What is the difference between a therapist and a psychiatrist?
A therapist is someone who has been educated in a related mental health field like social work, counseling or psychology and can provide counseling, but do not prescribe medication. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is also specializes in diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. A psychiatrist is able to prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists can offer therapy in conjunction with medication management.
Should I take medication or go into psychotherapy?
It is well established that long term emotional and mental health issues cannot be resolved solely by taking a medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what’s best for you, and in some cases a combination of both medication and therapy is the right course of action.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
While it is always a positive to have the support of family and friends, a mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others knowing your business.
Mental health professionals can offer an objective point of view, whereas family members or friends may be more emotionally invested in your situation.
If I commit to therapy, what can I expect? How can I get the most out of therapy?
It is important to understand that you will be more likely to see results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in sessions back into your life. Beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, if you are receptive to homework, I can suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your progress – such as practicing relaxation skills or journaling on a specific topic.