Psychologists Prescribing Medication Is a Bad Idea

July 16, 2014 6:55 PM

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The state of Illinois has now joined the states of New Mexico and Louisiana in allowing clinical psychologists the right to prescribe psychotropic medications. This new privilege comes with the requirement that psychologists take extra training to become familiar with the basics of the chemistry of the brain and how medications act to produce their affects. Ostensibly, this training gives them all the knowledge they need to determine the need for medication, prescribe them, and monitor their effects. However, the mere prescription of medication is only a part of what a psychiatrist does in the successful treatment of mentally ill patients. Giving psychologists the privilege of prescribing medications and pretending that this can obviate the need for more psychiatrists is a foolish idea.

Ironically, it is psychologists themselves who have so successfully educated the public to the fact that mild and moderate mental illnesses generally don't require treatment with medications. Perhaps the best example is major depression. The well-known work of psychologist, Irving Kirsch, suggests t...

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