Taking care of your mental health is so important, which is why everyone is touting it atop their priorities this year. How do you know where you’re at? There are a myriad of things to think about, but one of the biggest decisions is answering a simple question. Is a psychologist right for me? Let’s find out!
Is a psychologist right for me? This is a major question that needs to be answered before you can achieve a healthy mental life. How do you know where you’re at? We can all feel our physical body, but mental health is much trickier. It can definitely be a bit confusing, which is what makes talking to someone else so helpful.
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Let’s first break down the differences between a psychologist and therapist. Then we will run through the decision making process, so you can determine what, if any, help you may need.
A psychologist is a social scientist trained to study human behavior and mental processes. There are a variety of degrees: bachelors, masters, and PhD’s. A psychologist with any of these degrees can practice therapy, but they are required to complete several years of supervised practice before becoming licensed.
A therapist is a broader term for professionals who are trained and often licensed, who provide a variety of treatments and rehabilitation for people. Therapists provide support and structure while helping patients make effective decisions.
It’s important to know that therapists can’t prescribe medication. Not every state allows psychologists to prescribe either. If you think that medication will be a form of your treatment, know that in states where psychologists can’t prescribe, they often times work closely with a psychiatrist.
Unfortunately, many times the decision to seek mental health treatment is left up to the person’s medical insurance. This often comes down to money and this is the part I don’t like about the current state of the medical institution. This decision should have nothing to do with monetary constraints.
Something to remember when making this decision is that nothing is permanent. Success with therapy usually comes down to choosing the right therapist. A big aspect of therapy is that relationship. You want to feel comfortable, not judged, and form a trusting relationship. This is imperative to your success!
The above being said, you are more than welcome to have consultations with both a therapist and psychologist. Test out the relationship and make sure its a good fit. I personally love this process, because when you’re trusting someone to help you get through a difficult time, you want to make sure you have that connection. Remember to go with your gut. There is no shame in meeting with multiple people, weighing your options, and making sure you make the right decision.
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Recommendations from other people are also imperative. We live in a digital age and there are so many amazing resources. No matter if you feel like you can ask a friend for a recommendation or not, you can use the information that is out there to decide which therapist or psychologist is right for you.
No matter which stage you are at in your journey to find a therapist or psychologist, be happy that you are on this journey. I always remind myself to be open to helping myself. No matter what that entails, I want to live my life and be happy. Asking for help is hard and once you’re willing to do that, make sure you get the right help for you.
Wanting help and being open to it is the first step. Make sure that you take the time to figure out what is right for you. Answer the question “Is a therapist or psychologist right for me?” Do your research and be honest with the kind of help you need. Then take it!
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