, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 434-440
Date: 24 Nov 2012

The Prescribing Clinical Health Psychologist: A Hybrid Skill Set in the New Era of Integrated Healthcare

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Abstract

The prescribing clinical health psychologist brings together in one individual a combination of skills to create a hybrid profession that can add value to any healthcare organization. This article addresses the high demand for mental health services and the inequitable distribution of mental health practitioners across the nation. The close link between physical and mental health and evidence that individuals in psychological distress often enter the mental health system via primary care medical clinics is offered as background to a discussion of the author’s work as a commissioned officer of the U.S. Public Health Service assigned to the Chaparral Medical Center of La Clinica de Familia, Inc. near the U.S.–Mexico border. The prescribing clinical health psychologist in primary care medical settings is described as a valuable asset to the future of professional psychology.