Diagnosis and Treatment in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy: A Unitary Process or Different Modes of Work?

  • Maksim S. Chistyakov City Psychoneurological Dispensary no. 7 (with in-patient department), Saint-Petersburg
Keywords: Psychotherapy, psychiatry, disorders of mental functioning, nosological approach, relationship patterns, modification of relationship parameters, model of psychotherapy process, directions of psychotherapy, principle of complementarity

Abstract

Introduction. The article draws attention to the difference between psychiatric and psychotherapeutic approaches to treating and diagnosing mental disorders. These approaches rely on different definitions of norm and also treatment goals and methods. Given the lack of critical attention paid to such a difference in the literature and clinical practice, this issue merits special attention. The paper presents a generalized model for the process of psychotherapeutic diagnosis and treatment.

Theoretical Basis. The study rested upon the principle of complementarity formulated by the physicist N. Bohr in quantum mechanics for systematization of the data received in different circumstances of observation by the observers with different attitudes. Thus, the psychiatric approach and psychotherapy were considered not only as different and relatively independent but also as complementary modes of working with patients.

Discussion. The generalized model for the process of psychotherapeutic diagnosis and treatment demonstrated differences between diagnosis and treatment in psychotherapy and psychiatry. When practicing psychotherapy and training young psychotherapists, the three main kinds of psychotherapy (psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive behavioural) should be considered as complementary and also independent integral models. For effective treatment, clinicians must consider each patient separately within the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic approaches, switching from one perspective to another.

Conclusion. The new approach (a) can be readily used in practice to make the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic models more logical, clear, free from contradictions, and focused on the relationship and (b) contributes to the development of these models.

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Published
2017-12-28
How to Cite
Chistyakov, M. S. (2017). Diagnosis and Treatment in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy: A Unitary Process or Different Modes of Work?. Russian Psychological Journal, 14(4), 162-179. https://doi.org/10.21702/rpj.2017.4.8
Section
Psychophysiology, medical psychology