Psychopharmacology and Mental Health Counseling

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Psychopharmacology and Mental Health Counseling Robina Choudhry Walden University The use of psychotropic medication is becoming more common in the field of mental health. While working with the clients taking these medications, counselors need to know the impact of these medications along with professional, ethical, and legal boundaries of practice. In order to achieve the goal of a client’s well being, counselors should develop a collaborative approach to the client’s other medical professionals prescribing such medications (Foxhall,2008). RECOMMENDING OR PRESCRIBING MEDICATIONS Counselors should not recommend or prescribe medications. In general, the medications used for different mental health problems are called psychotropic medications. These medications can have serious side effects if not taken properly or prescribed by someone not properly trained or qualified to do so. Obviously, counselors in general do not get such training. On the other hand, counselors should be able to recognize the need of psychotropic medications for their clients as a holistic approach to their problems and refer them to appropriate professionals for that purpose (King & Anderson, 2004). LEGAL LIMITATIONS While working with the client, counselors are required to follow the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics (ACA, 2005). Counselors are not properly trained to meet the required criteria for prescribing medications. They do not possess the necessary license to engage in such a practice. Counselors should avoid suggesting to their clients in any way regarding the dosage, timings, or other ideas which can hamper the effective use of medications or put the client in a dangerous situation by experiencing unwanted side effects. Such a practice can expose the counselor to lose their license and may open doors for other legal

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