Psychopharmacology Speakers Kit

Psychopharmacology in Plain English


Helping Your Clients Understand Their Medicines without Getting Yourself into Trouble


Dr. Carter's CV


Carter Bio


Handouts (6 per page) (soon)

Program Description

If you are like a lot of therapists, many of your clients are taking psychotropic medicines prescribed by a number of different health care professionals. These medications stream in from psychiatrists, family physicians, nurse practitioners, and, inevitably, there are always those clients who have no idea from where they got the prescriptions or the reasons behind them. Despite who wrote the script, it is your responsibility to know your clients’ symptoms and reactions to medications, and to coordinate their care. This can be tricky, because therapists need to be well-versed in the language of medications and have the skills to communicate not only to their clients about medications, but to prescribers as well.

This one-day seminar focuses on providing practical and useful information about antidepressants, anti anxiety medications, and medication for insomnia, as well as the tools to handle the ethical decisions that surround psychopharmacology. Familiarize yourself with appropriate aspects of various ethics guidelines and examine how those guidelines might apply to your practice. Get to the “bottom line” on the most prescribed antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and medication for insomnia on the market today, and investigate the top medicines from each category that are the most important to know. You will leave knowing how they work, as well as the benefits and side effects associated with each. If you know how these work, you’ll be able to understand nearly all of the rest. Cheat sheets for future reference will be available.

 Program Objectives

• Understand why (and what) you should know about psychopharmacology

• Anticipate the most frequent questions your clients and prescribers will have about medications

• Know how to be ethical when discussing medications with clients and prescribers

• Communicate more effectively to your clients about medicines

• Anticipate the common questions frequently encountered by non-prescribing mental health care professionals regarding medications

• Examine why non-prescribing mental health care professionals should be knowledgeable about basic psychopharmacology

• List actions assumed to be beyond the scope of practice and not appropriate for non-prescribing therapists

• Identify how the most common antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and insomnia medicines work


Psychopharmacology in Plain English

Beardsley, R. S., Gardocki, G. J., Larson, D. B., & Hidalgo, J. (1988). Prescribing of psychotropic medication by primary care physicians and psychiatrists. Archives Of General Psychiatry, 45(12), 1117-1119.

Diamond, R. J. (2009). Instant Psychopharmacology (Third Edition.). W. W. Norton & Company.

Jacobs, G. D. (2009). Say Good Night to Insomnia (First Edition.). Holt Paperbacks.

Littrell, J., & Ashford, J. B. (1995). Is it proper for psychologists to discuss medications with clients? Professional Psychology, Research And Practice, 26(3), 238-244.

Lundt, L. (2009). You Can Think Like A Psychiatrist: Understanding Psychiatric Medicines, 2nd Edition (First.). PESI LLC.

Mann, J. J. (2005). The Medical Management of Depression. N Engl J Med, 353(17), 1819-1834. doi:10.1056/NEJMra050730

Pomerantz, J. M., Finkelstein, S. N., Berndt, E. R., Poret, A. W., Walker, L. E., Alber, R. C., Kadiyam, V., et al. (2004). Prescriber intent, off-label usage, and early discontinuation of antidepressants: a retrospective physician survey and data analysis. The Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry, 65(3), 395-404.

Preston, J., & Ebert, B. (1999). Psychologists’ role in the discussion of psychotropic medication with clients. Legal and ethical considerations. California Psychologist.

Preston, J. D., & Johnson, J. (2009). Clinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously Simple (6th Edition) (6th ed.). MedMaster Inc.

Preston, J. D., O’Neal, J. H., M.D., & Talaga, M. C., Ph.D. (2010). Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists (6th ed.). New Harbinger Publications.

Rush, A. J. (2007). STAR*D: What Have We Learned? Am J Psychiatry, 164(2), 201-204.

Silberstein, S. D., & Marmura, M. J. (2010). Essential Neuropharmacology: The Prescriber’s Guide. Cambridge University Press.

Stahl, S. M. (2014). Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Stahl, S. M. (2014). The Prescriber’s Guide, Antidepressants (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Treatment of Major Depression, Volume 2: Clinical Practice Guideline Number 5 -- HSTAT Archive Collection -- NCBI Bookshelf. (n.d.). . Retrieved June 9, 2010, from

VandenBos, G. R., & Williams, S. (2000). Is psychologists’ involvement in the prescribing of psychotropic medication really a new activity? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31(6), 615-618. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.31.6.615