Guidance for Psychological Therapists: Enabling conversations with clients taking or withdrawing from prescribed psychiatric drugs was launched in December 2019. Following Public Health England’s acknowledgment of the growing problem of prescribed drug dependency and withdrawal in its recent ground-breaking report, this new guidance gives psychological therapists the information they need to help clients struggling with side effects and withdrawal issues which have resulted from a boom in the prescription of psychiatric drugs.

Learning objectives:

1. Latest evidence around what psychiatric drugs do together with the likely incidence and severity of withdrawal reactions.
2. Importance of recognising potential withdrawal reactions so they are not misinterpreted as relapse or the occurrence of a ‘new’ problem.
3. Implications of the evidence for therapeutic practice including for example distinguishing between giving medical advice (which is the province of prescribers) and discussing medical information, and understanding when usual psychotherapeutic practice might need to be suspended in favour of more supportive work.

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