Tuesday Therapy Notes: Medicine, But Not Quite As Scientific

Welcome to another Tuesday Therapy Notes, the weekly series that examines types of therapy techniques and common issues associated with therapy. Today, we talk about how psychotherapy and psychiatry are scientific disciplines, they are fields of medicine, but they often aren’t as scientific as their other medical cousins. 

This may lead to some of the uncertainty some feel about therapy and psychology. This can be especially true for people who are currently in therapy who feel like the treatment isn’t the same as other medical treatments.

Indeed, there are no x-rays, no lab tests that can confirm the demons in your head. They won’t jump out during a CT scan or fMRI, even though some promising science of what is happening in the brain is possible through fMRIs, but that science is far from settled. 

No, most of the diagnostics of psychotherapy come from the skill and insight of the therapist. Same with prescription of psychotropic meds, psychiatrists, and psychopharmacologists. 

And while this may lead to some frustration for those who want a “quick fix” for the demons that plague them, who want a treatment as straightforward as penicillin is for an infection, the truth is that the path out of darkness is rocky, long, and windy. Yet those who face such frustrations should know they aren’t alone in the dark. 

I am there too.

And so are so many others. Because while mental illness may not always be as “sciency” as other medical disciplines, it damn sure is not one that will leave you alone. There are always others in the darkness. You just need to reach out, reach past your demons, and find them. 

And I hope sites like this one help with that. 

Thanks for reading 

Be well.

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