David L. Lopez, M.D.
AAPDP President (2014-2016)
What is the AAPDP?
The AAPDP is the only allied organization of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) dedicated exclusively to psychiatrists who practice or are interested in psychodynamic psychotherapy. For a list of the seventeen APA allied organizations click here: http://www.psychiatry.org/network/allied-organizations
What the AAPDP is NOT
It is NOT a psychoanalytic or psychotherapy school. It is NOT a society that is officially endorsed by any national or international psychoanalytic body or organization. It is NOT a society that competes against any psychoanalytic association, institution, or group. It is NOT an accrediting institution. It is NOT a society that follows any specific psychoanalytic school of thought or group of theories. To read the mission statement of the AAPDP click here: http://aapdp.org/index.php/about-us/
What is the difference between psychiatrists who do psychodynamic psychotherapy and non-psychiatrists who do psychodynamic psychotherapy?
Psychodynamic psychiatrists have a specific set of skills not shared by any other professionals. As an example, a well-informed internist recently called me to ask me three questions: 1) Do you know how to treat depression without medications? 2) If you treat my patient with psychotherapy alone, are you able to recognize when this treatment is no longer effective by itself and when you absolutely need to augment it by adding an antidepressant? 3) If the combined treatment is effective, would you be able to at some point stop the antidepressant and recognize what was the effect that was being achieved by the medication and if it is maintained by the psychotherapy alone?
Of course, as a psychodynamic psychiatrist, my answers to the three questions were affirmative. In addition, this inquisitive colleague made me think of several other subtle skills that psychodynamic psychiatrists feel confident with during the complex treatment of such depressed patient, in contrast to psychotherapists who are not psychiatrists or psychiatrists who do not understand psychotherapy.
My Message from the President does not intend to be a Q&A section, nor an extensive write–up on our specific skills. Nevertheless, my intention is to give a glimpse of what we are as a society and how we think, as psychodynamic psychiatrists. I suggest you generalize my example and apply it to how we use our skills to treat anxiety disorders, other mood disorders, and even psychotic disorders.
Look around our website. I invite you to familiarize yourself with our publications and Annual Meetings. We are a volunteer society that intends to do interesting and enriching activities that contribute to our expertise and the improvement of the treatment of our patients.
David L. Lopez, M.D.
100 Melrose Avenue, Suite 204, Greenwich, CT 06830