Prescribing non-psychopharmacological agents: A new potential role for psychologists in primary care settings and specialty clinics

Jay Edward Earles, Larry C. James, Raymond A. Folen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


At least 10 years have passed since the Department of Defense Psychopharmacology Demonstration Project graduated its first class of psychologists. All graduates of that program were credentialed to prescribe and the program received promising external reviews and audits. The profession has since moved well beyond the initial question, "Can and should psychologists prescribe?" posed over two decades ago. A number of professional schools and training institutions have implemented postdoctoral psychopharmacology training programs and over 20 states are actively pursuing legislative agendas. Given recent initiatives to provide health psychology services within the primary care arena, the authors introduce a new role in the scope of psychology's prescribing activities. They propose that psychopharmacological agents are not the only medications psychologists should be trained to prescribe and psychopharmacology training should include course work and supervision related to treatment within a primary care patient setting in addition to a traditional psychiatric one. The authors provide the rationale for primary care clinical health psychology training as the appropriate mechanism for psychopharmacology education and practice. Public health needs and epidemiological data provide the rationale for health psychologists additionally prescribing non-psychopharmacological agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1220
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006



  • Prescribing
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

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