Which is better, therapy or medication?
Both medication and therapy have been shown to be effective in treating mental illness. The type of treatment used depends on the nature of the problem. Generally, medication is often prescribed for conditions known to have strong biological components, such as major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or panic disorder.
Research suggests that use of medication and psychotherapy together may be the best approach, especially for more severe conditions. The medication offers relief from symptoms, and psychotherapy enables the individual to gain knowledge about her condition and how to handle it. This combined approach offers the fastest, longest-lasting treatment.
Should I see a male or female therapist?
Individuals often wonder if they would do better with a male or female therapist. Research on therapist traits and therapy outcome has failed to identify any relationship between the two. Factors such as warmth and empathy are much more related to outcome than therapist gender. However, the nature of your particular problem as well as your own preferences may lead you to seek out a male or female therapist. For example, a woman who was sexually abused by her father may feel more comfortable working with a woman therapist.