A pastoral counseling treatment plan that includes an option for pharmacotherapy presents several issues for consideration at the outset. By definition, this will be an interdisciplinary, combined, or “integrated” approach that necessitates a consultation with a physician – preferably, a psychiatrist since they are the physicians who specialize in pharmacotherapy for psychiatric disorders. As Riba and Balon (2005) contend, a combination of psychotherapy with medication is “more efficacious and beneficial than each modality alone” (p. vii) but many medical residents and educators decry the “‘loss of mind’ in the increasing emphasis on the biological basis of mental illness and the shift toward somatic treatments as central therapeutic strategy in psychiatry” (p. ix). If the suggestion that secular forms of treatment emphasize medical modalities at the expense of “talk therapy” raises issues and concern among those in the medical and psychotherapeutic communities, the intensity of...
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