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ERIC Number: EJ791275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Working with Students in the Medication Era: Do We All Have to Know How to Diagnose and Treat Mental Conditions?
Alishio, Kip
About Campus, v10 n1 p2-7 Mar-Apr 2005
A marked increase in the number of college students on medications for depression, attention deficit disorder, and other conditions may have intimidated counselors and educators into believing that they all need to be medical experts. The widespread practice of medicalizing behavior and experience contrasts dramatically with the approach in which the author was trained during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the heyday of psychotherapeutic innovation. The vast majority of psychological conditions were believed to be capable of improvement through psychotherapy. Medications were viewed as last-ditch interventions to be used only after psychotherapy alone had been ineffective in improving a sustained period of dysfunction in multiple realms of an individual's life. Given the options of slow improvement and personal struggle through therapy and relatively quick relief through medication, the choice of many people--especially today's young people, who have been reared on quick change--to use medication is understandable. However, the prevailing cultural practice of medicalizing behavior can inadvertently stun counselors and other educators into a belief that they are helpless. In this article, the author points out that what the students need from counselors and educators is their whole selves, experts in meaning- making that they are, to engage the students in exploring their experiences, clarifying their choices and the consequences of those choices. Counselors should hold on to their beliefs and act as if student struggles rest in the mind, relationships, and the soul and that their slow, painful, and often scary interventions are necessary, if not sufficient. ["Working with Students in the Medication Era: Do We All Have to Know How to Diagnose and Treat Mental Conditions?" was written with Joshua Hersh.] (Contains 5 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A