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Suggestion vs Medication in the Treatment of Depression

March 11, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm CST

Suggestion vs Medication in the Treatment of Depression

March 11, 2021

9:00AM-10:30AM PDT / 11:00AM-12:30PM CST / 12:00PM-1:30PM EST

Presented by Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies at the Harvard Medical School

Click Here to Register

This program, when attended in its entirety, offers 1.5 CEs for Psychologists, and 1.5 BBS California CEUs for LPCCs, LPSW, and LMFTs

Workshop Description:

Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance. However, analyses of the published and the unpublished data that were hidden by the drug companies reveal that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect, and the difference in improvement between drug and placebo is not clinically meaningful. This conclusion has been replicated in a new patient-level analysis, co-authored by officials at the FDA, of all the antidepressant data sent to them by the pharmaceutical companies between 1979 and 2016 (73,388 patients in 232 clinical trials).

Other treatments (e.g., psychotherapy and physical exercise) produce the same short-term benefits as antidepressants, show better long-term effectiveness, and do so without the side effects and health risks of the drugs, and hypnosis increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may produce a placebo effect at the cost of inducing a biological vulnerability making people more likely to relapse.

Workshop Learning Objectives:

After attending this introductory level workshop, participants will be able to:

1) List the benefits of antidepressant medication based on published and unpublished clinical trials;

2) Identify the risks of antidepressant medication;

3) Discuss the relative effectiveness of alternative treatments in for depression;

4) Discuss the role of hypnosis in treating depression.

Program Standards and Goals:

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.1: Program content focuses on application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that have overall consistent and credible empirical support in the contemporary peer reviewed scientific literature beyond those publications and other types of communications devoted primarily to the promotion of the approach.

This program meets APA’s continuing education Goal 2: Porgram will enable psychologists to keep pace with the most current scientific evidence regarding assessment, prevention, intervention, and/or education, as well as important relevant legal, statutory, leadership, or regulatory issues

Workshop Schedule (Shown in CST):

11:00 am – Event Begins

12:30 pm – Event Ends

Registration and Fees:

Community members: $65.00

SCEH Members/Faculty: $55.00

Students: $15.00

Refund Policy: 100% of tuition is refundable up to 48 hours before the program.

Within 48 hours of the program, tuition is nonrefundable.


Khan, A., Faucett, J., Lichtenberg, P., Kirsch, I., & Brown, W. A. (2012). A Systematic Review of Comparative Efficacy of Treatments and Controls for Depression. PLoS One, 7(7), e41778. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041778

Kirsch, I. (2014). The Emperor’s New Drugs: Medication and Placebo in the Treatment of Depression. In F. Benedetti, P. Enck, E. Frisaldi, & M. Schedlowski (Eds.), Placebo: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology (Vol. 225, pp. 291-303). Berlin Springer

Moncrieff, J., & Kirsch, I. (2015). Empirically derived criteria cast doubt on the clinical significance of antidepressant-placebo differences. Contemp Clin Trials, 43, 60-62. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2015.05.005

Stone, M., Kalaria, S., Richardville, K., & Miller, B. (2018). Components and Trends in Treatment Effects in Randomized Placebo-controlled Trials in Major Depressive Disorder from 1979-2016. Paper presented at the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Miami.

Kirsch, I., Ness, A. R., & Appleton, K. M. (2019). Treatments for depression: Side-effects, adverse events and health risks. Journal of Affective Disorders, 259, 38-39. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.018

Kirsch, I. (2019). Placebo Effect in the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety. Frontiers in Psychiatry,10(407). doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00407


Target Audience: Healthcare and Mental healthcare professionals, hypnosis practitioners, University faculty and students. Members of SCEH and the TCSPP community.

Psychologists. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 1.5 continuing education credits. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to Danielle Bohrer at 312-467-2364. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

MFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs. Course meets the qualifications for 1.5 hour of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. If you are licensed outside of California please check with your local licensing agency to to determine if they will accept these CEUs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) to offer continuing education programming for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is an accredited or approved postsecondary institution that meets the requirements set forth in Sections 4980.54(f)(1), 4989.34, 4996.22(d)(1), or 4999.76(d) of the Code.

Participation Certificate. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is able to provide students and other participants who simply wish to have documentation of their attendance at the program a participation certificate.

Non Psychologists. Most licensing boards accept Continuing Education Credits sponsored by the American Psychological Association but non-psychologists are recommended to consult with their specific state-licensing board to ensure that APA-sponsored CE is acceptable.

*Participants must attend 100% of the program in order to obtain a Certificate of Attendance.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


March 11, 2022
11:00 am - 12:30 pm CST