Seminar Detail

Psychopharmacology: What Every Mental Health Professional Needs to Know About Psychotropic Medications
Friday, September 27, 2019 at 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This event is not currently available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

Understanding psychotropic medications is important for all healthcare practitioners. Many primary care prescribers of medications are limited to as little as 15 minutes in order to diagnose client mental health disorders and to select appropriate psychiatric medications. This has significant implications for mental health practitioners who treat these clients and for other healthcare professionals that may be involved directly in medication changes and adjustments.

All health care providers who deal with depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders will encounter treatment concerns due to psychotropic medications including the following:
  • Inappropriate selection for the presenting mental health disorder
  • Inadequate doses of medication
  • Drug interactions
  • Unpleasant and unexpected side effects

It is becoming increasingly important that all providers of mental health care become knowledgeable about the appropriate use of psychotropic medications, the mechanisms of drug action and the recognition of specific side effects. With this knowledge, mental health treatment can be optimized for patients. Attend this seminar and expand your knowledge pertaining to the safe and effective application and management of psychotropic medications.

  1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the historical antecedents of psychopharmaceutical products and their relation to today’s psychoaffective medications.
  2. Analyze the more common neurotransmitters and their role in both drug action and side effects.
  3. Discuss adverse drug reactions including nutritional (metabolic syndrome), cognitive, sexual, and behavioral toxicities associated with psychoaffective medications.
  4. List the major classes of psychopharmacologic medications and how these medications impact illnesses.
  5. Describe psychopharmacologic diagnostic aids, devices, and computerized applications currently available to practitioners in their clinical practice.
  6. Create a treatment strategy for mild, moderate, and severe depression.

The Perfect Pill
  • Origins of Today’s Psycho-affective Medications
  • What the Body Does to the Drug
  • What the Drug Does to the Body
  • Placebo vs. Nocebo Effects
Where Drugs Work
  • Brain Chemistry Alternations in Mental Illness
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurons
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Drug Mechanism of Action
  • The Terminal Button
  • Meds and Their Anatomical Site of Action
Adverse Drug Reactions & Warnings
  • Cognitive
  • Nutritional (Metabolic Syndrome)
  • Movement Disorders
  • Sexual/Libidinal Problems
  • FDA Pregnancy Categories
  • Black Box Warnings
Medications & Managing Side Effects
  • Neurochemistry of Depression Antidepressants
    • Tri-Cyclic Antidepressants
    • MAOIs
    • Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs)
    • 5-HT Syndrome
    • Serotonin Discontinuation Syndrome
    • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
      • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
      • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
    • Atypical Antidepressants
      • Mirtazapine (Remeron)
      • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Stimulants
    • Neurochemistry of ADHD
    • Stimulant Medications
    • Non-stimulant Options
  • Anxiolytics/Anti-Anxiety
    • Neurochemistry of Anxiety
    • Benzodiazepines
  • Antipsychotic Medications
    • Neurochemistry and Neuropathways Associated with Psychosis
    • Traditional Antipsychotic Medications (Neuroleptics)
    • Atypical Antipsychotic Medications
  • Mood Stabilizers/Neuromodulators
    • Lithium
    • Anti-seizure Medications
    • Atypical Antipsychotics
  • Substance Abuse
    • Neurochemistry of Addiction
    • Medications for the Addictions
  • Memory Medications
    • Acetyl Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Current and Future Trends
  • Depression – Treatment Selection for Mild, Moderate, & Severe
  • The New Normal: Tardive Dysphoria
  • Choosing Psychotherapy, Pharmacotherapy, or Combination
  • Diagnostic Aids & Computerized Devices
  • New Theories of Mental Illness & Treatment
  • Future Drugs
Limitations of the Research & Potential Risks
Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Case Managers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Pharmacists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Other Mental Health & HealthCare Professionals


Perry Buffington, Ph.D., M.S., has over 10 years of experience in the medical consulting field and over 40 years’ experience as a counseling psychologist and psychology professor. He is currently a full-time senior lecturer at the University of Georgia, teaching psychopharmacology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is former chairman of the prestigious Florida Psychological Association’s Prescriptive Authority Committee and teaches seminars nationwide on minimizing psychopharmacological errors.

As the author of twelve books, his by-line has appeared in hundreds of periodicals including the Saturday Evening Post, USA Today, and Success. He is the former contributing editor for Delta Air Lines’ in-flight magazine, Sky and served as a syndicated newspaper/web columnist for Universal Press. Additionally, he hosted his own radio show, syndicated nationally, by Envision Radio Networks. Perry’s presentation style is engaging, a blend of education and entertainment; as a result, critics (and especially his students) applaud his ability to make complicated topics understandable and applicable.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Perry Buffington is the President of Go-Buff Enterprises, Inc. He is a member of the psychology faculty, Franklin College of Arts & Sciences, The University of Georgia. Dr. Buffington receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Perry Buffington has no relevant nonfinancial relationship to disclose.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

Addiction Counselors
This course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 6.0 CE in the counseling services skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

This intermediate activity consists of 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

North Carolina Counselors: This intermediate activity consists of 6.25 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please contact your licensing board to determine if they accept programs or providers approved by other national or state licensing boards. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to participants who are in full attendance and who complete the program evaluation.

South Carolina Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists and Psycho-Educational Specialists: This program has been approved for 6.0 continuing education hours by the South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psycho-Educational Specialists. Provider #4540.

Marriage & Family Therapists
This activity consists of 380 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. You should save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
American Nurses Credentialing Center Logo
PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Nurses in full attendance will earn 6.3 contact hours. Partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attendance.

Pharmacology Nurse Practitioners
This program offers 380 instructional minutes of pharmacology content which is designed to qualify for 6.0 contact hours toward your pharmacology requirement to receive credit. It is your responsibility to submit your certificate of successful completion and a copy of the seminar brochure to your licensing board.

PESI, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Successful completion of this Knowledge-based activity qualifies for 6.3 contact hours. ACPE Universal Program Number: 0289-0000-18-002-L01-P. Full attendance is required. No partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attendance. Please note: Pharmacists are required to complete a program evaluation/post-test within two weeks of attending the live event if they would like their participation submitted to ACPE. A valid NABP e-Profile ID and Birthdate (mm/dd) will be required for reporting. Don’t have your e-Profile ID yet? Visit the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website and complete your e-profile at in order to obtain your NABP e-Profile ID.

Psychologists & Psychiatrists

PESI, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. PESI, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The following state psychologist boards recognize activities sponsored by PESI, Inc. as an approved ACCME provider: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin. This activity consists of 6.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Certificates of attendance will be issued for you to submit to your state licensing board to recognize for continuing education credit.

North Carolina Psychologists: CE credit is available. This course is designed to meet the Category B Requirements of the North Carolina Psychology Board, provided it is within your scope of practice of psychology. Please retain all documents to provide to your board should this be requested of you. This activity consists of 380 minutes of continuing education instruction.

Social Workers
PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2017 - January 27, 2020. Social Workers completing this course receive 6.25 Clinical Practice continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 380 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

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