Academic journal article Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

Combining Psychotherapy and Pharmacological Service Provision for Anxiety Pathology

Academic journal article Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

Combining Psychotherapy and Pharmacological Service Provision for Anxiety Pathology

Article excerpt

Across all forms of psychopathology, our current treatments for anxiety disorders are arguably the most effective. The efficacy of interventions has been repeatedly demonstrated in controlled clinical trials utilizing either cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as a variety of pharmacological agents (Nathan & German, 1998). The high potency of each of these treatment modalities naturally leads to hope regarding their combination. After all, the addition of one efficacious treatment to another should likely lead to additive or even some synergistic benefits to those suffering from anxiety problems. Interestingly, recent reviews (Otto, Smits, & Reese, 2005; Sammons & Schmidt, 2001) suggest that this is often not the case.

This special issue is aimed at practicing clinicians who seek to incorporate scientifically informed opinion into treatment planning and case management. Psychologists, counselors, and other nonmedical practitioners engaged in behavioral treatment that seek to understand more about the pharmacology and the combined treatment of specific disorders will find this special issue helpful. It will be equally helpful to medical practitioners who seek to understand more about both combined treatments and behavioral or psychotherapeutic modalities. Psychologists and other mental health practitioners are frequently in a position of treating patients who are taking medications or an interest in initiating medications in the context of psychotherapy. This issue will provide guidance both from reviews as well as from empirical articles.

Readers of this issue of Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapywill discover that the science underlying combined treatments remains poorly developed. This is a reflection of a number of issues that increase the difficulty of conducting studies that investigate combined treatments. …

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