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Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy

A Collaborative Approach

Edited by Michelle B. Riba, M.D., M.S., and Richard Balon, M.D.

  • 1999
  • 422 Pages
  • ISBN 978-0-88048-913-3
  • Item #8913

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For years, psychiatrists have provided medication backup for patients who are in therapy with a non-physician therapist. During the past decade, this practice, also known as collaborative treatment, has expanded as a result of important breakthroughs in clinical psychopharmacology and ongoing pressure to reduce the costs of mental health care.

Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy: A Collaborative Approach serves as a roadmap for the growing numbers of health professionals who are teaming up to provide psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy to patients. The complicated issues involved in medication backup are addressed in a comprehensive, practical manner. It covers:

  • The positive aspects and pitfalls to avoid in collaborative treatment
  • Useful information about the education and training backgrounds of the various mental health professionals participating in collaborative treatment arrangements
  • The complicated legal and ethical issues, such as the following: Who is ultimately responsible for patient treatment? How will patient treatment liability be shared between collaborative practitioners? How can risk be managed in medication backup arrangements?
  • Insight into the complex relationship dynamics between and among physician, therapist, and patient
  • Residency training issues and models of successful collaborative treatment that can be used by the busy clinician in formulating treatment plans
  • The unique problems encountered by psychiatrists who provide medication backup in managed care environments

Throughout the book, case vignettes are extensively used to illustrate the principles presented. This well-referenced volume is the first of its kind to provide practical guidelines for maximizing the process of collaborative treatment for all involved professionals—with the ultimate goal of improving the care of all patients.


  • Preface. Positive aspects of collaborative treatment. Negative aspects of collaborative treatment. Mental health providers: role definitions and collaborative practice issues. Divided treatment: legal implications and risks. Ethical issues in collaborative or divided treatment. The psychologically informed psychopharmacologist. Medication backup: the nonphysician perspective. Collaborative treatment for patients with personality disorders. Residency training issues in collaborative treatment. Collaborative treatment in managed care. Primary care physicians and mental health professionals: models for collaboration. Guidelines to maximize the process of collaborative treatment. Index.

About the Authors

Michelle B. Riba, M.D., is Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Education and Academic Affairs in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Richard Balon, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

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