Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists


Preston, J. D., O’Neal, J. H., & Talaga, M. C. (2013). Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists (7th ed.) Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Visitation is one of the most important areas in the pastoral ministry. It is very common to receive a phone call from a family or a member of the church letting you know, pastor, that a particular member of your church is in the hospital or just sick in bed. That place you in a situation in which you may find yourself engaged in a conversation about medicines. If you are a chaplain in a hospital or hospice you know what I am talking about.

In a world where depression, anxiety, ADHD, stress, and many other psychological disorders are also prevalent among Christians we, as pastors, need to be familiar with pharmacotherapy terms and medicines. That is why I decided to include a book about psychopharmacology. Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists is the perfect book for those who want to get familiar with psychopharmacology terms, diagnosis, and side effects. This is an easy book to read and understand for those who have not previous knowledge about this topic, though this book is required for most of the M.A. in clinical counseling.

The authors divide the book into three sections:

Part One: Understanding Psychopharmacology: The Basic

Part Two: Clinical Syndromes: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment Implications

Part Three: Medications

The book provides an appropriate balance between syndromes, diagnosis, symptoms, and the appropriate treatment for every disorder. Authors do not engage in theoretical complex terminology. Instead, they provide basic information about mental disorders, causes, and possible treatments. The book also contains case studies that would help you to see how theory applies to real situations. You will also find plenty of tables and graphics illustrating theory. It also offers nine useful appendixes at the end of it that will help readers to deepen into different topics.

One negative note I found in this book is that differential diagnosis are based on the DSM-IV. Both, the book and the DSM-5 were published in 2013. I am assuming the DSM-5 was released after this book. Otherwise, there is no apparent reason to publish a book based on the DSM-IV knowing that the APA is about to release the DSM-5. I hope this book will be revised, updated, and published again for the sake of students, psychotherapists, and even pastors.

In conclusion, this book is a book you may want to consider if you want to get familiar with psychopharmacology treatments and terms without fearing the unknown to you. I can guarantee you that after you read this book you will feel like you have always mastered pharmacotherapy. Maybe, want to consider this book just as a reference book you can use when you need to.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


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