What is the difference between a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in understanding how medications for mood disorders interact with the body and other medications you may be taking. Some psychiatrists may provide occasional therapy but they primarily provide medication.
Mental Health Counselors are sometimes called Psychotherapists or Licensed Counselors are Masters level professionals who specialize in understanding mental health. We provide counseling and do not prescribe medication.
Should I take medication or go into psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best 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.
I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?
On the contrary. People who ask for help know when they need it and have the ability to reach out. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have some strengths that you’ve used before, that for whatever reason aren’t working right now. Perhaps this problem feels overwhelming and is making it difficult to access your past strengths. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them again in what is happening now.
What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?
Friends and family are often important and well intentioned parts of your support system. 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, bias or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential.
What about confidentiality?
Law protects the relationship between therapist and client and information cannot be disclosed without your written consent. It is an important component of our therapeutic relationship and designed to ensure safe and open communication in a judgment free environment. The only exceptions are if and when there is suspected child abuse/neglect or when a client threatens harm to self or others, in which case every effort is made to ensure the safety of those affected as required by law.