Clobbered by “Colloborative Care”: Reality vs Perception?

Are we getting clobbered by “colloborative care”?

I just recently read Dr. George Dawson’s blog post on collaborative care, which was his response to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) president Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman’s video above. You can find more information about integrated and collaborative care at this link.

I think it’s important that we present both sides of this issue because not everyone believes in the APA version of the state of psychiatric treatment today. Dr. Dawson has a lot of experience in this area and has definite views on it that deserve a wide audience.

Dr. Art Smukler is another psychiatrist who seems to share similar views.

Dr. Dawson has been quite frank and said “Our direction needs to be 180 degrees away from collaborative care. This is more than a battle about care delivery. This is a battle for psychiatry,” in a comment on one of my recent posts.

Americans should know that psychiatrists are not necessarily of one mind on this issue. In fact, many seem to say, “Don’t you do it!”




  1. Let me add that one of the ruling parties for quite a while were parents and other professionals against clinicians, medication, and psychiatry in general. Made my task particularly difficult as I directed the mental health aspects of the program. The goal of the program was to institute a mental health program run by parents and that failed and in the end the only one of the services to continue to receive funding were my crisis teams. I was able to develop a program where all voices were heard, but because of life and death situations my team had the final say on many issues. I was able to develop a fantastic team of parent and youth advocates who understood the value of high quality clinical care.


  2. Collaboration so often means “Sleeping with the enemy” and collaborators are seen as spies in many situations. I directed mental health crisis services in the South Bronx, before, during, and after 9/11. My teams were funded by the System of Care movement and insisted on collaboration. It was a disaster. The nastiest or most corrupt of the five agencies involved ruled all too often. I now prefer benign dictatorships ruled by people of selfless intent and integrity.


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