How This Book Is Different
There are several fine psychopharmacology
books available, and as a therapist, it is likely you already
have one or more of them on your reference shelf. Drugs and
Clients differs from the others in a number of important ways:
• The explanations are brief and easy to understand,
with a minimum of jargon.
• The focus is how to recognize when a medication evaluation
might be needed, how psychotherapy might be affected when
clients are taking psychoactive medications, and how the various
psychotropic substances, both legal and illegal, might affect
the therapeutic process.
• Many clients have sleep difficulties. There are two
extensive chapters on sleep which cover the most recent developments
in the understanding, diagnosing, and treatment of Sleep Disorders.
Most books which focus solely on medications do not discuss
treatments for sleep disorders.
• It specifies when medical supervision is needed during
withdrawal from both psychotherapeutic and recreational drugs.
• There is a chapter on the senile dementias (esp. Alzheimer's)
and the nootropic drugs used to treat them.
• There is a chapter on alternative medications, including
the herbs, vitamins, and essential oils that many people are
using in the hope of self-medicating psychological problems.
Most of these are not covered in psychopharmacology texts.
• For those who are interested, the basic technical
information regarding the biochemistry of various classes
of drugs, and their proposed mechanisms of action, are located
in the Appendices. The references will lead any reader in
need of a deeper understanding of any particular drug or topic
to many other sources.
• In short, since Drugs and Clients is written by a
psychotherapist trained in biochemistry, it is specifically
designed to assist psychotherapists in assessing clients as
to their need for, and use of, the many legal, illegal, and
prescription psychoactive substances that are available today.
A Letter from the Author
I wrote this book specifically for practitioners who are trained
in the art of psychotherapy, especially psychologists, marriage
and family therapists, and social workers, most of whom are
not familiar with the biochemistry of the vast majority of
psychotropic drugs and medications. It is my hope that it
will also prove useful to medical doctors, nurses, and the
many other health-care professionals who are not trained in
the specialty of psychiatry but who are working with clients
who may be taking psychoactive medications and/or are using
nonprescription psychotropic drugs.
Having taught psychopharmacology at the graduate level for
many years, I also had a need for a textbook for use in my
own course. I hope it will assist psychology and counseling
graduate students outside of my classroom in assessing the
need for psychoactive medication and whether the medication
a patient may already be taking
is appropriate. (If you are teaching psychopharmacology to
psychology and counseling students, please visit the For Educators
page on this site.)
To assure optimal treatment, it is vital for psychotherapists
to be able to discuss with their clients the option of taking
medication in a knowledgeable, and unbiased, way. Equally
important is the ability of therapists to recognize in their
clients signs of adverse effects of drugs and medications
as well as symptoms of substance abuse, physical dependency,
New psychoactive medications are constantly being developed
and marketed. Psychiatrists have extensive training in the
biochemistry of these drugs; it is neither practical, nor
necessary, for a psychotherapist to learn details such as
the specific mechanism of action of every drug, or which neurotransmitter
or cellular system is affected. What is important is that
the therapist know the class of any drug a client may be taking,
whether the drug is appropriate for the presenting symptoms,
and to have a referral base of psychiatrists with whom one
can collaborate on a collegial basis when the need arises.
The many changes that have taken place in our health care
system in recent years, combined with the vast increase in
the use of psychoactive drugs, both legal and illegal, has
made an understanding of how these substances affect clients
far more important for psychotherapists than it has been in
the past. It is my hope that
this text will contribute to the optimal treatment of all
Padma Catell, Ph.D.
and Clients - by Padma Catell, PhD
This book is for anyone who is studying or practicing
the art of psychotherapy, particularly Marriage and
Family Therapists, Clinical Social Workers, nurses,
graduate students, school counselors, and psychologists-all
of whom have a need to know how prescription medications
and other psychoactive drugs affect their clients.
Click Here to view a
Drugs & Clients
284 pages • 6"x9"
Trade Paperback $39.95
Psychoactive Substances and Aromatherapy
8.5"x11" reference card
Common Psychiatric Medications
& Nonprescription Drugs
This invaluable resource lists the most common psychoactive
substances by type (BzRAs, MAOIs, opioids, etc.) and the average daily dose range.
Click here for a free downloadable version!
Essential Oils & Their Uses
for Psychiatric Medications
This table lists the most common essential oils (bergamot,
lavender, mint, sage, thyme, ylang ylang etc.) being used as aromatherapy for psychological purposes.
Click here for a free downloadable version!
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