Roehampton academics publish guidance on what psychological therapists should know about working with psychiatric drugs

  • Thursday, November 19, 2020

Last month the University of Roehampton hosted an online screening and Q&A of the documentary, Medicating Normal, alongside the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

Image - Roehampton academics publish guidance on what psychological therapists should know about working with psychiatric drugs

The event coincided with the release of the new short-read version of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence (APPG-PDD) guidance: ‘A short guide to what every psychological therapist should know about working with psychiatric drugs’ edited by Professor Rosemary Rizq and Dr. Anne Guy with Karen Stainsby. The full guidance, published in 2019, was edited by Dr James Davies and Professor Rosemary Rizq of the University of Roehampton and Dr Anne Guy, a psychotherapist and co-ordinator of the APPG-PDD.

Medicating Normal examines the current paradigm of mental health treatment, including over-diagnosis, overprescribing and polypharmacy. The Q&A, which you can view below, discusses many key questions including: why are we prescribing so many psychiatric drugs? Does it matter how people choose to find solutions to their distress? What is the difference between giving medical advice versus medical information? What can psychotherapists and counsellors do to help facilitate people during what is oftentimes a difficult process of withdrawal?

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Debate with University of Roehampton in conjunction with CEP-UK, BACP, & UKCP

The Q&A was chaired by Dr James Davies, psychotherapist and Reader in the University of Roehampton’s Departments of Life Sciences and Psychology. The panelists included Professor Rosemary Rizq, Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the University of Roehampton, Professor Joanna Moncrieff, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Professor at UCL, Dr Anne Guy, Psychotherapist, Professor Peter Kinderman, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool and Angela Peacock, MSW, former U.S. Army Sergeant, and subject of the documentary.

The guidance published by the APPG-PDD is an important resource that provides therapists with information to enable them to work better with people taking psychiatric drugs or withdrawing from them. It includes support on:

  • How and when prescribed psychiatric drugs might impact the therapeutic relationship and process
  • Empowering practitioners to talk about prescribed drugs with clients and supporting clients in whatever decisions they reach with prescribers
  • Encouraging practitioners to reflect on their own attitudes and beliefs about the use of prescribed psychiatric drugs



Further information:

Short form guidance:
Full guidance:
More information about the documentary, Medicating Normal: