of marketing done by those that develop and research psychotherapy models.
No doubt this is an accurate representation of the marketing realities, especially given the enormous advertising budgets that pharmaceutical companies possess. Consumers who want to find quality services have to search for information regarding the best approaches because it’s not readily available. And they have to do this during a time when they likely don’t have much energy to do research or “shop around” for therapy.
Those of us who spend time seeking qualified professionals know how hard the “shopping around” can be. While there are many professionals who use evidence-based approaches skillfully, there are many who don’t. Finding a skilled professional who is a good fit for one’s problems can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. I can’t tell you how much time I spend pouring over websites and directories trying to sort out the good therapists from the bad. Literally hundreds of therapists are out there that all say the same thing: they provide a safe environment for clients to share their stories, or they will provide a trusting relationship where clients can heal. I can’t tell one of these therapists from another and I don’t know how clients can either. Some of them probably do good work, but many of them don’t.
So, is it any wonder clients are turning to medication for symptom relief instead of shopping for therapists? The odds of finding a good therapist are against them, but finding a psychiatrist who will prescribe medication is easy. I wish I had a solution to this problem. If you’re in the Chicago area, of course, Compatible Counseling Solutions is here to help with a personal assessment and referral. We will also continue writing these blog pieces and presenting articles that can help you be a better and wiser consumer. For more information on this particular topic, please read the attached article. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/opinion/psychotherapys-image-problem.html?_r=0