Thankfully awareness about mental health and the importance of caring for your emotional and psychological health have become more prevalent and hopefully less stigmatized. Although awareness may have increased, it doesn’t take long to realize that clinical jargon and lingo can make finding and selecting the best fit of a therapist difficult. Here common questions I have heard and my reply
What is the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, and who can best help me?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor and can/does prescribe medication for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Generally, you will see a psychiatrist for an initial evaluation that may be between thirty minutes to an hour. Your subsequent visits will be shorter and essentially medication management appointments. Psychiatrists do not traditionally engage in talk therapy with clients and work in collaboration with psychologists, therapists, or counselors.
A psychologist is a doctor of clinical psychology. They have advanced training in treating a range of disorders but they cannot and do not prescribe medication. Often clinical psychologists have researched and developed expertise in working with specific disorders or populations. In addition to traditional talk therapy, clinical psychologists often perform clinical psychological evaluations.
What is the difference between a therapist and a counselor?
In Lancaster, PA counselor and therapist have become terms that are used interchangeably, with the term counselor being an umbrella word to refer to multiple kinds of mental health professionals. There are three general professionals that fall into this category: licensed professional counselors, licensed clinician social workers, and marriage and family therapists. Each of these professionals has a master’s degree and advanced training in the mental health field and are trained to work with a wide range of disorders and presenting problems.
How is a marriage and family therapist different from other kinds of counselors?
In Lancaster, PA a therapist with a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy has been specifically trained in systemic and relational theory. Marriage and family therapists are trained to identify and recognize relational patterns in couples, families, and wider systems. A systemic view aims to see how dynamics create and fuel problems—and to help people recognize how the interactional patterns within and between can unintentionally block change. Systemic therapists work with people to differentiate the problem from the person, and to assist people at recognizing they are on the same team when facing a challenge or problem. Marriage and family therapists help clients to name and claim their power in systems to begin to make movement that leads to healing and growth.
These are just some of the questions that you might have in trying to find the right therapist for you in Lancaster, PA. If you have more questions or are still confused about counseling, please feel free to call be at 717-966-1210 for a free 15 minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to hear what you’re struggling with or against and help direct you to the right person.