Psychopharmacology for Counselors

This course examines psychopharmacology for counselors and is taught from a social justice perspective. It will provide students with an overview of the medications used for treating mental disorders. The basic principles of pharmacology and the interrelationships between pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics will also be addressed. The emphasis is on practical and clinical application. Special topics will include: the nature of alcohol and narcotics and the ways they affect addicts in mind and body before, during, and after treatment as well as psychopharmacological treatment for addictions; informed consent; how to find accurate and balanced information about the efficacy and side effects of psychotropic medications; how to educate my clients about the medications they are taking; how to collaborate with prescribing providers and other mental health professionals. Students will also become conversant with regulatory standards for the approval of new medications. Social justice and bioethical issues will figure predominately in this course with reference to for-profit IRB's, recruitment of marginalized groups such as undocumented immigrants, the homeless, and people living in poverty, and discrepancies in prescription practices.