THE PERSON VERSUS THE PILL
Elliot Benjamin, Ph.D
In the referenced article of this same title, I explore the current dominant and widespread medical model psychopharmacological emphasis upon which our managed care mental health society is based. This extreme psychopharmacological emphasis appears to me to be in essential conflict with the pioneering humanistic psychology visions of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, with their emphasis upon creative human potential, authenticity of deep self, exploration of genuine feelings, etc. Rather than medicate us out of our difficulties, existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychologies emphasize our essential human condition, along with our noble abilities to transcend this condition. However, in recent years there has been an important movement to incorporate humanistic, existential, and transpersonal psychologies into the psychology mainstream by combining dominant cognitive and behavioral psychologies into its realms. This is especially apparent in Ken Wilber’s integral psychology, which is inclusive of the use of psychotropic medication in the context of integral psychiatry. In a similar spirit, I encourage the careful use of psychotropic medication not as an easy way out in itself, but as a necessary tool to assist some people with gaining the ability to enter the self exploration mode of authentic humanistic psychotherapy. However, I do not hesitate to affirm that it is my own personal preference to not utilize psychopharmacology to resolve my personal issues, but rather to continue on my path of self awareness and spiritual exploration in a natural way that does not require this kind of medicated assistance.
Benjamin, E. (2008). The person versus the pill. AHP Perspective