Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

pp 1-5

Date: Latest Version

Adjunctive Psychopharmacology in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Dixie MeyerAffiliated withSt. Louis University Email author 
  • , Stephanie BarkleyAffiliated withSt. Louis University


This entry reviews five major categories of psychopharmacological medications used to treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, psychotic disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The term adjunctive distinguishes how therapists should approach medication. Medication should be viewed as supplemental. Only one role of the therapist is as medication manager with tasks like identifying target symptoms to treat with medications, assessing medication responsiveness, confirming use as directed, coping with side effects, and working with the prescribing physician.

Theoretical Framework

The systemic perspective notes multiple influences on the client. Therapists treat the whole family to use relationships to heal. Working with the family provides the best support for the individual using psychotropic medication. Yet, the medical model should be incorporated into therapy to ensure the client is receiving the best standard of care. For example, lithium ...

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