ISEPP 2014 International Annual Mental Health Conference: Transforming Mad Science and Re-imagining Mental Health Care

Los Angeles, CA. Nov. 14-16, 2014



Prescriptive authority for psychologists

At its July 19, 2012 meeting the Board of Directors of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) voted unanimously to oppose prescriptive authority for psychologists.  The Board gave the following reasons for its action:

  • Since psychotropic drugs impair mental and emotional functioning, address only symptoms and are very harmful, they are not good treatment for persons diagnosed with mental disorders.


  • Since psychotropic drugs are detrimental to effective psychotherapy and inimical to the use of psychotherapy in healthcare, their use is a threat to the profession of psychology.


  1. Allan R Roberts, PhD, ABMP
    August 30, 2012

    If psychologists can prescribe, they can unprescribe. If they cannot prescribe, they are always under the dictates of psychiatry. Dr. Roberts, Medical Psychologist

  2. isepp
    August 31, 2012

    Dr. Roberts,

    I volunteer for ISEPP and maintain the ISEPP blogs/website/social network accounts. I am not a mental health professional.

    Personally, I agree with you. It seems to make sense that engaging in talk therapy sessions would help closely monitor patients who would like to taper off of medications.

    Many patients have a difficult time tapering off of psych meds. In general, most psychiatrists do not spend much time with their patients and do not recognize withdrawal symptoms.

    Kind Regards, Maria Mangicaro

  3. Allan R Roberts, PhD, ABMP
    August 31, 2012

    Thanks Maria,
    Your point of time spent with a psychologist and the issue of reducing meds, is exactly how I feel. Many a time I’ve attempted to recommend reduction of meds and only to be blocked by the so-called greater wisdom of the psychiatrist. Psychologists, with their extensive training in the human condition and psychotherapy as well as clinical psychopharmacology, are well equip to intervene in medication issues, especially the reduction and weaning of psychiatric medications, if they were not hampered by the ability to prescribe or not. Dr. Roberts

  4. isepp
    August 31, 2012

    Dr. Roberts, I can understand how that can happen.

    From my personal experience, as well as learning from the experieces of others, psychiatrists can easily be deceived and upon a quick, pressured assessment they may believe medications are working when in reality the patient is having a very bad reaction. They may also interpret withdrawal symptoms and a need for meds.

    I have also experienced psychiatrists passing off physical complaints of feeling tired as depression, when in fact it was caused by thyroid problems. Psychiatrists prescribe medications that affect aspects such as weight and blood pressure, yet many do not monitor or assess patients for obvious problems.

    Personally, I think in most cases a psychologist should be monitoring patients on psych meds and primary care physicians should not be allowed to prescribe antidepressants/ADHD meds/etc at all.

    In my opinion primary care physicians should not be providing psychiatric treatment as they may be creating a gateway to long-term psychiatric problems.

    Thank you for your response, Maria Mangicaro

    Understanding the expanding role of primary care physicians (PCPs) to primary psychiatric care physicians (PPCPs): enhancing the assessment and treatment of psychiatric conditions

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2012 by in PRESCRIPTIVE AUTHORITY FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS and tagged .
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