January 1981

Do Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy for Depression Conflict?Empirical Evidence From a Clinical Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Rounsaville and Weissman) and Epidemiology (Dr Weissman), Yale University School of Medicine, and the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit (Dr Rounsaville) and Depression Research Unit (Dr Weissman), Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven; the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Rockville, Md; and the Departments of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Dr Klerman).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(1):24-29. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780260026002

• Although pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are frequently used in combination as treatment for depression, speculations about possible negative interactions of the two treatments remain. This occurs despite growing research evidence demonstrating the greater efficacy of combined treatment. In this report six hypotheses about negative interactions between pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are evaluated on the basis of data derived from a clinical trial of psychotherapy and tricyclic antidepressants alone and in combination as treatment for ambulatory depression. None of the hypotheses was supported by the data.