How Can Therapy Help Me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution.

Do I Really Need Therapy? I Can Usually Handle My Problems.

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.

How Do I Know If Therapy Is Right For Me?

People have many different motivations for coming to psychotherapy. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.), or are not handling stressful circumstances well. Some people need assistance managing a range of other issues such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, spiritual conflicts and creative blocks. Therapy can help provide some much-needed encouragement and help with skills to get them through these periods.

What Is Therapy Like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development.

What About Medication vs. 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 medication and therapy is the right course of action.

Which Mental Health Professional Is Right For Me?

There are many types of mental health professionals. Finding the right one for you may require some research. Below is a listing of types of mental health treatment professionals to help you understand the differences between the services they provide.

Provide Therapy, But Can’t Prescribe Medication.

Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)– A counselor with a master's degree in social work from an accredited graduate program. Trained to make diagnoses, provide individual and group counseling, and provide case management and advocacy.

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) – A counselor with a master's degree in psychology, mental health counseling or a related field from an accredited graduate program. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. 

Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) – A counselor with specific clinical training in alcohol and drug abuse. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. 

Nurse Psychotherapist (RN) – A registered nurse who is trained in the practice of psychiatric and mental health nursing. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. 

Marital and Family Therapist (LMFT) – A counselor with a master's degree, with special education and training in marital and family therapy. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. 

Pastoral Counselor – clergy with training in clinical pastoral education. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. 

Provide Psychological Assessments and Therapy; But Can’t Prescribe Medication

Clinical Psychologist (PhD)– A psychologist with a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited/designated program in psychology. Psychologists are trained to make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy. 

Prescribe Medication; But They Might Not Provide Therapy

Psychiatrist (MD) – A medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses. They often do not provide therapy.

Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (APRN) – A registered nurse practitioner with a graduate degree and specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illness. 

Additionally, your Primary Care Physician (PCP), or Physician’s Assistant (PA) are often qualified to provide medication. 

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