Psychopharmacology and the Mental Health Counselor Essay

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Psychopharmacology and the Mental Health Counselor Knowledge of psychopharmacology is essential for counselors because ethical guidelines require counselors to remain current on scientific and professional information in their realm of practice. There has been a significant increase of individuals being prescribed psychotropic medication especially children. King and Anderson (2004) suggest that current research of the brain indicates that psychotherapy along with psychotropic medication is more effective than psychological treatment alone. Although counselors are not permitted to prescribe medication, recent finding displays the need for counselors to have knowledge on current psychotropic medications, their uses, and more importantly side effects. Although one ethical limitation of a counselor is that they are not able to prescribe medication, the counselor still plays a major role in the clients overall treatment, to include medication. The role of the counselor is to offer recommendations to the physician for medication use, constant consultation and screening of the client for the need for medication, monitoring and evaluation of effects of medication, education to clients and family members, and advocating for the client to the physician. It is also a counselor’s responsibility to inform the client of available treatment methods (King & Anderson, 2004). For example, if I am seeing a client for depression I would be legally responsible for informing the client about antidepressant medication used to treat depression in addition to possible counseling treatments to ensure the clients right to effective treatment. Because counselors are responsible for assisting physicians in ensuring the best possible care for the client, it is important that I familiarize myself with psychotropic medication. However as a counselor I must also carefully consider the
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