VIDEO: Why We Need to Talk with Psychiatrists

How Being “On Call” Keeps Kids from Falling through the Cracks

According to therapist Ron Taffel, author of Breaking Through to Teens, kids who need the extra boost from medication need their therapists to go the extra mile and communicate often with prescribers.

In this brief video clip, he explains why therapists with young clients need to make a special effort to be the eyes and ears of prescribers. They can do this, Taffel explains, by being “on call”—accessible to psychiatrists by phone, email, and text—and should demand that the prescribers they work with do the same.

“We’re on the front lines, and we see life going on in real time, so we know the small, subtle indications that tell us if medication is working,” Taffel says. “We need to take extra responsibility to make sure that prescribers see what we see and hear what we hear.”

Check out more from Taffel to learn best practices when collaborating with psychiatrists, learn how to assess whether medication is working, and find new ways to address developmental issues in prescribing medications.


Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.

Ron Taffel

Ron Taffel, PhD, is Chair, Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in NYC, the author of eight books and over 100 articles on therapy and family life.