Can Psychologists Prescribe Medication? – Everything You Need To Know

When you’re experiencing physical discomfort, you can visit your primary care doctor to find out if any medications might promote healing for you. They may run tests to evaluate your physical health and prescribe a medicine that could support your recovery.

But where do you go when you’re experiencing anxious thoughts and periods of depression? Can medication help? Who can prescribe it?

Mental health is something to take seriously, as it can affect your overall health short term and long term. Many mental disorders come with complex emotions that can sometimes be hard to manage on your own. Whether you are dealing with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, there is mental health care you can seek out.  

Many medical doctors like licensed psychologists, professional counselors, clinical social workers, and mental health nurse practitioners have all seen and treated various mental illnesses among struggling people. 

Several mental health professionals can assess your mental health, provide a diagnosis for anxiety and depression, and prescribe medicine that could benefit your healing. One mental health profession we’ll examine today is prescribing psychologists and psychiatrists. Learning more about them can help you understand your options in seeking the best mental health care

First, let’s learn more about psychologists and find out who can prescribe medication. Then, let’s look at your options to find the quickest route to feeling mentally whole and healthy. 

What Does a Psychologist Do?

Psychologists specialize in cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior. They gain the best insight on these topics by observing, interpreting, and documenting how individuals interact and their environments. 

Most mental health professions vary from state to state in their scope of practice. Generally speaking, psychologists work on:

  • Managing scientific behavioral and brain function research

  • Observing, interviewing, and surveying individuals

  • Conducting research and identifying behavioral or emotional patterns

  • Testing for patterns that will assist in better understanding and anticipation of behavior

  • Identifying mental concerns and diagnosing psychological, emotional, behavioral, or organizational disorders

  • Discussing treatment for mental health challenges with clients

  • Writing articles, research papers, and reports to communicate results and educate others about the latest mental health findings

  • Supervising interns, clinicians, and counseling professionals

We’ve looked at a broad range of what psychologists can do. Now, let’s find out more about a few different kinds of psychologists. Keep in mind that these professions vary by state, so not all specialties have the same scope of practice. 

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists generally use their training in various approaches to help individuals with short-term personal issues and severe, chronic conditions alike. They can conduct patient interviews, provide diagnostic testing, and provide individual, family, and group psychotherapy. Some clinical psychologists specialize in specific populations, focusing on children or the elderly. They might also focus on a specialized field to fine-tune their expertise.

Counseling Psychologists

You may be more familiar with this specialty in psychology. Counseling psychologists help people understand and navigate their problems at home, work, or in their community. They collaborate with people through psychotherapy to discover their strengths and resources for dealing with life’s challenges. 

Developmental Psychologists

In short, these mental health professionals focus on how a person’s mind and behavior develop over time. They examine psychological growth to see how a person advances throughout their life. Many developmental psychologists choose to work with children and adolescents, but some may prefer to research aging and the issues that face older individuals.

Forensic Psychologists

Forensic psychologists use their education and expert knowledge to serve the legal and criminal justice system. They assist judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals in understanding the psychological elements of each case. In court, forensic psychologists might testify as expert witnesses to provide much-needed context. 

Some Psychologists can Prescribe Medication

Now that we’ve learned a bit about the psychology profession’s different specialties let’s talk about prescribing psychologists. As you might have guessed, each state requires mental health professionals to meet specific standards, so not every psychologist can prescribe under their scope of practice. Currently, psychologists in Louisiana, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho, and Iowa can prescribe medication. 

What Kind of Training Does a Prescribing Psychologist Have?

What separates someone with a psychology degree from a psychologist who can prescribe medication? Not just anyone can write scripts to supplement mental health treatment. 

For a trained psychologist to prescribe, each state’s law requires them to undergo considerable training. When they complete all their training, prescribing psychologists have more education in diagnosing, treating, and prescribing for mental health disorders than primary care physicians. Let’s learn more about each state’s training to help you appreciate the level of dedication and competence needed to prescribe medication. 

Louisiana: In this southern state, psychologists must obtain a doctorate-level education and complete a postdoctoral master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology. This extensive education and specialized research allow them to provide excellent care. 

New Mexico: As part of its qualifying requirements, New Mexico mandates a minimum of 450 hours of didactic training and a 400-hour supervised practicum in addition to extensive education.

Illinois: Psychologists who prescribe medication in Illinois must obtain a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology from an APA-designated training program. They’re also required to pass a proficiency exam, the Psychopharmacology Exam for Psychologists. 

Idaho: Prescribing psychologists in Idaho have earned a postgraduate master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology, completed a supervised practicum in clinical assessment and pathophysiology, and have passed a national exam. In total, their education and training span more than eleven years. 

Iowa: Iowan prescribing psychologists must complete a post-doctoral master of science degree in clinical psychopharmacology from an APA designated program. In addition, they must undergo practicum and two years of supervision and see 300 patients during that time.

How Much Does It Cost To See Prescribing Mental Health Providers?

Now, let’s talk about you. If you feel like your mental health might benefit from including medication, you may have considered how much it might cost to seek help. Seeing a prescribing provider can cost hundreds of dollars for the initial consultation and may cost $100-200/per hour beyond your initial consultation. With these costs, you may feel lost about where you can go to find proper treatment. But trust us –– there are mental health solutions that can help you access medication without breaking your bank. 

Where Should You Go When You Need Mental Health Treatment?

We know mental health struggles can be tiring. Searching for care is a tremendous step in the right direction, though. We believe in your courage as you find mental health care that fits your needs. Let’s look at a few options that you can try to help yourself feel better.

You Can Try Traditional Therapy

If you’ve never experienced talk therapy, it’s something worth considering. Talking with a trained mental health professional is a step that can enhance your mental health and help you manage your symptoms of anxiety and depression. In conjunction with medication or on its own, talk therapy is a great tool to support you in feeling like yourself again.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Primary Care Doctor

Do you struggle with anxious thoughts or depressive tendencies? Speaking with your primary care physician is another option to help you find relief. Together, you can discuss your symptoms and talk about whether medication is the next step for you. They may also be able to provide you with tips to care for your entire body while you try new medications. If you are worried about any side effects that your medication may have, you can always discuss it with your prescriber. 

Try a Better Way

We know that seeking help while you don’t feel your best can be overwhelming. What if you didn’t have to sit in waiting rooms to see a mental health provider? What if you could avoid nervously checking your bank account to see if your funds cover thousands of dollars in mental health treatment?

Our team at Mood Health formed because we had all experienced the downsides of mental health care. We wanted you to have a better experience finding care, so we made a better way. We don’t think you should have to spend your life away or inconvenience yourself to access medication that could supplement your treatment. 

Finding care should be simple. Let’s take a deep breath and look at how Mood Health can help you access quality mental health care this week.

How Mood Health Is Making Expert Mental Health Care Accessible

Imagine a world where you don’t have to work up the energy to schedule your therapy appointments. What would it feel like to access mental health care as quickly as you access your social media notifications? What if you knew your mental health provider really cared about your well-being? 

At Mood Health, we want to get you connected to mental health care professionals. Here’s how easy it is.

We Provide Stress-Free Scheduling

It can be a struggle within traditional mental health care to find a qualified provider who’s available when you need it. Sometimes the therapist or psychiatric provider you want to see has a schedule booked months in advance, leaving you to manage your mental health alone until they have an opening.

At Mood Health, we have same-week availability. You can schedule an appointment today for a talk therapy or psychiatry appointment and meet your provider later this week. 

Our Mental Health Professionals Care

People can get discouraged from seeking mental health care when they have negative experiences with their providers. At Mood Health, we are dedicated to changing that. We’re human just like you, and our providers genuinely care about your well-being. 

We think it should be easy to find a provider who serves you well. If you meet with a therapist or psychiatric provider and feel that they’re not the best fit for you, we’re happy to help you find someone who is. 

We Want to Help You Find the Right Medication for You

Many people experience benefits from prescription medication to treat their mental health struggles. If you want to meet with a provider who can assess your needs and prescribe medication for you, Mood Health is the right place. 

Our psychiatric care providers have education and training to partner with you to find medications that support mental well-being. After meeting with your clinician, you may decide on a prescription medication to enhance your mental health treatment. To make it easier for you, we provide the option of shipping your medication directly to your doorstep. Meeting with a skilled provider and beginning mental health treatment has never been so convenient.

Our Services are Transparent and Affordable

Some online mental health care services pretend to be affordable, but they hide fees that can add up over time. With Mood Health, you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying for mental health services. Our pricing is always transparent with no hidden fees.

For some people, money stands in the way of accessing the care they desire. We want people like you to be able to get started seeing a mental health care provider at an affordable rate. That’s why our pricing starts at $45 for the first month of psychiatry services and only $95 per month after that. This rate includes assessment and diagnosis and ongoing check-ins with your provider to ensure your treatment meets your needs.

If you want to supplement your psychiatry treatment with talk therapy, prices start at just $39 a month, then $89 per month going forward. Compared to traditional psychiatry and talk therapy costs, you could save hundreds with Mood Health.

How To Get Started with Mood

Getting started with Mood Health is so easy. You can book an appointment today to meet with a talk therapist or psychiatric clinician to discuss your feelings and mental health goals. In your first session, you and your provider will develop a treatment plan together that works for you. 

In Conclusion

Prescribing psychologists aren’t the only mental health professionals who can help you find medicine to enhance your mental health care. You have much more accessible options for finding the medication that can support you in feeling better. At Mood Health, you won’t have to wait in a strange office or pay hundreds for an appointment. Affordable treatment and providers who care are just a couple of clicks away. 



About Prescribing Psychologists | APA Services

Psychologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook | US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Idaho becomes fifth state to allow psychologists to prescribe medications | American Psychological Association

RxP Lunch and Learn | Iowa Psychology

Information for Psychologists – Illinois Psychological Association | Illinois Psychological Association