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Digital Seminar

Psychopharmacology Update: Medications, the Brain, and Behavior

N. Bradley Keele, PhD
6 Hours 16 Minutes
Audio and Video
Apr 17, 2020
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Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Does this sound familiar? Your clients are taking multiple psychotropic medications prescribed by different healthcare professionals. You discover that they have no idea who wrote which prescription or why they are even taking the medication. You realize that despite the confusion, you still have a responsibility to know your client’s symptoms, reactions to medications, and to coordinate their care. It’s more critical than ever for mental health professionals to understand how psychotropic medications work, wherein the body they work, and why they do (or don’t) improve your client’s therapeutic outcomes.

Are you confident in your role as both the patient advocate and protector to effectively address medication-assisted treatments in your overall care plan?

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from an expert in this recording. N. Bradley Keele, Ph.D., has over 20 years of psychopharmacology research experience and teaches clinical neuroscience and psychopharmacology at Baylor University. He will guide you through the newest advances and contemporary trends in blending medication management with psychotherapy interventions for anxiety, PTSD, depression, psychotic disorders, and more. You’ll finish with the knowledge you need to answer clients’ questions, manage side effects, understand medication reactions, and improve your treatment outcomes.


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 6.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



N. Bradley Keele, PhD's Profile

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Baylor University

N. Bradley (Brad) Keele, Ph.D., is Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Baylor University. He has more than 20 years of experience teaching psychopharmacology to both graduate and undergraduate students. Prior to coming to Baylor in 1998, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

Brad is an expert on the neurobiology of complex emotional behaviors such as fear and anxiety disorders and depression. His research lab, with support from the NIH, examines pharmacological and physiological mechanisms involved in emotional behavior and psychopathology. He has published over 25 peer-reviewed, primary research papers, and book chapters, and has made presentations at several dozen national scientific meetings. Brad earned his B.S. degree in psychology from Baylor, and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

Brad is a dynamic and energetic speaker who weaves together empirical findings with everyday examples. His audience (especially his students) appreciates his natural ability to present psychopharmacology in a friendly and practical manner. Brad is passionate about providing behavioral health care providers with practical information that is easy to understand, improving the lives of people living with mental health problems.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. N. Bradley Keele has an employment relationship with Baylor University. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. Dr. Keele has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. N. Bradley Keele is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Association for Psychological Science.


  1. Evaluate the clinical uses of the major psychotropic medication classes, including their efficacy and common side effects.
  2. Integrate effective methods to collaborate with patients and prescribers on issues surrounding compliance with medication treatments.
  3. Categorize the potential benefits and risks of using psychotropic medication to treat a wide array of conditions.
  4. Analyze adverse effects and drug reactions of commonly prescribed psychotropic medications and when to alert the prescriber about them.
  5. Investigate current controversies in psychopharmacology, including the use of medications to treat certain conditions in children and adolescents.
  6. Practice selecting the correct medication regiment for patients based on the various treatment algorithms.


Precision Medicine in Psychiatry

  • Evidence-based precision medicine and why we need it
  • Biomarkers and endophenotypes in classifying and understanding mental illness
    • The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework
  • The future of psychopharmacology

”Nuts and Bolts” of Psychopharmacology

  • Pharmacokinetics
    • Administration, distribution, elimination mechanisms
  • Pharmacodynamics
    • Receptor affinity, drug potency, & efficacy

Functional Neuroanatomy

  • Prefrontal cortex and the control of subcortical circuits
  • Positive & negative valence emotional systems
  • The hypothalamus and control of stress hormones
  • Neurotransmission: targets of psychoactive substances
    • Synthesis, release, receptors, & inactivation

Anxiolytics and Other Medications to Treat Anxiety & PTSD

  • Transmitter systems implicated in anxiety
  • Medications used to treat anxiety
    • Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines
  • Pros and cons of using benzodiazepines
  • Discontinuing long-term benzodiazepine use
  • Medical marijuana and anxiety
  • Special populations – children/adolescents, pregnancy

Antidepressant Medications

  • The biological basis of major depressive disorder
    • The neurotrophic hypothesis
  • The major classes of antidepressant medications
    • Mechanisms of action & side effects
  • The 5 newest antidepressants
  • Emerging pharmacotherapies – ketamine and other psychedelics
  • Medical marijuana and major depressive disorder
  • How to choose an antidepressant, augmentation strategies
  • The use of antidepressants in children and adolescents: a cost-benefit analysis
  • Antidepressants during pregnancy

The Use of Atypical Antipsychotics in Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder

  • The pathophysiology of schizophrenia
  • What makes an atypical antipsychotic “atypical”?
    • Mechanism of action of atypical antipsychotics
    • Therapeutic effects and side effects
  • The use of atypical antipsychotics to manage schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
  • Special populations – children/adolescents, pregnancy

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
  • Psychiatrists
  • Other Mental Health & HealthCare Professionals

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