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Chris Rowe, Psy.D., is a 2016 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle

Dissertation Committee

Alex Suarez, Ph.D., Committee Chair

Pat Linn, Ph.D., Committee Member

Paul Andrews, Ph.D., Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

There is widespread agreement that neurobiology plays a role in psychological distress and that psychiatric diagnosis and associated psychopharmacological interventions can be helpful. However, there are also unresolved issues surrounding the limits of empirical support for current diagnostic criteria, shortcomings in neurobiological explanations of psychopathology, and unanswered questions about the mechanism, safety, and efficacy of psychiatric medications. This has implications for treatment errors which can precipitate negative socio-economic and health consequences, particularly for vulnerable groups like the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient (c/s/x) population. It is for these reasons that the training psychologists receive to prescribe should, in addition to integrating the critiques of conventional thinking about the etiology and diagnosis of mental distress, discuss the c/s/x movement. Extent research on psychologist postdoctoral psychopharmacology training has focused on legitimacy, safety, feasibility, and training considerations. This study used content analysis and was the first to examine a selection of psychologist postdoctoral psychopharmacology training materials to understand the extent to which they were (a) integrating critiques of neurobiological hypotheses for depression’s etiology, (b) challenging the rigor of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and, (c) informing students about the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement. Results indicated that the examined body of materials did not consistently and comprehensively critique the majority of neurobiologically based etiological hypotheses for depression that were being disseminated. Next, challenges to the DSM’s empirical rigor within the examined materials primarily focused on construct validity versus inter-rater reliability, and without the provision of statistical analyses. Finally, the only substantial c/s/x content within the examined materials was limited to one book which students were not required to read. The limits of these findings and a variety of socio-cultural, ethical, legal, and professional advocacy considerations are discussed.

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Chris Rowe, 2016

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0003-2591-5306

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