Antidepressants in counselling psychology: Relevance, effectiveness and implications for practice

Christopher F. Sharpley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


With up to one-fifth of the population experiencing depression sometime during their lives, plus depression rivalling smoking in its association with mortality, the search for effective treatments is urgent and of direct relevance to the everyday practice of counselling psychology. However, the various waves of antidepressants developed in the past 40 years have shown significant side effects and only arguable specific efficacy over placebo, leading to suggestions of combining psychological and pharmacological therapies. This article briefly reviews the history of antidepressant drugs, their side effects and efficacy, some future directions and discusses the role of antidepressants within counselling psychology practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-156
Number of pages18
JournalCounselling Psychology Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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