Mental Help Net
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Maximizing Effectiveness in Dynamic Psychotherapy Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy101 Healing Stories101 Things I Wish I'd Known When I Started Using HypnosisA Primer for Beginning PsychotherapyA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsACT With LoveAlready FreeAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionBad TherapyBecoming MyselfBefore ForgivingBeing a Brain-Wise TherapistBiofeedback for the BrainBody PsychotherapyBody SenseBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBrain Change TherapyBreaking ApartBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheChoosing an Online TherapistClinical Handbook of Psychological DisordersClinical Intuition in PsychotherapyClinical Pearls of WisdomCo-Creating ChangeCompassion and Healing in Medicine and SocietyConfessions of a Former ChildConfidential RelationshipsConfidentiality and Mental HealthConfidingContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCouch FictionCounseling with Choice TheoryCritical Issues in PsychotherapyCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesDecoding the Ethics CodeDepression 101Depression in ContextDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoing CBTDoing ItE-TherapyEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEnergy Psychology InteractiveEssays on Philosophical CounselingEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEveryday Mind ReadingExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessExistential PsychotherapyExpressing EmotionFacing Human SufferingFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFamily TherapyFavorite Counseling and Therapy Homework AssignmentsFlourishingFlying ColorsGod & TherapyHandbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for TherapistsHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHow and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?How People ChangeHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Go to TherapyIf Only I Had KnownIn SessionIn Therapy We TrustIn Treatment: Season 1Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyIs Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Issues in Philosophical CounselingIt’s Your HourLearning from Our MistakesLetters to a Young TherapistLogotherapy and Existential AnalysisLove's ExecutionerMan's Search for MeaningMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMetaphoria: Metaphor and Guided Metaphor for Psychotherapy and HealingMindfulnessMindfulness and AcceptanceMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for DepressionMindworks: An Introduction to NLPMockingbird YearsMomma and the Meaning of LifeMotivational Interviewing: Preparing People For ChangeMulticulturalism and the Therapeutic ProcessOf Two MindsOn the CouchOne Nation Under TherapyOur Inner WorldOutsider Art and Art TherapyOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical PracticePhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPlato, Not Prozac!Process-Based CBTPsychologists Defying the CrowdPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychosis in the FamilyPsychotherapyPsychotherapyPsychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy East and WestPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRational Emotive Behavior TherapyRationality and the Pursuit of HappinessRecovery OptionsRent Two Films and Let's Talk in the MorningSaving the Modern SoulSecond-order Change in PsychotherapySelf MattersSelf-Compassion in PsychotherapySelf-Determination Theory in the ClinicSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapyStrangers to OurselvesTaking America Off DrugsTales of PsychotherapyThe Art of HypnosisThe Case Formulation Approach to Cognitive-Behavior TherapyThe Compassionate ConnectionThe Crucible of ExperienceThe Education of Mrs. BemisThe Fall Of An IconThe Gift of TherapyThe Great Psychotherapy Debate: The Evidence for What Makes Psychotherapy Work The Husbands and Wives ClubThe Love CureThe Making of a TherapistThe Mummy at the Dining Room TableThe Neuroscience of PsychotherapyThe Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social BrainThe New PsychoanalysisThe Philosopher's Autobiography The Portable CoachThe Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Problem with Cognitive Behavioural TherapyThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Schopenhauer CureThe Talking CureThe Therapeutic "Aha!"The Therapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology, Revised EditionThe Therapist's Ultimate Solution BookThe UnsayableThe Wing of MadnessTheory and Practice of Brief TherapyTherapyTheraScribe 4.0Thinking about ThinkingThriveToward a Psychology of AwakeningTracking Mental Health OutcomesTreating Attachment DisordersWhat the Buddha FeltWhat Works for Whom? Second EditionWhy Psychoanalysis?Yoga Therapy
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Psychological Testing
Mental Disorders
Mental Health Professions
Treatments & Interventions

by Stephen Ray Flora
State University of New York Press, 2007
Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H. on Mar 7th 2009

Taking America Off Drugs

Taking America Off Drugs propounds the view that behavioral therapy is more effective than drug therapy for the treatment of behavioral problems.  In consonance with this thematic emphasis, the textual discourse is replete with harsh, unrelenting criticism of drug companies, and also psychiatrists, for their respective roles in the drugging of patients having behavioral problems.  The author, Stephen Ray Flora, is a Professor of Psychology at Youngstown State University.

It may be opined critically that Flora writes more in the manner of a zealot, advocating (with considerable bias) a particular view, rather than a dispassionate scientific investigator bent keenly on uncovering scientific truth.  But richly edifying nuggets of substantive gold may be embedded in the stylistically lay reader friendly textual terrain.  And the impassioned discourse of Flora may helpfully, at the least, engender intellectually fruitful debate germane to an evaluation of Flora's core thesis that behavioral therapy is more effective than drugs for treating behavioral problems.

In the text, there is a quite substantial amount of referenced material.  Revealing considerable erudition, Flora, over the course of the book, critically reviews and evaluates a multitude of research studies pertinent to behavioral problems, behavioral therapy, and drugs.  Citations (to the referenced information) are given in a list of alphabetized references, attached to the text's far end.  The multitudinous references are a conduit, effectually leading (for interested readers) to further study of the issue laden realm of behavioral therapy, drugs, and behavioral problems.

In the ten chapters comprising the substance of the text, Flora covers an expansive array of health concerns.  These concerns envelop: eating disorders (encompassing anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder); phobias (including vaginal penetration, dental, and social phobias as well as generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and panic disorder); obsessive-compulsive disorder; attention deficit disorder; depression; schizophrenia; sleep difficulties; erectile dysfunction; premature ejaculation; irritable bowel syndrome; urinary incontinence; and premenstrual syndrome.

Regarding all of the foregoing problems, Flora proffers an interestingly distinct, if contentious, perspective, which he advocates quite stridently in a manner characteristically exuding considerable zeal.  Particularly, according to Flora, the problems discussed in the book are behavioral in nature (rather than brain based, or neurochemical).  And, with regard to the treatment of behavioral problems, behavioral therapy is more effective than drugs.  Drug companies are denigrated harshly by Flora as being tantamount to marketing machines bent rapaciously on peddling dangerous drugs (associated often with highly deleterious side effects), and fueled most importantly by an unrepentantly burning desire to maximize profits (instead of helping people).  Psychiatrists prescribing drugs to treat behavioral problems likewise are thrashed soundly, and repeatedly, by Flora's fearsome writing cudgel.

Critics may chide Flora for injecting his commentary with an unnecessarily high dose of vitriol.  There may, in this vein, be critical concern that Flora has written the book with a poisoned pen, which has resulted in the creation of a caricature of drug companies.  In a different vein, scientifically curious readers may question skeptically whether the analysis of Flora, with regard to the relative clinical efficacy of behavioral therapy compared to drugs to treat multifarious behavioral problems, demonstrates sufficient scientific rigor.  The caution may be added that the extant field of scientific investigation, impinging on behavioral problems, behavioral therapy, and drugs, is still in a fallow state.

Perhaps the greatest contribution made by this book is that, for the discerning reader, interesting questions can be identified.  For instance, Is a particular health problem "behavioral" in nature?  What drugs, if any, may potentially be used to treat that problem in a clinically efficacious manner?  What are the known, and suspected, side effects of any such drugs?  Are there behavioral therapies available to treat the problem effectively?  Are any such behavioral therapies likely to be relatively more clinically effective than drugs?  And, not least, how good is the available scientific data relevant to answering such questions?

Psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychotherapists, pharmacists, pharmacologists, drug counselors, behavioral therapists, drug industry professionals, school nurses, pediatricians, family medicine doctors, and health policy makers are among those likely to be enhanced professionally by an open minded, critical reading of the information, insights, and particular views advanced forthrightly by Flora.

© 2009 Leo Uzych

Leo Uzych (based in Wallingford, PA) earned a law degree, from Temple University; and a master of public health degree, from Columbia University.  His area of special professional interest is healthcare.

Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net