It is a bit of an embarrassment to the professions of anyone who does psychotherapy that the NYT would publish this piece. Perhaps, this happens only in New York, where people still follow Woody Allen into psychoanalysis.
Dr. Weiss is struggling by adhering to techniques that are a hundred years old and largely discredited. It is good to see that as a psychiatrist she still does psychotherapy, as almost all psychiatrists outside of major cities only prescribe medications. But if she is going to do therapy she should learn that things have changed. That the relationship between the patient and therapist is very important and that, although it needs to be structured, and it is not a friendship, there certainly needs to be warmth and acceptance. Then, there are many other approaches that have proven to be more successful than long-term psychodynamic treatment.
What I also find interesting is the wide range of comments that have been posted. The differences in understanding the causes of depression are certainly very striking. Depression is a very serious condition, and a very complex one. It often, but not always has some genetic component. It also involves family history, job history, a history of loss or trauma, brain damage, illness, pain, unemployment, poverty, racism, and addictions. It is not a “disease” with one clear cause.
Therefore the treatments have to vary accordingly, and should hopefully involve many disciplines, including, psychologists, geneticists, neurologists, social workers, and other branches of medicine if they are relevant. Such treatments are very rarely available in our world of specialists who just do their own job. That is why Dr. Weiss’s patient is still in treatment, and still suffering, many years later.