Chapter 1. General Principles of Psychopharmacological Treatment

DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585624119.600558
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Psychiatry has experienced a rapid metamorphosis since the 1970s in its methods of treatment. The move from a largely psychoanalytic orientation toward a more biological stance radically changed not only its basic approaches to patients but also the professional identities of psychiatrists. For most older psychiatrists, the transformation in the 1980s and 1990s was not easy. At first, keeping up with ever-expanding information on biological theories, new laboratory tests, computerization, new medications, and new additional uses for old medications was in itself a full-time occupation—one that often allowed little time or energy for integrating current information into daily practice. Moreover, the proliferation of biological and psychopharmacological information occurred so rapidly that the task of integrating biological and psychotherapeutic approaches became ever more difficult. By now, however, the most arduous parts of the transition are over for most practitioners, and over the past two or more decades a cadre of psychiatrists, well versed in psychopharmacology, has been trained.

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