The proposal that psychologists should pursue prescriptive authority was first put forth 25 years ago, and it has been an official goal of the American Psychological Association for 15 years. Since then some form of prescriptive authority has been approved by three states, the Territory of Guam, and three branches of the military. Psychologists are also eligible to prescribe in the Public Health Service and the Indian Health Service. The movement has generated strong opinions both in favor and in opposition. Supporters focus particularly on increasing access to appropriate care and changing the role of psychologists within the healthcare system, while opponents raise concerns about how prescriptive authority will change professional psychology and whether psychologists will prescribe safely. This review provides a summary of milestones in the movement to date, as well as the arguments that have been raised for and against prescriptive authority.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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