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J Clin Psychiatry. 1984 Nov;45(11):458-9.

The pharmacotherapy-psychotherapy triangle: psychiatrist, nonmedical psychotherapist, and patient.


Members of the Washington State Psychiatric Association (N = 387) were sent a questionnaire asking about their experience with providing adjunctive medicinal treatment to patients in psychotherapy with someone else. Of the 202 respondents, 63% acknowledged such "therapeutic triangles." Younger psychiatrists, psychiatrists working in clinic and/or public settings, and non-psychoanalytic psychiatrists were more likely to participate in such arrangements. It is estimated that between 7200 and 21,000 U.S. psychiatrists participate in such arrangements, with 72,000-210,000 patients seen each month. More extensive study of all aspects of this phenomenon is urged.

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