The Art of Pharmacotherapy: Enhancing Outcomes by Integrating Patient-Centered, Psychodynamically-Informed Perspectives








Please note: you must register for each of these courses individually 

Thinking About Prescribing: Psychodynamically-Informed, Patient-Centered Approaches to Pharmacotherapy (1 of 4) 

The Science of the Art of Psychopharmacology: An Introduction to the (Other) Evidence Base (2 of 4)  

Psychodynamics of Pharmacologic Treatment-Resistance (3 of 4) 

Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology: Caring for the Treatment-Resistant Patient (4 of 4) 


Though psychiatry has benefited from an increasingly evidence-based perspective and a proliferation of safer and more tolerable treatments, outcomes are not substantially better than they were a quarter of a century ago. Treatment resistance remains a serious problem across psychiatric diagnoses. One source of treatment resistance is that systems within which psychiatrists are working often create pressures to practice in a biologically reductionistic framework. In this context, the important impact of psychosocial factors in prescribing have been relatively neglected, leaving prescribers to work without some of our most potent tools.

In this four-course series, we will:

  1. Explore ways that a biomedically-reductionist, illness-centered approach may undermine positive pharmacotherapy outcomes, consider the meaning of patient-centeredness in pharmacotherapy, and explore why it may be beneficial to integrate basic psychotherapeutic skills into routine pharmacotherapy (“Thinking about Prescribing”),
  2. Examine the considerable but oft-neglected evidence bases that describe how psychosocial factors influence medication outcomes and provide guidance about how to prescribe rather than merely what to prescribe (“The Science of the Art of Pharmacotherapy”).
  3. Explore ways that the patient’s dynamics and the interpersonal dynamics of the doctor-patient dyad may undermine pharmacologic treatment outcomes and highlight common dynamics that interfere with the healthy use of pharmacotherapy (“Psychodynamics of Pharmacologic Treatment-Resistance”), and
  4. Explore a specific model, Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology, that integrates psychosocial evidence bases guiding effective prescribing with psychodynamic insights regarding treatment-resistance, offering technical principles for working effectively with complex, co-morbid, and treatment-refractory patients (Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology).

Each unit may be viewed as a stand-alone lecture, but the series as a whole provides a comprehensive perspective on a patient-centered approach that facilitates the integration of ordinary psychotherapeutic skills into pharmacotherapy in a way that supports psychiatrist and NPs in practicing at the true top of their licenses.

If you enjoy this subject matter, you may be interested in our upcoming 2023 Virtual Fall Conference, Losing our Mind and Finding It: Re-Integrating Meaning in a Neurobiologically-Focused Era 

At the conclusion of this series, participants should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast features and benefits of  illness-centered vs. a patient-centered approaches
  • Describe the evidence base linking meaning factors and medication response;
  • Construct a biopsychosocially-integrated and patient-centered treatment frame;
  • Explain how pharmacotherapy and the meanings of medications can either support or interfere with the patient’s healthy development;
  • Diagnose common psychodynamics underlying pharmacologic treatment resistance;
  • Use basic psychodynamic interventions in pharmacotherapy to ameliorate psychological and interpersonal contributors to inadequate medication response.

Target Audience

______ Introductory                __x__ Intermediate                  ______ Advanced