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What is the difference between a psychologist 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 their primary role is to provide medication. Psychologists are doctors who specialize in understanding mental health. They provide psychotherapy and do not prescribe medication.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication alone cannot solve all issues. What medication does is treat the symptoms. Our work together is designed to explore the root of the problem, dig deep into your behavior and teach strategies and provide tools that can help you accomplish your personal and relational goals.

Medication can be effective and is sometimes needed in conjunction with psychotherapy.

I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. Aren’t people who go to therapy weak?

Not at all. Everyone needs help now and then. You already have strengths you’ve used before, but 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 provide you with the tools on how to implement them again in what is happening now.

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

The difference is between someone who can do something and someone who has been trained with experience to do help you professionally, along with the ability to go deeper and provide specific tools for you. A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way and teach you new skills. In addition, you will gain different perspectives, be heard without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Finally, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, confiding in a friend or family member allows for the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person so as not to be reminded of this difficult time in your life.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different challenges and goals for therapy, sessions will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Circumstances are unique to each person and the length of time to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication are crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other one session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you see your personal growth and development.

My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?

It is not helpful to move from an individual to couple’s therapy with the same therapist due to potential trust issues. If you are concerned about your relationship and desire to start with couples counseling, I will work with both of you together. After this work, if one would like to attend individual sessions, I will be able to continue with only one individual.

Do you take insurance for therapy?

If you have out-of-network insurance benefits, they may reimburse you for some of your psychotherapy costs. My fees are available upon request. Please contact me for a consultation.