Original Paper

Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 83-91

First online:

Antidepressants, Psychotherapy or their Combination: Weighing Options for Depression Treatments

  • Roger P. GreenbergAffiliated withPsychology Division, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, SUNY Upstate Medical University Email author 
  • , Elizabeth Davis GoldmanAffiliated withPsychology Division, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, SUNY Upstate Medical University

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Abstract

Psychotherapy and antidepressant medications are the two preeminent treatment choices for depression. This article puts each of these treatments into perspective by presenting an overview of what is currently known about their effectiveness either singly or in combination. Discussion of placebos, common factors among therapies, relapse rates, depression severity, patient treatment preferences and exaggerations in pharmaceutical advertising provide guidance for clinicians in deciding on the best course of treatment. Overall, research reveals the importance of psychosocial factors, no matter what the mode of treatment, and the need for fostering a collaborative bond between clinicians and their patients. We argue that empirical evidence points to making psychotherapy the initial treatment choice for most cases of depression.

Keywords

Depression Antidepressants Psychotherapy Placebo