Psychopharmacology: Confessions of a Jungian Psychiatrist



Psychopharmacology can be a terribly complex subject. Serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine, presynaptic receptors, postsynaptic receptors, up regulation, down regulation and an endless array of neuropathways can make your head spin and your heart sink. While all these theories are important, many of the core concepts can be distilled down to a very understandable and clinically useful set of constructs.

Psychiatric medications can be separated into 4 key groupings:  Uppers, Downers, Squeezers, and Heavy Downers.  Uppers include antidepressants and stimulants.  Downers are sedatives and sleeping agents.  Squeezers are mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, and Heavy Downers are high dose antipsychotics.  Categorized in these ways, psychopharmacology can be broken down into quickly understandable concepts and clinically useful strategies.

Dr. Steven Buser is a psychiatrist with 25 years experience prescribing psychiatric medications.  He further completed a 2 year clinical training program at C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago.  His two hour talk will include not only the nuances of psychiatric medication management , but also the uniquely Jungian aspects of it and archetypal components.


Steven Buser, MD is a psychiatrist in private practice in Asheville, NC. He trained in medicine at Duke University and served 12 years as a physician in the US Air Force. He spent his final year in the military in the Republic of Panama and is fluent in Spanish. In 2008 he completed a 2 year clinical training program at the CG Jung Institute of Chicago and subsequently founded the Asheville Jung Center. He has been engaged in cutting edge research, including the use of advanced neurostimulation technologies in psychiatry (Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Deep Brain Stimulation).

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the differences between the 4 major classes of psychiatric medication.
  2. Explain the mechanism of action of antidepressant medications.
  3. Compare and contrast the differences between antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.


DSM-5 Insanely Simplified



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