Contemporary psychiatry is a field that is especially conducive to the principles of integrative medicine. With the exception of a few disorders, such as schizophrenia, most psychiatric disorders respond to interventions other than drugs. Patients who have not tolerated or not responded optimally to traditional treatments are also good candidates for integrative treatments. Additionally, herbals such as St. John's wort for the treatment of depression and ginkgo for the treatment of memory impairment in dementia have been found effective in traditional clinical trials. Patients' use of alternative and complementary therapies in psychiatry has created a need for physicians to become informed about these treatments, to advise patients on their efficacy, and to be able to make judgments on integrating these therapies into existing regimens, including discussions of such issues as potential drug-herb interactions.
In this volume in the Weil Integrative Medicine Library, the authors describe a rational and evidence-based approach to the integrative therapy of mental disorders integrating the principles of alternative and complementary therapies into the principles and practice of conventional psychiatry and psychology. The authors will examine what works and what doesn't, and offer practical guidelines for physicians to incorporate integrative medicine into their practice and to advise patients on reasonable and effective therapies. The text discusses areas of controversy and identifies areas of uncertainty where future research is needed. Chapters also cite the best available evidence for both the safety and the efficacy of all therapies discussed. The information is presented in accessible and easy-to-read formats, including clinical pearls and key points, with a second text color for highlighting key information.