It has been demonstrated that the results of combined therapy are superior to either type of therapy used alone. This approach is used by practitioners as pharmacotherapy-oriented psychotherapy (American Counseling Association, 2008).
A major indication for using medication when conducting counseling, particularly for those patients with major mental disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is that psychotropic agents reduce anxiety and hostility. This improves the patient's capacity to communicate and to participate in the psychotherapeutic process involved in counseling. Another indication for such combined therapy is to relieve distress when the signs and the symptoms of the patient's disorder are so prominent that they require more rapid amelioration than psychotherapy alone may be able to offer. In fact there is a current consensus that each technique may facilitate the other; counseling may enable the patient to accept a much needed pharmacological agent, and the psychoactive drug may enable the patient to overcome resistance to entering or continuing counseling and psychotherapy (American Psychological Association, 2005).
With the introduction of psychoactive medications ...
theoretical issues about the value of medication in the overall treatment of a patient, as well as the practical issues of whether a psychotherapist can also be a medication provider. Consequently, there had been an idea of the counselors which saw medications as intrusive, unnecessary, and even harmful. Their belief was that relief was provided by talking with patients, understanding their problems, and assisting in resolving developmental conflicts and early life traumas. The biological school of mental health professionals began to assume that medication was the way to change brain functioning and that biological change was the only method leading to symptom relief. If the right combination of medication and/or medications could be found, the patient could eventually be "cured." In this framework, verbal therapy was superfluous and of relatively little value. Such clinicians also began to discount the importance of the prescriber/patient relationship, feeling that the only important mechanism was the chemical effect of the medication (Antonuccio, D. O., Danton, W. G., & McClanahan, T. M., 2003).
This debate still continues in a vestigial manner, but most clinicians now see value for both medications and psychotherapy in managing a mentally ill client. Both have importance and both can result in relief of symptoms, better when used together in a judicious manner. Often the combination of medication and verbal therapy is the most efficient route to rapid symptom relief. Today's therapeutic premise is that a combination of both forms of treatment, psychotropic medication and psychotherapy of various kinds, will not only be helpful, but also should be prescribed for many patients. While not all patients will opt for both therapies, it is the task of the clinician to