Category Archives: Patient Info

Life Gets Better

A lot has changed since I started my residency training in 1983. At that time the biological movement was just gaining traction. Most practitioners of the time were psychoanalytically trained. Since I was interested in both the biological and the psychological it was a fascinating and sometimes frustrating time to get into the field. People, in general, don’t like change and psychiatrists are people too. As I got into my training I observed distinct camps forming around new and old ideas. There were those who used medication liberally and felt psychotherapy was largely useless. Some were open to using medication, but lacked expertise on how to use them. Still others disdained the idea of medication in any form and relied solely on psychotherapy alone to relieve patients of their symptoms.

Fast forward 25 years. The pharmaceutical industry has developed a number of effective and safe medications that relieve the symptoms and prevent recurrence of many psychiatric disorders. Young psychiatrists today are trained almost exclusively in diagnosis and medication management. I’ve said to many colleagues that our specialty is in crisis. Psychotherapy has been shifted to non-psychiatric providers. Some of whom are excellent, but the partitioning of care has, in my opinion, not been in the best interest of the patient.

Over the past 25 years there has been significant advancement in psychotherapy as well. Cognitive-behavioral therapies have been developed to successfully treat some depressive and anxiety disorders. Certain aspects of psychoanalytic and behavioral therapy have been refined to help many specific problems. Study after study has shown that integrating psychotherapy and good medication management leads to an outcome superior to either alone.

Lastly group therapies such as the 12 step approach first proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous have made addictions much more treatable and conquerable.

In the early years of the 21st century we are in possession of powerful weapons, both psychological and biological, that can ameliorate severe symptoms, prevent relapse, and help patients grow and lead full and productive lives. Life Gets Better.


The idea of having a website for my practice has felt foreign and, at times, intimidating. I suppose you could say I’m “Old School.” On July 1, 1990 I hung a shingle and started taking care of patients. New patients came when they were referred by another physician or therapist. Often my own patients were great referral sources. The last 25 years has been a great educational experience for me. I’ve learned a great deal from my patients. I’ve probably learned more from them than they have learned from me.

Advances in technology have changed how potential patients seek out medical care. Everyone has access to medical literature and many psychiatrists, myself included, talk with informed patients on a daily basis. Not all information on the web is accurate, but the fact that patients seek out information tells me that they’re interested and want an active role in their care.

With the help of a very energetic and enthusiastic web developer I’m being pulled in to the 21st century. My website has been live for a few months. I’ve tried to present to the potential patient a snapshot of me, what I do, and a bit about the office itself. I’m enthused about having a blog. As they say in writing school, “Write what you know.” I hope to write about various topics in psychiatry that I feel are relevant to any patient. Lastly I’ve had a few thoughts about what to call this blog. The jokester in me thought of calling it, “Free Associations With Dr. Les Moody,” but for now I think I’ll stick with something simpler and refer to it as, Dr. Bob’s Blog.