Psychotropic medication is a gift from God that is able to reduce some psychopathology symptoms. In some cases, it is the only treatment available. At the same time, the use of such medication is at an all-time high, is frequently the first and only treatment pursued for psychological problems, and is often prescribed without clear indications. In addition, the treatment of problems with medication can sometimes get in the way of addressing other dimensions of human nature in the context of therapy. From Christian scriptures and traditions, the contemporary Christian community can derive a set of values and principles that guide pastors, counselors, and church members regarding their appropriate use and misuse. In this workshop, sponsored by the Society for Christian Psychology, a psychologist and psychiatrist will offer a summary of some of these values and principles.
1. Distinguish four dimensions of human nature that are relevant to medication use and articulate four questions for discernment that can be a guide when psychiatric medication is, and is not, appropriate for intervention with psychological problems
2. Discuss three ways psychotropic medication is valuable, and three relevant Christian concerns regarding its misuse
3. Discuss the interaction between the evolution of psychotropic medications and psychiatric diagnostic categories