July 2, 1997

Psychotherapy Reduces Disability, Saves Money

JAMA. 1997;278(1):12-13. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550010024011

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


REPORTS OF psychotherapy's death are greatly exaggerated, its proponents say.

Psychotherapy works. It saves money for patients and insurers. It improves job and social performance, prevents lost workdays, reduces the inappropriate use of other medical services, and enhances quality of life, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Commission on Psychotherapy by Psychiatrists (COPP) asserted, offering a wealth of data to support these claims at the APA annual meeting in San Diego, Calif, in May.

"The social costs of untreated psychiatric illness are enormous," said Norman Clemens, MD, COPP chair, clinical professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, and a member of the APA Board of Trustees. "These disorders not only harm individuals in their work and family lives but also reverberate through society," he said. "This is dramatically apparent in the welfare and criminal justice systems."

Relic or Potential Help?  With increasingly effective psychotropic medications and unrelenting pressure