Psychology of Psychopharmacology

The Psychology of Psychopharmacology plays a huge role on patient and provider expectations of medications. This goes beyond the placebo effect, and there is strong evidence that shows psychological and interpersonal factors have a significant effect in psychopharmacology.[1] The pill, the patient, the prescriber, and the partnership all play a role in pharmacotherapy response and non-response. The therapeutic alliance in the doctor-patient relationship also has a significant impact on outcomes too.[2]

“Given that the evidence suggests that non-pharmacologic aspects of medications play a major (and perhaps even primary) role, it seems clear that this evidence should be well represented in the psychopharmacology curriculum. One might even argue that if more than half the benefit that patients derive from medications comes from meaning and interpersonal factors, then more than half of the psychopharmacology didactics should focus on those factors.”[3]

Mallow and Mintz (2013)