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Clinical Science Brown Bag Series

Tuesday, September 11, 2018,

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  • Location: Wilson Hall • 111 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: 316

Steven Hollon, PhD

Psychology Department 

Vanderbilt University

"How Psychotherapy Won the Battle and Lost the War to Medications and What to do about it"

Psychosocial interventions are at least as efficacious as medications and often longer lasting in the treatment of the nonpsychotic disorders. Moreover most people prefer psychotherapy to medications and there is even reason to believe that medications may even prolong the course of the underlying disorder.  Nonetheless these basic facts are not widely known to the general public and the proportion of patients treated with medications has virtually doubled over the last two decades while the proportion of patients treated with psychosocial interventions has dropped nearly by half. The United Kingdom has invested over 700 million pounds to train therapists working for the National Health Service to provide those psychosocial interventions designated by government funded clinical practice guidelines to be empirically supported. No government agency in the United States currently generates clinical practice guidelines and the task in the past has been left to proprietary interests or professional guilds. The American Psychological Association is currently moving to fill that void by generating clinical practice guidelines based on systematic reviews as filtered through multidisciplinary treatment guideline panels charged with evaluating both efficacy and safety of the available interventions. The intent is to provide clinical practice guidelines that the public can use to identify treatments that work (and that continue to work after termination) and to educate third party payers regarding their superiority.