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Why Psychologists Shouldn’t Prescribe

Beware psychiatrists bearing gifts.

If psychology wants to remain a science based upon the understanding of human behavior — both normal and abnormal — and helping those with the “abnormal” components, it would do well to avoid going down the road of prescription privileges. But perhaps it’s already too late.

We first noted this disturbing trend in 2006, how they were shot down 9 out of 9 times trying to gain prescription privileges in 2007, and why prescription privileges for psychologists will eventually drive psychiatrists out of a job. We also noted that one of the programs setup to help psychologists get prescription training wasn’t a “college” at all.

The fundamental problem with psychologists gaining prescription privileges is the inevitable decline over time in the use of psychotherapy by those same psychologists. This is precisely what happened to psychiatry — they went from the psychotherapy providers of choice, to the medication prescribers of choice. Now it’s hard to find a psychiatrist that even offers psychotherapy.

58 Comments to
Why Psychologists Shouldn’t Prescribe

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  1. there is now considerable research indicating that psychotherapy and psychotropics work better together than apart – especially with regard to augmenting cognitive behavioral therapy. psychologists are best positioned to manage the potentially powerful effects of both combined. adding psychotropic privileges to psychotherapy privileges will only help me serve my clientele better. and isn’t THAT what it is all about, really?

  2. To Jlrockdoc
    Thank you for your post. I would be very interested to see the particular research you are referring to in your post…I am always on the lookout for valid,unbiased, and accurately executed research,especially if it can inform my current beliefs…unfortunately, most psychological research is so suspect and shoddily done that statements such as “considerable research indicating” remain empty phrases to me until I see the research in front of me…please post your references!
    Thank you,

    P.S. I still maintain that even if medications can be seen as effective, they will always be dangerously toxic and their risks are completely unnecessary due to the existence of therapeutic methods which do not rely on their use and result in far more effective and long-lasting results.Plus, medications are only used due to blind belief in the medical model of mental illness, an outmoded theory which exists only to line the pockets of psychiatrists,insurance and pharmaceutical executives, and hospital chains.

  3. Because I have never had a psychiatrist who would listen to me, I refuse to see one even if my pscholigist recomends it. If She and her coharts could prescribe, I could trust her/and her coharts to listen, not simply write more scripts. It is the pill pushing psychiatrists who have driven people away from them, by their own actions(non-actions) being intent in getting as many patents into their office as possible, yet refusing to see those on medicare/medicade becouse they get less. I do not see psychiatrist as caring Dr’s –just busness people who want money.

  4. We already have a way of extending prescribing rights – psychiatric nurse practitioners. These individuals already have a medical background and work under supervision of psychiatrists. Psychologists will not have this option in most cases as then tend to have practices independent of psychiatrists.

  5. I agree with the majority of the arguments of Dr Grohol and even more so with Dr Pies. We are not medically trained, we don’t even have the medical training of psychiatric nurses and going down that route without the proper training is simply dangerous. Of course the same argument holds for psychiatrists who go down the route of psychotherapy when they have a 10 year background in biomedical sciences.

    I grew up professionally at the Institute of Psychiatry, in London and I was lucky to work alongside many great psychiatrists who did an excellent job practicing both psychopharmacology and medicine. They really valued our input and work on diagnostic assessments, psychotherapy and research and I don’t see what’s wrong with maintaing such important alliances in the care we provide to our patients.

    We really need more medically trained psychiatrists and more psychologically trained psychologists working together.

  6. I can not read your words without feeling like screaming. Why do people like you always ruin things for individuals who strive for change? I am certain they (psychiatry) will always run to you when they are attempting to strangle appropriately trained medical psychologists. Until we have ALL the privileges of “doctors”, we will continue to be treated like “beggars at the table.” Your words are fallacious and dangerous.

  7. I suffered at the hands of a psychologist that thought that she was a psychiatrist. Her irresponsible recommendation of medication without the sufficient expertise to properly judge the appropriate treatment resulted in the worst possible choice of medication for my condition.

Comments: 1 2



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