MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS AND PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATIONS: PRACTICE PATTERNS FROM A NATIONAL STUDY

Authors


  • Barbara Couden Hernandez, PhD, Associate Professor of Social Work, Walla Walla College was a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota at the time of the study. William J. Doherty, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, University of Minnesota.

Barbara Couden Hernandez at 204 S. College Avenue, College Place, Washington 99324. E-mail: hernba@wwc.edu

Abstract

A national sample of marriage and family therapists (MFTs) was used to describe practice patterns of MFTs whose clients use psychotropics and to compare medicated and nonmedicated clients. Marriage and Family Therapists (n = 283) reported on 195 medicated and 483 nonmed-icatedn adult clients. Clients (n = 375) rated their improvement and satisfaction with treatment. Results showed that 91% of MFTs treat medicated clients, and these clients accounted for 25% of MFT cases. Medicated clients were most often seen in individual therapy, had more serious medical problems, and showed greater cumulative improvement in relational functioning. Therapists from MFT educational backgrounds had fewer medicated clients than MFTs from other educational backgrounds.

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