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Module dates: January 11-February 12

For interpreters, being able to understand the effects prescription drugs have the on mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior of our clients is critical. This module, designed with Daniel Lundberg, will focus on the three pillars of psychopharmacology: symptoms, medications, and side effects, and discuss how each may impact our work as interpreters. Psychiatric medications can come up in a variety of settings, including annual medical appointments, psychiatric medication check up, nurse visits in educational settings, and more.

This module will cover:

  • Major groups of psychiatric medications and their corresponding diagnoses.
  • Possible impacts psychiatric medications have on language (receptive and expressive).
  • The use of case studies to apply learning to patient medical charts.
  • Numerous and readily available resources on diagnosis, medications and additional strategies for effective communication with patients.

Time commitment

This module will require about 20 hours of work. There are no set meeting times, but the module is designed for participants to go through together for richer discussion. All work must be completed by 11:59pm on February 12. See Course Outline below for an overview of the course.

Come expand your understanding of psychopharmacology with us!

Technology requirements

Modules are offered through Canvas online learning management system.

  • You must have high-speed internet access and a tablet or computer that supports:
  • Ability to work online and type or video record discussion posts.
  • Ability to record videos.
  • Ability to upload videos to YouTube for sharing with others in Canvas.
  • Ability to access streamed video content.

Registration Requirements

To register, participants must:

  • Work in the United States or U.S. territories
  • Hold RID, NAD, or BEI certification
  • Have a minimum of 3 years interpreting experience

Note: No exceptions to the registration requirements can be made due to our agreement with RSA. Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is the federal department that funds our project and it is in our agreement that the CATIE Center Behavioral Health Interpreting modules be limited to those with national certification. National certification is defined as RID, BEI, and NAD.

Registration Fee: $40

Module is filled. You may sign up for a waiting list if a spot becomes available.

Intro to Psychopharmacology waiting list
How to Access Intro to Psychopharmacology

Registered participants will receive an email invitation to join the course from Instructure Canvas on January 11.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellations must be in writing to CATIE Center.

Refunds will be issued for cancellations requested within seven days of registration, as long as course content has not been accessed. Refunds will not be issued after 7 days from the date of registration. 

Registrations are not transferable, either to another course or another participant.


St. Catherine University is a RID-approved sponsor for continuing education units. Participants who complete all required assignments may earn 2.0 CEUs.

CEUs will be posted to transcripts by February 12. Please hold any questions about CEUs and your transcript until after February 12.

Course Facilitator

Paula MacDonald, MS, NIC, QMHI

Paula holds a certificate in Deaf Studies, an Associate of Applied Science in English/ASL Interpreting and Transliteration, a Bachelor of Arts in Multicultural Interpreting, and a Master of Science in Interpreting Pedagogy. She completed her teaching practicum at Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria, and has taught numerous interpreting classes online.

Course Outline
  • Pre-Assessment
  • Introduction to Mental Health Disorders
    • Overview of Mental Health Disorders
      • Knowledge Check-In
    • Neuroscience
      • Knowledge Check-In
  • Introduction to Psychopharmaceuticals
    • Pharmokinetics
    • Pharmacodynamics
      • Knowledge Check-In
  • Introduction to Psychotropic Medications
    • Psychotropic Medications
      • Anxiety
        • Knowledge Check-In
      • Depression
        • Knowledge Check-In
      • Bipolar
        • Knowledge Check-In
      • Psychosis
        • Knowledge Check-In
      • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
        • Knowledge Check-In
  • Medication Mechanism of Action
    • Mechanism of Action
    • Mechanisms of Action: Animation
      • SSRI
      • SNRI
      • TCA
        • Flashcards
        • Knowledge Check-In
        • Discussion Board: Mechanism Interpreting Sample
  • Treatment Plans
    • Multiple Diagnoses & Contraindications
    • Disorders and Their Treatments
      • Discussion Board: Treatment Plans
  • Application
    • Medcharts
      • Activity: Case Studies
  • Interpreter Considerations
    • Health Literacy
    • RX Adherence
    • Free-Literal Interpretation
      • Discussion Board: Free-Literal Interpretation Sample
    • Fingerspelling
      • Discussion Board: Fingerspelling Sample
  • Additional Resources
    • Post-Assessment
    • Resources and References
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