Ask a Therapist: Can counselors or therapists prescribe medications?

Ask a Therapist: Can counselors or therapists prescribe medications?

Q&A with  Kristen Martinez, Seattle Therapist

Counselors and therapists usually cannot prescribe medications, unless they hold an additional degree as a prescriber (like an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner or a psychiatrist). Counselors and therapists will work in conjunction with medication prescribers, but they have been trained in methods that primarily don’t involve medication. Schools of thought may differ on this particular issue, depending on your counselor or therapist, but many therapists have been trained in a “wellness” model (versus the “medical” model, the way most doctors and traditional medicine frames health). A “wellness” model implies that there is nothing inherently wrong with you that you need help from a counselor or a therapist – you are focusing on your wellness and improving your health – while the “medical” model has traditionally relied on the lens of illness within which to view people.

2 Comments so far:

  1. A.M. says:

    Does this apply to all state, or are there specific states in which this might be different?

    • Kristen says:

      This applies in general terms to all states as far as I am concerned. In the case of ARNP’s, they do have different capabilities depending on the state they practice in.

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