Unfortunately psychotherapy and psychiatry are heavily embedded in the pharmaceutical industry and this makes me suspect to many of the treatments they offer. My personal experiences with psychiatric medications is that many were not helpful to me. There is a certain tendency when using any drug either in a supervised or unsupervised setting to increase the dosages and attribute any change in mood/outlook to the drug. Its the sort of pattern that seems to reinforce itself over time. It is apparent that some people need help... but there is no short cut for mindfulness when using drugs or medications. My own therapists and psychiatrists led me into a quagmire with the over prescription of certain meds. When the first one don't work... they put you on another, that one doesn't work... the process repeats itself over again, and soon they bring in combinations of the same ones you tried, and they try essentially every permutation they can imagine. Soon the side effects become so extreme that they begin prescribing new medications, with entirely different side effects, just to blot out the mess they're making with the first two. Sadly I feel this prescription culture is fed by drug companies. Meta studies have shown that many of these drugs are little better than placebo... maybe slightly useful, but not enough to justify the levels of use they sometimes are prescribed at. I have also seen studies that in under developed countries many mental disorders are transient... there seems to be evidence that some of these drugs actually make mental disorders permanent. I think that in many cases the drug companies have probably suppressed studies they have funded showing perhaps less than stellar results and its often easier in psychology to attribute the positive change a therapist sees in a patient if they are expecting to attribute it to a drug. In other words, they expect the drug to work and so they read any improvement as an indication of the drugs efficacy. Naturally this is all quite profitable. Is it helpful? Sometimes.
"I think such drug sessions under careful observation and guidance are probably much less "dangerous" than the casual prescription of standard drugs.
The "danger" I see comes when things become a standardized and careless procedure, quite the same as with individual drug use, I guess."
++Perkele ... i would agree with this... all individuals involved must be mindful... even more so when a patient is vulnerable.
comparing types of drugs....
My own experience is that natural is usually better, but not fool proof.
Many people take sleeping pills like valium and xanax to fall asleep. They are highly addictive and cause all sorts of changes in your brain, but thats fine because the drug companies make billions off this practice. People say, well "whats the alternative" ...
I recently discovered that Maypops (passiflora incarnata or passionflower fruit) were commonly used for this purpose (sleep, anxiety, epilepsy) and were actually listed in the The National Formulary from 1916-1936. They are non addictive, non habit forming, improve the quality of sleep and can actually be used to help people coming off of valium addiction. How interesting that they aren't used anymore.