Combining Medication and Therapy

  • Many people do well with either counseling or medication treatment.
  • Combined medication and therapy may be more effective than either treatment alone in some situations.
  • It is not known whether combined treatment is more effective in the long term if the medicine is stopped.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment options, including combined treatment, with your health care provider to decide what approach is right for you.


  • Bockting, C. L. H., Spinhoven, P., Wouters, L. F., Koeter, M. W. J., & Schene, A. H. (2009). Long-term effects of preventive cognitive therapy in recurrent depression: A 5.5-year follow-up study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 70(12), 1621-1628. doi:10.4088/JCP.08m04784blu
  • Cuijpers, P., van Straten, A., Hollon, S.D., & Andersson, G.  (2010). The contribution of active medication to combined treatments of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for adult depression: A meta-analysis. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 121, 415-423. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01513.x
  • Otto, M. W., Smits, J. A. J., & Reese, H. E. (2005). Combined psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders in adults: Review and analysis. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 12(1), 72-86. doi:10.1093/clipsy.bpi009
  • Pampallona, S., Bollini, P., Tibaldi, G., Kupelnick, B., & Munizza, C. (2004). Combined pharmacotherapy and psychological treatment for depression: a systematic review. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61(7), 714-9. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.61.7.714
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Download: Fact Sheet: Medication Treatments for Depression

Last Updated: March 12, 2013