Who do I need to visit - a Counsellor or Psychologist...
At one time or another problems crop up in our lives. Health concerns, the loss of a loved one, an empty nest, a mind that is racing,
sleepless nights, panic attacks, anxiety and worry,eating disorders, deep sadness, or relationship problems.
It can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Counsellors, Psychologists and other mental health professionals endeavour to understand why people do the things they do, and look for ways
to help them. There are quite a range of therapies available and counsellors vary as do psychologists. Some use cognitive therapy, others focus on behavioural changes, some focus on solution focussed therapies others on analysis.
The following is intended as a guide, if you are concerned about the best therapy for you, please talk to your family doctor for referral.
Counselling - is generally for short term concerns - what we term as everyday issues - relationship problems, kids leaving home, empty nest, grief and loss.
Counsellors help people to off-load their cares and concerns by listening to the the client, helping them to clarify what is going on, and what they want to work on, set goals,
and then explore ways to reach the goals they have set for themselves. Counselling tends to be more solution focussed.
Counsellors cannot prescribe medication. Counsellors can work in conjunction with Psychologists or Psychiatrists.
Psychologists - diagnose mental illness and treat more serious issues than counsellors.
Psychologists are trained in techniques to diagnose and treat a wide range of behavioural, emotional or cognitive problems. It is best to see a psychologist
first if you have; mood disorders, panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts; experience excessive anxiety or worry; faced with abuse issues - if your relationship is now suffering from domestic violence, long term marriage or relationship problems; if you are experiencing addictions; for anger management issues. Your psychologist will be able to recommend treatment options or referral to a psychiatrist.
Psychologists cannot prescribe medication. Psychologists often work in conjunction with Psychiatrists.
Psychiatrist - a psychiatrist is a medical practitioner who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of serious mental health
disorders. Psychiatrists are able to prescribe medications.
Finding the right match in therapy.
Areas I do not work in, that you may be seeking help for...
It takes specialty training to be of assistance to people, and it is of most benefit for you to seek out a therapist who has formal training, if you are seeking help in the following areas...
abuse, addiction, any form of drug taking, or excessive drinking, eating disorders, domestic violence, or if you have been experiencing suicidal thoughts
- please talk with your GP for a referral to
a therapist or service that they recommend, who has specialty training and can help you.
If you have been prescribed medication for depression by a GP, but haven't seen a psychologist or psychiatrist -
please ask for a referral, and go and talk over things. While I do not specialise in depression,
I am happy to work in conjunction with other therapists within my range of expertise.
Some people have found mindfulness practice and deep listening, to be of benefit in these cases.