Most mental health patients prefer psychotherapy over drugs | Psychotherapy Manchester

Home » Conditions » Depression and Anxiety » Most mental health patients prefer psychotherapy over drugs | Psychotherapy Manchester

Most mental health patients prefer psychotherapy over drugs

A line was crossed in 2005 as anti-depressant medication became the most widely prescribed class of drug in the USA. Here in England, the use of anti-depressants has risen to its highest ever level with 50 million prescriptions written last year. And yet a new meta-analysis finds that, given the choice, the vast majority of patients would prefer to receive psychotherapy over drugs.

“It is unclear why the shift toward pharmacologic and away from psychological treatment is occurring,” the researchers said, “although limited access to evidence-based psychological treatments certainly plays some role.”

Kathryn McHugh and her colleagues identified 34 relevant peer-reviewed studies up to August 2011 involving 90,483 people, in which the participants were asked to indicate a straight preference between psychotherapy or drugs. Half the studies involved patients awaiting treatment, the others involved participants who were asked to indicate their preference if they were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. The researchers had hoped to study preferences among patients with a diverse range of diagnoses but they were restricted by the available literature – 65 per cent studies pertained to depression with the remainder mostly involving anxiety disorders.

psychotherapy manchester | anxiety manchester | depression manchester | counsellingOverall, 75 per cent of participants stated a preference for psychotherapy over drugs. Stated differently, participants were three times as likely to state that they preferred psychological treatment rather than medication. The preference for therapy remained but was slightly lower (69 per cent) when focusing just on treatment-seeking patients, and when focusing only on studies that looked at depression (70 per cent). Desire for psychotherapy was stronger in studies that involved more women or younger participants.

Given the evidence showing comparable efficacy for psychotherapy and medication in treating most forms of anxiety and depression, the researchers said their data “support empirically based practice decisions in favour of greater rates of selection of psychological treatment for these disorders.

This new study provides further justification for the UK’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme that started a nationwide roll-out in 2008. However, if most people prefer therapy but drug prescriptions are still rising, this raises the question of how effective the IAPT project has been. Coincidentally another recent paper concluded that that IAPT has failed to curb the long-term rise in antidepressant prescriptions in England. …

Read the original article: BPS Research Digest – Most mental health patients prefer psychotherapy over drugs


Related Psychotherapy and Counselling Pages:

Nigel Magowan is a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist in Manchester, UK, who offers counselling and psychotherapy for anxiety and depression.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Therapy Services

Integrative Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Trauma-Informed Therapy
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
AF-EMDR (Attachment-Focused EMDR)
Somatic Therapy
Clinical Supervision
DBT Skills
Life Coaching
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Ericksonian Hypno-psychotherapy
Online Therapy via Zoom / Skype
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
Open Public Workshops
Corporate Workshops and Training
Closed Group Ecotherapy Workshops
Ecotherapy / Nature-based Therapy
Outdoor Nature-therapy Retreats

Contact Details

Nigel Magowan
UKCP Registered and Accredited Psychotherapist
Registered Member of the BACP
EMDR Therapist
UKCP Approved Clinical Supervisor
Accredited Therapist Member of Anxiety UK

New address:

Nigel Magowan t/as
Inner Changes Psychotherapy
Piccadilly House
49 Piccadilly
M1 2AP
Phone: 07463 542368 (Manchester City Centre)

Opening hours:
11am – 7:30pm, Monday – Friday

Payment accepted by debit/credit card, direct bank transfer, PayPal, cash or medical health insurance.

Privacy Policy

Join my email list

* indicates required
What inner changes would you like to make?