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Benefits and Risks of Combining Supportive Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy

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To summarize findings from the previous literature review: combined treatments may be particularly effective in more severe, chronic, and highly comorbid disorders. Whereas specific benefits may be obtained by combining focused treatments like CBT or DBT with pharmacotherapy in many disorders, the therapeutic superiority of such focused psychotherapy approaches has been demonstrated only in limited cases, generally in efficacy studies with diagnostically purified treatment samples in academic settings. There is a paucity of effectiveness studies of such treatment approaches with broadly based community samples, which may include more varied populations with higher rates of comorbidities, more socioeconomic and cultural variability, and more active psychosocial and health issues. Thus, in view of the limited research findings, there is a strong rationale for using SPT as the psychotherapy for combined treatments in many cases, if only because of its socially comfortable conversational style, broad applicability, relative simplicity, and flexibility.

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