Prescription Authority For The Psychologist Essay

976 words - 4 pages

Prescriptions privileges for psychologist, a debate of the American Psychological Association (APA) policy. This debate took place at the APA's August 22-25, 2002 convention held in Chicago. The debate was facilitate by Dr. Timothy Anderson, PhD in psychology, who entertained two professionals, Elaine Heiby and Patrick DeLeon who have earned their PhD in psychology; giving the pro and con for why psychologist should have prescriptive authority. The debate centered around two questions, the first question addressed the justification of the APA model of training for prescription privileges which cited the Department of Defense (DoD) demonstration project and training for other ...view middle of the document...

The disagreement for many is the APA policy of when psychopharmacology training should be implemented. Training should take place at the postdoctoral level not at the undergraduate or even graduate level. Both debating psychologist strongly agree on this statement. It is important for psychologist to be well schooled in the foundation of psychology and the behavioral sciences, able to accurately diagnose and treat and to be afforded invaluable internship experiences. There are many psychology departments that already offer basic psychopharmacology Level 1 training in the undergraduate and graduate level. The APA underscores the importance of Level 2 training (collaborative Practice), given that most psychoactive medications are prescribed by nonpsychiatric physicians, consumers would be underserved by physicians that are unaware of psychological interventions. Since most psychoactive medications are prescribe by nonpsychiatric physicians, i.e. Primary Care Provider, the psychologist in this role would be the link to psychological interventions that the primary care physician would lack. Unfortunately at this time, Level 2 training in not available due to inability of resources at the doctoral and postdoctoral level. The APA current policy is that Prescriptive privileges take place at the Level 3 training of both the doctoral and postdoctoral level. The second debate is over the five significant organizations of applied and academic psychologists who are concerned about the preservations and growth of the scientist-practitioner of clinical practice and university based departments of psychology. These organizations are strongly committed to the preservations of clinical science and the justification for professional practice. Despite their objection to the APA policy on prescriptive authority these organizations have supported and encouraged psychologist who wish to prescribed to do so through established avenues. A meta-analysis of surveys conducted following the APA policy concluded that psychologist are about equally split on the issue of prescribing authority. The third misunderstanding is the policy concerning training of psychologist outside the discipline of psychology. The positive contributions of psychologist obtaining...

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