Are Antidepressants the Answer?

Michael Yapko on the Safety and Effectiveness of Antidepressants

The role of antidepressants in treating depressed clients continues to be a hot debate topic among psychotherapists. On one hand, it’s easy to suggest medication to a client who’s just been diagnosed with depression—the client may feel that his problem is being addressed without him having to spend time in ongoing therapy, and the therapist will get reimbursed by the client’s insurance company for the diagnosis.

But are antidepressants always effective? And are they even safe for all clients? The answer to both those questions, according to Michael Yapko, author of Breaking the Patterns of Depression, is an emphatic “no.”

In this short clip, he very succinctly lays out a variety of reasons why antidepressants are not the solution for every client suffering from depression. He also brings to light a surprising statistic about the combined approach of therapy and medication.


Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day. 

Michael Yapko

Michael D. Yapko, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist and internationally recognized for his work in depression and outcome-focused psychotherapy, routinely teaching to professional audiences all over the world.  Dr. Yapko has a special interest which spans more than three decades in the intricacies of brief therapy, the clinical applications of directive and experiential methods, and proactively treating the disorder of major depression. He is the author of a dozen books and editor of three others, and numerous book chapters and articles on these subjects. These include his books Mindfulness and Hypnosis and Depression is Contagious: How the Most Common Mood Disorder is Spreading Around the World and How to Stop It, as well as Hand-Me-Down Blues: How to Stop Depression from Spreading in Families, Treating Depression with Hypnosis, and Breaking the Patterns of Depression.