$200 – $250

Psychopharmacology and the Brain: Clinician Basics

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Columbia School of Social Work

1255 Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY 10027

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Psychopharmacology and the brain: Clinician Basics

6.5 contact hours are available. See below for details.

$250 single; $200 each for 5 or more

Alumni will receive a $50 discount. Please email swope@columbia.edu for the promotional code. Your email should contain your name and the year you graduated.

*Open to the public


Psychopharmacology is full of intimidating concepts – neurotransmitter systems, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics of psychotropic medications – that are actually simple to learn and important for all social workers to understand. This clinical and practical workshop aims to improve communication between clinicians and prescribing doctors and nurses by covering the physiological actions, therapeutic effects, and potential toxicities associated with prescribed pharmacotherapies for major classes of mental disorders affecting youth, adults, and the elderly along with other special populations. Ethical and legal issues will also be covered.

Workshop Description

This one day workshop integrates lecture, seminar, discussion, case studies and multi-media to cover ethical guidelines, common questions clients have about medications, CNS overview, DSM-5 and medications, and basic psychopharmacology including drug metabolism and pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. The mechanism of action and risks versus benefits for medications used to treat a variety of mental health issues such as depressive, anxiety, bipolar, ADHD and other disorders is also covered as well as the social worker’s contributions to the diagnostic process.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completing the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the different evidence-based psychopharmacological treatment algorithms for specific psychiatric symptoms, diagnosis, relevant to the client’s age and comorbid medical conditions.
  2. Apply current theories regarding the structure of the brain, function of neurotransmitters, and psychopharmacology in order to become effective members of the treatment team and empower their clients.
  3. Explain how cultural factors affect prescribing practices and drug trials and drug approvals. Demonstrate understanding of the transcultural perspective and how dimensions of this perspective may inform practice.
  4. Examine differential psychiatric diagnosis and evidence-based psychopharmacological interventions for clients of different ages and backgrounds.
  5. Discuss and critically appraise how theories apply to practice, including empirical support and utility for diverse populations.
  6. Review the DSM-5 and its application for the diagnosis of children, youth, and adults.
  7. Distinguish the social worker's particular contribution to the diagnostic process, and the policies and societal norms that promote and constrain the diagnostic-intervention process.
  8. Demonstrate increasing role of psychopharmacology in the treatment of mental disorders, and the professional knowledge, responsibilities, and limitations of the social worker’s role with respect to the use of psychopharmacology in treatment.


Dr. Angel Caraballo is Columbia and Cornell-trained, double board-certified physician, who specializes in adult, adolescent and child psychiatry. He provides comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, individual and family psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology for adults, adolescents and children and their families in his private practice on the Upper West Side. His interests and expertise include the treatment of adult and child ADHD, parenting, child development, psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, DBT, mood and anxiety disorders, psychosis, cross-cultural issues, LGBTQ youth and school related issues. Dr. Caraballo believes in working collaboratively with patients and their families to identify and achieve the goals that will allow them to lead fulfilling and productive lives. Dr. Caraballo completed his general psychiatry residency training at Stony Brook University Hospital and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Program of Columbia and Cornell Universities. He also completed the Advanced Adult Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program at Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center and will be starting Transference Focused-Psychotherapy Training at the same institution starting in September of 2018.

Dr. Caraballo served as Director and Medical Director for the School-Based Mental Health Program of Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital where he collaborated and supervised interdisciplinary teams composed of social workers, psychologist and case managers and school staff. He was also an assistant clinical professor at Columbia University for teaching and supervising medical students, general psychiatry residents and child psychiatry fellows for over 6 years. Dr. Caraballo is affiliated to several professional organizations and currently serves a 2 year-term as the president for the New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He also serves as a member of the Program committee for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a member of the selection committee for the Minority SAMHSA fellowship of the American Psychiatric Association

Continuing Education Contact Hours Information

In order to receive your continuing education certificate, you must attend the entire workshop and complete the evaluation.

6.5 contact hours will be awarded for NYS, NJ and CT licensed social workers and NYS licensed mental health counselors*. Licensed social workers for other states, please email swope@columbia.edu. Columbia University School of Social Work is a CSWE accredited institution.

CSSW is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. Provider #SW‐0021

CSSW is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. Provider #MHC-0137

*Certificates will be emailed within 30 days of the workshop.

Special Accommodations and Grievance Policy

For information on special accommodations or our grievance policy, click here.

Cancellation policy: Fees will be refunded less a $5.00 processing fee, if written notification is received by the Office of Professional Excellence up to two weeks prior to the workshop date.

For more workshops please visit our website. Click Here

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Columbia School of Social Work

1255 Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY 10027

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