Published on November 25th, 2013 | by Becky Castle Miller0
(Blog) Psychodynamic Therapy, Moving Beyond A Diagnosis
Dr. Daniel Carlat: So [psychodynamic therapy] is a different way of viewing psychiatric disorders—not matching up a patient with a diagnosis, but spending more time understanding the patient as a person.
Dr. Jonathan Shedler: Yes. It is rarely helpful to move from a psychiatric diagnosis to a treatment decision—as many practitioners are now trained to do—without understanding the meaning of the person’s difficulties and their larger psychological context. It would be more helpful to think of depression, for example, not as a disease but as the emotional equivalent of fever. Fever is a nonspecific response to a wide range of underlying conditions, from the common cold to leukemia. Diagnosis does not end with taking the patient’s temperature. Depression is likewise a nonspecific response to a wide range of underlying difficulties. To help our patients, we must address the causes of the “fever.”