WASHINGTON—As mental health advocates observe and blog about World Mental Health Day today, the American Psychological Association (APA) is drawing attention to psychotherapy as an effective treatment option for depression and other mental health issues.
“Even though countless studies show that psychotherapy helps people living with depression and anxiety, drug therapy has become the most popular course of treatment,” says Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, APA executive director for professional practice.
APA launched a psychotherapy awareness initiative this fall to educate consumers about psychotherapy’s effectiveness and encourage them to talk with their physicians about treatment options. APA’s efforts include resources about psychotherapy to help people understand how it works and a video series that illustrates the value of psychotherapy as a treatment option.
“Research shows that psychotherapy works. It is an effective way to help people make positive changes in their lives,” Dr. Nordal said. “We hope people will explore their treatment options to create a plan that gives them the skills they need to manage their condition.”
Mental health problems are one of the top three reasons why Americans seek medical treatment. In the United State alone, one in 10 adults report having depression, which is being treated more frequently with medication — since the 1990s, the number of prescriptions for antidepressants more than doubled (PDF, 5.6MB) from 55.9 million to 154.7 million.
Visit the psychotherapy webpage to learn how psychotherapy can help and watch the video series, Psychotherapy: More Than a Quick Fix. Join the conversation about psychotherapy on Twitter, @apahelpcenter #therapyworks.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.