In this issue we are publishing an article by Silverman et al dealing with the public's opinion on the effectiveness of CBT versus drugs. Like many, when drugs appeared on the scene, I was enthusiastic that we finally had treatments for many crippling mental disorders.
Then, when Tim (everyone calls him Tim, but I have good reason) Beck showed that psychotherapy was a powerful therapy, I was equally enthusiastic.
As time went on, CBT was shown effective in disease after disease, so much so that I worried it might be seen as a placebo on steroids. In addition, some studies showed it was as effective as drugs in certain conditions.
The public has caught on and CBT now has credibility that some other psychotherapies do not. When the public understands as much of the science as they do now, I think it's a very good thing.
For this we can thank the intelligent press, principally the New York Times which when I was a medical student had one part time physician writer, Howard Rusk, a rehab doc and now employs a squadron. The press takes a lot of knocks but for informing us about medical innovation, it gets high marks.
John A. Talbott, MD