A Project of the Empathic Therapy Center is an online library and newspaper project of the 501c3 nonprofit Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living, founded by Peter R. Breggin, MD and Ginger Breggin, working toward replacing the biological theories, diagnoses and treatments of "modern" psychiatry with better therapeutic and educational approaches

Peter R. Breggin, MD Websites

       Non-Drug Therapies

"Psychotherapy Research: Implications for Practice," Geoffrey D. Carr, PhD, RPsych August 12, 2011, in Psychiatric Times"...the empirical evidence for the efficacy of psychotherapy for a wide range of mental health problems is extremely strong. Read more.


"Direct comparisons of treatment modalities for youth disorders: a meta-analysis" by S. Miller, B. Wampold, K. Varhely, Psychotherapy Research, January 2008
Many studies and reviews show that psychological therapies for youth work well


Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Evaluating the Evidence (2011) 


 Mindfulness Therapy Improves Bipolar Disorder Symptoms:
"Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy treatment an option for patients with residual mood symptoms. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may improve mood, emotional regulation, well-being, and functioning in individuals with bipolar disorder, according to a study published in the February [2012] issue of CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics."


Guidelines for Developing a Cognitive Remediation Program for Patients With Schizophrenia (2011)


"Home Visits by Nurses to Low-Income First-Time Mothers Yield Enduring Benefits" By Lori Whitten, NIDA Notes April 2012

"Home visits by nurses to low-income first-time mothers, starting during pregnancy and extending into the second year of their children’s lives, have a positive and long-lasting impact on families. The latest findings, by Dr. David Olds and colleagues at the University of Colorado- Denver, indicate that the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program improves outcomes for mothers and children 10 years after its administration and saves the government money."


"How Psychotherapy Changes the Brain, Understanding the Mechanisms" By Hasse Karlsson, MA, MD, PhD, Psychiatric Times, August 11, 2011


Study: Computerized Counseling Less Effective Than Face-To-Face Counseling -- October 2012

"Colleges have increased use of computer-delivered interventions to provide alcohol counseling because they can reach more students while using fewer resources. But in a new systematic review, researchers found that the impact of CDIs on students was weaker and more short-lived than the effect of face-to-face counseling. "


"A Dangerous Assignment", Peter R. Breggin, MD, Favorite Counseling and Therapy Homework Assignments, Second Edition, 2011, edited by Howard G. Rosenthal, pp87-88, Routledge.  Dr. Breggin's short essay about one of his favorite 'homework' assignments for clients.


"Empowering Social Work in the Era of Biological Psychology"  Lecture by Peter R. Breggin MD presented as the 2000 Ephraim Lisansky lecture at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.  ..."I've noticed in recent times that social workers have increasingly come under the influence of the traditional psychiatric biological model rather than under the influence of their own psychosocial model of democratization, social change, and empowerment of the client....Read more here. 


"Psychotherapy in Emotional Crises Without Resort to Psychiatric Medication" Peter R. Breggin MD, The Humanistic Psychologist, 1997, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2-14.  ABSTRACT: Mental health professionals are being pressured to rely upon the medical model, including psychiatric diagnosis and medication. But there are many reasons not to tum to psychiatric drugs in emotional crises, including their impact on the brain and mind, and their disempowering effect on the morale of clients and therapists alike. Meanwhile, there are sound, empathic psychotherapy principles for helping clients in severe, acute distress. This article presents the case for therapists relying upon these psychotherapeutic lnterventions instead of drugs in dealing with emotional crises and emergencies.


"Childhood Adversities Increase the Risk of Psychosis: A Meta-analysis of Patient-Control, Prospective- and Cross-sectional Cohort Studies" Filippo Varese, Schizophrenia Bulletin, March 29, 2012. "Our findings suggest that clinicians should routinely inquire about adverse events in childhood in order to develop comprehensive formulations and treatment plans when working with patients with schizophrenia or similar diagnoses. Psychosocial interventions which have been used for patients affected by trauma might be considered among the treatment options for patients with psychosis. The current review focused on specific types of adverse events (abuse, neglect, parental death, and bullying). Nevertheless, adversity is a heterogeneous concept (including types of exposure not considered here, for instance medical illness,exposure to war,natural disasters, parental separation). Future studies should focus on differentiating adversity type, as well as consider the possible interaction between trauma and other risk factors (eg, cannabis, genetic risk), the developmental stage of exposure to trauma, and mechanisms linking adversity to specific positive and negative symptoms."


Dimensions of Empathic Therapy-- Selected Chapters

Following chapters are taken from Dimensions of Empathic Therapy, Peter R. Breggin, Ginger Breggin & Fred Bemak, Editors. (2002) Springer Publishing Company, New York.

Accompanied Autoanalysis: An Empathic Approach to Helping Deeply Disturbed Persons ~ Alberto Fergusson, M.D.

Through accompanied auto analysis, people can become experts re- garding their own minds and thus arrange the lifestyle that suits them. In this process empathy becomes one of the most powerful assets we have to help others help themselves. Nevertheless we must not forget that empathy has its limits, given the immense personal capacity and interest required to know someone intimately. People have to do that for themselves. In the long run, everyone depends on what I would call "autoempathy." Much has been said about the power of empathy in relation to others, but the importance of "auroempathy" has been left aside. Read more here.

On the Incompatibility of the Biological and Empathic-Relational Model ~ Douglas C. Smith, M.D.

Biological psychiatry and psychosocial psychotherapy· are two dis- tinct ways of trying to help people. I believe they are polar oppo- sites of each other, and therefore incompatible and unintegratable. I should know because I have practiced within both models. I trained and practiced in the biological model for about 10 years. The second model, which I prefer to call the "empathic-relational model," relies on the healing power of relationships rather than on mechanical or chemical manipulations of the brain. I have been practicing within this model for about 4 years. My skills for working within this model are still developing, but already I see dramatically better results and have fur more satisfaction in my work.  Read the whole article.

Creating an Empathic Environment at the San Joaquin Psychotherapy Center by Kevin F. McCready, Ph.D.

I am often asked: "How do you treat patients?" or "What do you do differently?" This is a difficult question to answer. Not because I don't know what it is that we do differently. But in a materialistic, technique oriented culture it is so difficult to convey that what we do is derived not from a different method but from a different paradigm. We do not so much "treat" or even "heal" patients. We create an environment in which they may heal. Please note the deliberate use of the word "may." One of the pillars on which this paradigm is based is that free will and personal responsibility are essential. I would go as far as to say that the devaluation of individual freedom and personal responsibility is one of the primary sources of iatrogenic problems in therapy.  Read the whole article here.
Dr. Bert Karon

Dr. Bertram Karon discusses how to genuinely help severely disturbed persons, including those diagnosed with 'schizophrenia'. Dr. Peter Breggin presents the first Lifetime Empathic Therapy Award to our esteemed and beloved colleague Bertram Karon, PhD. The Empathic Therapy Center is proud to have Dr. Karon on our Advisory Council. 

"The Tragedy of Schizophrenia without Psychotherapy" by Dr. Bertram Karon, Journal of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 31 (1) 89-118, 2003


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