Psychopharmacology and Social Work Practice

for the Non-Medically Trained


By: Sophia F. Dziegielewski, Ph.D., LCSW


Workshop Summary: (6 hours format) [Length may vary by event location/sponsor]

Social work and other professionals employed in the counseling environment often help to address the needs of clients taking prescribed medications.  These professionals do not prescribe medications; however, they must be aware of supportive information, the therapeutic effects, strengths and possible problems that can result from medication interventions. This seminar is designed to provide non-prescribing professionals with an overview of issues related directly to the benefits and/or problems that can occur when using selected psychotropic medications.  Mental health conditions and the medications used to treat them include: Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.


Major Areas of Content

·       Overview of Medications- Popularity, Profit and Presentation

·       Medication Basics, Myths and Developing Realistic Expectations 

·       FDA Warnings and Standards of Clinical Practice 

·       Highlights of Different Mental Health Categories and Drugs Most Often Prescribed   


Workshop Objectives

Upon completion of this seminar the professional will be able to: 

·       Identify myths associated with the use of "tested" medications and improved mental health.

·       Identify how medications affect the brain in terms of thoughts, feelings and actions.

·       List factors related to increased and decreased patient continuance/adherence/compliance. 

·       Identify the basic rules to follow when monitoring medication continuance as a non-medically trained professional.

·       Identify important medical terms (e.g., generic versus brand name, half-life) that can facilitate the non-medically trained professional assist the client. 

·       Identify several of the most popular psychotropic medications most often prescribed with adults and the classifications in which they fall.  

·       Explore practice strategy along with alternative options for treatment to either supplement or circumvent the use of medications.


Workshop leader will be Dr. Sophia F. Dziegielewski, LCSW and selected books by the presenter will available for autograph and sale at the presentation. 



·       Dziegielewski, S.F. (2010). Social work practice and psychopharmacology: A person-in-environment approach.  New York: Springer Publishing.

·       Dziegielewski, S.F. (2006). Psychopharmacology handbook for the non-medically trained. New York: W.W. Norton.

·       Dziegielewski, S.F. (In Press). DSM-5™ in action (3rd edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

·       Dziegielewski, S.F. (2010).  DSM-IV-TR™ in action (2nd Edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

·       Dziegielewski, S.F. (2005). Understanding substance addictions: Assessment and intervention. Chicago: Lyceum Books.


Speaker Contact Information: Sophia F. Dziegielewski, Ph.D., LCSW




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