The debate as regards granting prescribing rights of psychoactive medication to clinical psychologists has received considerable attention over the last decades, and i am in total support of this, due to the following reasons.
Obtaining prescribing right will help psychologists expand their practice into settings that are traditionally dominated by non-psychiatrists, increasing the scope of psychological practice. Because doctoral-level psychologists have more education than other professionals who have secured various degrees of prescriptive authority (for example, nurse practitioners and pharmacists), psychologists should also qualify for this privileges. With the proper training in the pharmacology of psychoactive therapy, psychologists should be able to prescribe psychoactive medication more efficiently than the general nursing practitioner.
A recent survey revealed that, psychiatrists issued only 17% of psychoactive medications in 1991. The rest 83% were prescribed by General Practitioners who had only 4 to 12 weeks’ training in mental health. Given these data, appropriately trained doctoral-level psychologists would be more qualified to diagnose mental disorders, prescribe appropriate medication, and monitor the behavioral effects of such medication than would nonpsychiatrist practitioners
So therefore, granting prescribing right to psychologists would benefit those who have limited access to psychiatrists, as this is the reason so many General Practitioners prescribe psychoactive medication, due to the relative scarcity of psychiatrists. Furthermore, prescribing right will enable psychologists provide needed psychotherapy and pharmacologic treatment, improving mental health services to those living in rural areas.
In conclusion, medications can influence behavior. In fact, this is a major concern of psychological research and practice; for this reason, it important that prescribing medications becomes part of the practice of psychology.