Ohio Psychologists Push Awareness For Psychotherapy

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New initiative lets public know medication isn’t only way to treat depression.

“While medication can be an appropriate part of treatment, psychotherapy works and offers benefits that you can’t get from a prescription.” Dr. Todd Finnerty

The majority of people seeking help for depression or anxiety get help from their primary care provider and often only in the form of prescribed medications. But there are other options that research has shown to be very effective in helping people recover. The Ohio Psychological Association is joining a national initiative that will educate people about psychotherapy’s effectiveness and encourage them to ask their physicians about it as a treatment option.

“Our society is surrounded by drug ads and told to ask your physician if this pill is right for you. But we want people to know that medication isn’t the only way to treat these common conditions,” said Columbus psychologist Dr. Todd Finnerty. “While medication can be an appropriate part of treatment, psychotherapy works and offers benefits that you can’t get from a prescription.”

The initiative, launched and supported nationally by the American Psychological Association, includes a video series about a fictional miracle drug called “Fixitol.” The videos are a parody on drug ads, drawing attention to the value of psychotherapy as a treatment option. New resources have been developed on depression, how psychotherapy works and how to talk to your physician about getting started.

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in America. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, from 2009 to 2010 605,000 Ohioans over age 18 had a major depressive episode and 358,000 had serious thoughts of suicide.

“Study after study has shown effectiveness of psychotherapy and that when it’s discontinued, there is a lower instances of relapse,” said Dr. Finnerty. “We hope that, with the right information, more people with depression will explore their treatment options to create a plan that gives them the skills they need to manage their condition.”

The Ohio Psychological Assocation encourages people experiencing depression, stress or anxiety to ask their health care providers about psychotherapy when discussing treatment options. Psychotherapy provides a supportive environment that allows patients to talk openly about their personal health and emotional situations and gives patients skills and tools to manage stress, depression and anxiety over the long term.

Visit http://www.apa.org/psychotherapy to learn how psychotherapy can help in treating depression and watch the video series Psychotherapy: More Than a Quick Fix. Join the conversation about psychotherapy on Twitter (@apahelpcenter), use hashtag #therapyworks.

Located in Columbus, Ohio, The Ohio Psychological Association is a membership organization of approximately 1,600 Ohio psychologists. Its mission is to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare. For more information or for a psychologist referral, visit http://www.ohpsych.org.

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Heather Gilbert
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