Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Why I Blog? The List

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on January 16, 2017

Image result for blog1. I am overwhelmingly sad by what I see as the death of my profession, and the transformation of psychiatry into a specialty that has more similarities to Neurology than it does to Psychology.

2. As a result of number 1, I see patient care being compromised significantly, and as such, many vulnerable people are being mis-labeled and “educated” to see themselves as ill, as opposed to experiencing human suffering.

3. Also as a result of number 1, those attracted to the field of psychiatry are not necessarily interested in the human mind and the various nuances and uncertainties which flow from this immensely fascinating organ.

4. Although I have a passion for psychoanalysis, I am also concerned that psychoanalysts are trying to “justify” their position by developing outcome measures, when in fact, human beings, at least in terms of their mental state, are not measurable. I think we have to come to accept that if insurance companies what outcome measures for our work, then we cannot accept insurance.

5. Further from number 1 are patient expectations that human suffering can be significantly alleviated with a medication, which although sometimes that is true, for the vast majority of people, it is not true.

6. Psychiatrists, by my way of thinking, jumped on the ship of “medication management” and in so doing, committed professional suicide for all of us. The result is less job satisfaction, less patient satisfaction, and poor patient care.

7. The “is bad care better than no care question” plagues all of health care, and in particular mental health care. I blog to struggle with those issues.

8. I blog to focus my teaching, to learn to make my points concisely and directly.

9. I blog to think clearly about hypothetical, or fictionalized patient scenarios. It is a “consultation,” if you will.

10. I blog to describe the thoughtfulness that goes into listening; to review the lost art.


7 Responses to “Why I Blog? The List”

  1. writingsfromthecouch said

    As someone who trained as a psychotherapist and who has experienced psychoanalysis on the couch as a patient, I know firsthand how valuable psychoanalytic listening is, one session at a time.

    • Hello Writingsfromthecouch! Thank you for chiming in. It is nice to read your thoughts. SV

    • essemdee said

      Every point you make, Shirah, is so true. And I love that you consider your list “a consultation” (with yourself!). I spent 10 years on antidepressants, which helped me work harder but did nothing to change my view of myself and my life. When I finally went off antidepressants and began psychotherapy, I felt for the first time in my life as if a life preserver had come my way. Four and a half years later, I am a non-depressed, active, optimistic person — for the first time in my long life. One session at a time, as Writingfromthecouch mentions, I have been able to build trust in another person and thus in myself. It’s regrettable that psychiatry has turned out the way it has, but thank goodness there still are psychotherapists—whatever their original training—who understand the transformative power of psychoanalytic listening. Glad to see you back at your blog!

  2. Shelly said

    Very good list. What brought about the need to bring is about?

    • As the calendar turned into 2017 I was thinking about a way to ease back into blogging I thought I would start with a list. I have a deep fondness for lists, in general, so making a list always makes me feel good. Thanks.

  3. love the content

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