VIDEO: Why We Need to Talk with Psychiatrists

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

Ron Taffel

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.

Ron Taffel, PhD, chair of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, is the author of eight professional and popular books and over 100 articles on therapy and family life.

“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.

Did you enjoy this video? You might also enjoy Janet Edgette’s article, "Why Teens Hate Therapy," in which she discusses how to balance compassion with accountability. And in "Getting Real," she explains the importance of candor, sharing a personal experience. You might also like our Case Study, "Supporting the Overwhelmed Child," in which social worker Howard Honigsfeld shares best practices for working with struggling, underprivileged youth.

Topic: Psychopharmacology | Children/Adolescents

Tags: add | child therapist | kids | psychiatrist | Ron Taffel | teens | therapist | therapists | clinical psychopharmacology | drugs

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1 Comment

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 3:01:12 PM | posted by James Orwig, LPC Kan
I have a very low opinion of psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Children and adolescents who have grown up in chaotic or traumatic or neglectful situations have learned to cope and create safety for themselves with aggressive behaviors or withdrawal behaviors. The medical people try to drug the behaviors away, frequently by using the polypharmacy of off-label prescribing of adult drugs. I focus my efforts of educating children and parents on the adverse effects of drugs and trauma-informed responses to behavior problems. I have a hard enough time getting social workers to call back, let alone a psychiatrist. The prescribers are more of a problem than those to whom they prescribe.