The American Psychiatric Association, or APA, recently held its annual meeting in New Orleans, perhaps an apt location for the event given the difficulties being endured by those keeping a weary eye on the massive oil spill along the Gulf Coast. The meeting itself was focused on bringing discussions, discoveries, and new ideas to professionals from around the country, and among those in attendance, a narrative hypnosis specialist based in Vermont was especially impressed by the decline of medication-related lectures, giveaways, and advertisements typically associated with the meeting.
Psychiatry and related medical fields have come under serious scrutiny in recent years as everyone from professionals to regulators to clients themselves question the prevalence of medications and seek to discover whether they may be best reserved for backup or temporary measures when therapy and other treatments prove unsuccessful. The specialist, who proposes that while medications are certainly able to help some people, they are doubtless over-prescribed and treated as band-aid measures, notes that the APA’s meeting was lacking the sponsor name-plastered pens, giant advertisements, and other pharmaceutical overtones experienced in recent years.
The specialist argues that clients are too often taught that their psychological concerns are simple matters of chemistry that should conveniently be swept clean with a drug, especially in the case of basic human functioning such as sleeping. Through the specialist’s eyes, it seemed that the APA is responding to the community’s increasing interest in meaningful, long-term, client-sustained treatments rather than immediate, if often costly, chemical cures. Though coping rather than covering up may not always be the most popular option, it’d appear that the APA has begun to heed the call of many professionals in the US and worldwide for a return to getting along without the psychiatric drug onslaught.
© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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