Does a good psychiatrist give advice?

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Kluver Bucy

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People typically think of psychiatrists as dispensers of advice, but I find that some psychiatrists balk at the idea of giving "advice." I've heard something to the effect of strengthening patients to the point where they make their own decisions. Anyone else have any opinions about the "A" word?

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People typically think of psychiatrists as dispensers of advice, but I find that some psychiatrists balk at the idea of giving "advice." I've heard something to the effect of strengthening patients to the point where they make their own decisions. Anyone else have any opinions about the "A" word?

You mean like "Get a job", or "Dump the loser boyfriend"?
Or "If you don't stop drinking, YOU WILL DIE".

There are more diplomatic ways to do this, but yes, I give advice at times.
There are times (like the latter above) that it would be most unhelpful to not do so.
(*But then again, maybe I'm just not a "good" psychiatrist, in reference to the OP topic line.)
 
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Right, totally depends on the patient. Frequently you know that a continued course of behavior will result in unfortunate consequences but the point is to have the patient reach this conclusion by themselves (with some "encouragement" from you). That said, I've been known to give direct advice such as "Don't come back to this emergency room."
 
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You mean like "Get a job", or "Dump the loser boyfriend"?
Or "If you don't stop drinking, YOU WILL DIE".

There are more diplomatic ways to do this, but yes, I give advice at times.
There are times (like the latter above) that it would be most unhelpful to not do so.
(*But then again, maybe I'm just not a "good" psychiatrist, in reference to the OP topic line.)

It's all very semantic, but perhaps the non-advice way to approach the former comments would be to ask questions like "what's preventing you from being employed?" or "why are you staying in this relationship?"

The latter comment isn't technically advice in that they haven't been advised to stop drinking; they've just been informed about a cause-effect relationship, and allowed to make their own decision from there.
 
I have been considering entering the private field of psychiatry. I would definitly give advice on my new innovation, therapy over the phone (e.g for those with agoraphobia) An example of advise would be "please don't hang up" :D
 
I have been considering entering the private field of psychiatry. I would definitly give advice on my new innovation, therapy over the phone (e.g for those with agoraphobia) An example of advise would be "please don't hang up" :D

Giving advice is an important component of more supportive-type psychotherapies, but less so for dynamic therapies. So, it depends on the patient and the type of therapy you're doing.
 
I would think that a lot of psychiatrists would not admit that they give advice on occassion. However, I believe many, including myself, do.

The old psychiatry adage is that if the bar-talk advice given by all of their friends hasn't worked, the advice given by you isn't going to work either. In other words, the advice from their family and friends hasn't worked. Therefore, they're in your office.

There is some truth to this. However, it may be true for other reasons.

A question which begs a more basic one, or a question which phrases a major event decision which is not talked about directly can encapsulate a schema for a patient, helping to clarify part of their decision making process (and thus point out potential cognitive distortions, for example) thus helping you to help the patient.

Also and more obviously, patients often will acutally listen and do something that a physician does. They need that external, paid-for 'order' by a doctor to either do or not do something. It's simple, and sometimes works.
 
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