Psychopharmacology and Therapy - an uneasy relationship

This is an interactive and experiential workshop which includes information on prescribed drugs, their effects both wanted and unwanted, and how drugs interact with therapy. The issue of when and why drugs are compatible with therapy and when they are not, encourages participants to critically consider assessment and decision making. It uses case studies to promote reflection on practice, highlights important research findings and promotes discussion of professional liaison issues and ethical dilemmas. There is an opportunity for participants to raise their own concerns and discuss them with other psychologists from a variety of practice settings. Research findings from an object relations perspective will be utilized in order to provide participants with a different understanding of the role of drugs and prescribing.

Provisional timetable

09:30 Registration/Tea and Coffee
10:00 Workshop starts (there will be a break for lunch)
16:30 Workshop ends


This workshop is intended for counselling, clinical, forensic or health psychologists. Trainees on doctoral courses or the independent route who are in the later stages of training and have some therapeutic experience.

A reading of the following literature is advantageous though not a pre-requisite:

  1. The interface between psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches. Chapter 32 Handbook of Counselling Psychology 3rd Edition 2011.
  2. sychopharmacology: a primer. Chapter 16 The Trainee Handbook. 3rd Edition 2011

Learning outcomes and objectives

  • Develop knowledge of psychotropic drugs
  • Understanding of how drugs affect therapy
  • Developing professional authority
  • Ability to critique medical and therapeutic models
  • Increased understanding of psychodynamic processes

Facilitator: Dr Dianne Hammersley CPsychol CSci AFBPsS

Dr Diane Hammersley is a Chartered Psychologist practicing independently as a psychotherapist, supervisor, trainer and expert witness in child care proceedings.  Having worked in a clinical and research team concerned with dependence on prescribed medication, she ran workshops around the UK.  Later her doctoral research explored therapists’ experience of clients who had been taking medication, how that impacted on the therapeutic process and how medication might be viewed more realistically and metaphorically.  She is a former Chair of the Division of Counselling Psychology and Chair of the Board of Examiners.  In 2006, she received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Counselling Psychology.

Unfortunately this event has been cancelled

Mon, 17/06/2013 (All day)
Contact Information: 


BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 9925
Fax: +44 (0)116 227 1314

Division of Counselling Psychology & BPS Learning Centre