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Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Psychopharmacology Update: New Developments and Special Populations

Registration numbers are limited in order to provide appropriate physical distance in the classrooms.

When: June 11, 8:30am-4:45pm *lunch on your own

Where: Richmont Graduate University – Chattanooga Campus (1815 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404) OR Virtual

Continuing Education: 6.5 CE Credits Awarded. No partial credit awarded.

Fees: Guests: $170 / Alumni: $145

Presenter: James K. Childerston, Ph.D., ABMP


Dr. Childerston is a clinical psychologist specializing in a broad spectrum of psychological disciplines including individual and couple’s therapy, as well as medical and pharmacological consulting. He is a nationally known author and an entertaining speaker who has led seminars and retreats across the United States addressing issues related to marital enrichment, managing emotions, communication skills and conflict resolution strategies, sexuality and aging, and fostering relational closeness. He is board certified in medical psychology, psychopharmacology, and sex therapy. He serves as the Past President of the Academy of Medical Psychology and is on the faculty of the Institute for Sexual Wholeness. After receiving a B.A. from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, he earned an M.A. in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He holds a Ph.D. from Fuller’s Graduate School of Psychology. He and his wife Carolyn and five children reside in Hagerstown, Maryland.


Recent advances in medication have dramatically increased the usage of a variety of psychotropics among the general population, with specific increases in usage among children and the elderly. In fact, antipsychotics are now the number one class of medications prescribed in the United States. The majority of clients with DSM-5® diagnoses are being treated with a combination of psychological and pharmacological treatments. Drug development is now being focused on a better understanding of the neurobiological contributions to mental disorders, so it is crucial for psychotherapists to have a thorough understanding of these complex issues and increase their knowledge of the appropriate use of psychiatric medications.

This workshop covers practical and applied issues regarding psychiatric medication treatment. The focus is on the non-medical therapist as collaborator with psychiatrists or primary care doctors in medical treatment (diagnosis, referral, and follow-up). An overview will be provided of the most recently released and most popular psychotropic medications. We will also discuss treatment strategies in addressing special populations such as children and the elderly, as well as diagnostic categories involving depression, bipolar, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, schizophrenia spectrum and sleep disorders.

Learning Objectives: As a result of attending this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Define the role of mental health professionals who treat clients receiving both psychotherapeutic medications and psychotherapy.
  • Explain the neurotransmitter systems and neuroanatomy underlying the biological basis for mental disorders and pharmacotherapy
  • Describe the major classes of drugs used to treat mental disorders and which mental disorders are appropriately treated with each class of drugs.
  • Compare the effects and side effects of various psychotropic medications, including antipsychotics, antidepressants, benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants.
  • Discuss the abuse liability of drugs used in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, pain and ADHD.
  • Describe new approaches to the medication treatments of certain disorders, specific relapse prevention strategies and ways to improve medication adherence.
  • Identify the limitations of pharmacologic treatments and the need for integrated approaches (combined use of medications and psychotherapy)

Instruction Level: Intermediate

Target Audience: Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Graduate Students

Basic Agenda (Subject to change)

8:30am Basic Considerations

·        Core Pharmacological Principles

·        Non-Adherence and Involving the Family

·        Your role in combined psychological & pharmacological treatments

·        Collaboration & communication with prescribing professionals

·        Common Medical Conditions that Present with Psychiatric Symptoms

10:15am Break
10:30am Mood Disorders

·        Novel Mechanisms of Antidepressants

·        Postpartum Depression

·        Suicide Prevention

·        Mixed Depression & Bipolar

12:15pm Lunch (on your own)
1:30pm PTSD/ADHD/Sleep

·        Novel Treatments for PTSD

·        ADHD or Bipolarity?

·        Clinical Update on Sleep Disorders

3:00pm Break
3:15pm Psychotic Disorders/Addiction

  • Novel Mechanisms of Antipsychotics
  • Schizophrenia Spectrum Treatment Updates
  • Medication Assisted treatment of Opioid Dependence
  • Questions & Answers
4:45pm Adjournment

For questions, please contact Martha Busby at

REFUNDS: In order to receive a refund, requests must be made prior to the Friday before the event.

There is no known commercial support for this program.


Richmont Graduate University has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4534. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Richmont Graduate University is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 

Richmont Graduate University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Richmont Graduate University maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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Psychopharmacology Update: New Developments and Special Populations