Social work expert authors vital handbook for mental health professionals

A new handbook holds valuable information for social workers, family therapists and counselors who work with clients who take medications for their mental health

A new book for mental healthcare workers is billed as the first of its kind in giving non- medically trained professionals (NMTPs) a comprehensive look at the role of medications in mental health treatment not only how they work, but also side effects, interactions, tolerance, affects of expired medications, brand-name versus generics, and the important role of the non-medically trained health care provider in "gathering information that supports understanding the whole person," as is written by the author.

Sophia Dziegielewski, director of the School of Social Work at the University of Cincinnati, is author of Psycho-Pharmacology Handbook for the Non-Medically Trained, published by W. W. Norton & Company. "It's written in such simplistic language that it is designed for all," she says.

Now entering her second year as the director of the UC School of Social Work, Dziegielewski has written dozens of articles, three training manuals and several textbooks in the areas of mental health. She explains that it's often the social worker, psychologist, family therapist or counselor who is monitoring how a client is taking and adjusting to prescription medications to treat mental health disorders. She says the book has easy-to-understand information on what professionals need to watch out for, once their client is prescribed a medication. "A consumer will be prescribed a medication and then may not meet with the doctor again for six weeks. Well, for the most part, many of your side effects from that medication are going to occur within the first week or two," says Dziegielewski.

The book is also filled with brief "quick tips" that professionals can scan for information on the role of NMTPs and treating depression, increasing compliance in taking medications, helping to reduce prescription errors, assessing tolerance and addiction, and other issues related to medicinal treatment.

The second half of the book delves more deeply into specific drugs and examines:

  • Medications to treat depression

  • Medications to treat bipolar disorders

  • Medications to treat anxiety

  • Medications for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders

  • Alternative treatments, such as herbal remedies


The Psycho-Pharmacology Handbook for the Non-Medically Trained has a retail price of $27.50 in the U.S.; $38.50 in Canada, and can be ordered online through

Last updated: 30 Apr 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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