Medication

Medication is frequently used in conjunction with brief psychodynamic psychotherapy. This can complicate the treatment and its progress as well as aid in symptom recovery. The therapist must explore the meaning of the medication and its role in the patient's view of himself or herself and interpersonal strengths and vulnerabilities. At times, brief individual psychodynamic psychotherapy can also serve as an alternative to medication treatment for less severe symptoms or when medication is contraindicated. In the modern world of psychiatry, medication may be begun during the initial brief psychodynamic psychotherapy and then continued after the psychotherapy has formally stopped and the patient is followed with less frequent meetings to monitor medication. This sequence has many advantages including resolving present stressors and precipitants, encouraging medication compliance, and ongoing medical follow-up after therapy either in maintenance or intermittent frequency. Another course of brief dynamic therapy may be indicated at a later date if the response to combined treatment is ineffective or if new problems appear. Often patients are more comfortable with the combined and sequenced treatment than are therapists. Greater education of clinicians and research on this combined and sequential treatment is needed.

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