Pharmacology for the Non-Prescriber-Level I

Presented and developed by Rodolfo Trivisonno, MD

This is a seminar directed at non-prescribing mental health and chemical dependence professionals aiming at improving their knowledge in the area of basic Psychopharmacology used in clinical practice.  This one-day educational activity will provide non-prescribing mental health professionals with an opportunity to learn about psychoactive medications and their role in the treatment of mental disorders.  At the end of the course, attending professionals will learn how to identify commonly used psychiatric medications and their therapeutic effects and side effects, and how to interpret medication inserts.  This course will help professionals to disseminate what psychoactive drugs can do--and can not do--in treatment of mental illness.  We will address what can be expected from the prescription of these therapeutic agents in clinical practice from a realistic perspective, aiding professionals in the decision as to when to refer for medication treatment.  This knowledge will also enable you to better understand what prescribers do when prescribing medications to their clients and the rationale behind their prescribing decisions.  Moreover, this information on psychiatric medications by non-prescribers will contribute to improved communications between prescribers and non-prescribers.  This knowledge will in turn contribute to the avoidance of common contradictions clients/patients are exposed to in clinical practice when they receive conflicting information from their prescribing and non-prescribing mental health professionals.  Furthermore, this workshop will aim at dispelling the most commonly shared myths about psychoactive drugs and their deleterious effects on outcomes.  The emphasis of presentation will be on the notion of psychopharmacological pursuit of "target symptoms: (quantitative changes to mind) versus psychotherapeutic endeavors (qualitative changes to mind).


  • Understand the generalities of Pharmacology and Psychopharmacology
  • Familiarize yourself with the concepts of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and their differences
  • Disseminate between therapeutic effects: specific and non-specific pharmacological effects versus placebo and nocebo effects
  • Understand the critical importance of coherence in communications between prescriber and non-prescriber professionals
  • Recognize the importance of non-specific psychological factors affecting the effects of medication which makes prescribing "an art" as much as a science
  •  Identify psychiatric medications according to their therapeutic group
  • Know the indications and contraindications of commonly used psychiatric medications
  • Acquire a basic understanding of the effects and mechanisms of actions of Antidepressants, Anxiolytics, Sedatives, Mood Stabilizers, Antipsychotics and Hypnotic drugs
  • Become aware of the risks of overmedicating and under-medicating clients/patients and not referring clients in a timely fashion for medication management
  • Recognize common side effects of these medications and the need to report them to prescribers

Continuing Education (CE) Information

6 CEs

Rodolfo Trivisonno, MD

Rodolfo A. Trivisonno, M.D. (known by his patients as "Dr T") received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in 1986.  After completing medical school, Dr. Trivisonno became involved in research in the field of Hyperbaric Medicine,free radicals and aging.

In 1988, Dr Trivisonno began the first of his two psychiatric trainings at the "Psychiatric Emergencies Hospital of Buenos Aires T. de Alvear," (a University of Buenos Aires Medical School affiliate).  This first post-medical school training was psychodynamically and psycho-socially oriented. Dr. Trivisonno held the positions of Residents Instructor and Attending Psychiatrist in the Adolescent Inpatient Unit of the above-mentioned hospital. 

Dr. Trivisonno completed his second psychiatric residency in the United States at the University of Miami/ VAMC /Jackson Memorial/Mount Sinai Psychiatric Program.  This second specialty training was carried out to expand Dr Trivisonno's expertise in the area of biological psychiatry, neuropsychiatry and geriatric psychiatry.  This training was completed at a biologically-oriented program with an emphasis on a Bio-Psycho-Social approach to psychiatric treatment.  During those years, Dr Trivisonno gained experienced in the areas of neuropsychiatry and geriatric psychiatry.

In 1997, Dr Trivisonno relocated to Washington State, where he held the position of Bilingual Attending Psychiatrist at Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health, serving minority populations, particularly hispanic.

Over the years, Dr. Trivisonno has participated in multiple teaching activities.  He has taught medical students and residents in Argentina and in the United States.  The most recent of these academic activities took place in the University of Washington MEDEX program and previously in his role of assistant in teaching with the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency (from 1997 to 2005) .

Dr Trivisonno is fluent in both English and Spanish and is certified as a medical interpreter.  Check out his website at:

Upcoming Dates and Registration

No dates have been scheduled for this course. Please check back soon.

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