Do you need a serious Psychological Problem to seek counseling?
Psychological problems come in many shapes and forms. Some are minor and last only a short time. Others are severe and can be very debilitating and last for years. It could be an emotional issue or a chemical imbalance, both of which need to be diagnosed by a trained physician.
MD, a doctor of Medicine
Psychiatrist, a trained counselor who is also a doctor of medicine (MD, PHd)
Psychologist, a trained degreed counselor in psychological disorders
Therapist or Counselor, a trained counselor with less education, probably certified.
Anyone can seek counseling at any time for any reason. You don’t have to have a serious medical or emotional problem to benefit from seeing a Counselor. Your family physician should be able to help you decide what type of counseling you will benefit from the most.
There are also several types of counseling situations. Group and individual are two of the most common. If you are trying counseling for the first time, groups might not be the most comfortable. You might feel like are sharing too much with strangers. You might want to choose one on one counseling instead. Group counseling can benefit you if you need to be around other individuals who are going through similar issues. Private or one on one counseling is good when you are first starting out to let the professional diagnose your needs. After a few sessions they might recommend a group setting.
Therapy can be very expensive. Most insurance companies will only cover a limited about of therapy and only with a referral from your medical doctor. It is very important to check with your insurance company to see what type of treatment they cover.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors and can prescribe medications. The other professional counselors can not. But they can diagnose whether or not you will need medication and let your family doctor know what medications you will benefit from the most.
Everyone can benefit from therapy. Therapy is communicating your thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you are severely depressed or just have a case of the Blues. But not all issues can be dealt with by counseling alone. If your problems stem from chemical imbalances in the brain then medication along with counseling may be required. Again, this needs to be left up to the doctors and therapist’s training to decide which combination is right for each person.
This writer has been in therapy several times in my life, both with and without medication for depression. Both forms helped me a great deal and talking through my issues gave me the tools I needed to handle my depression in the future in a more constructive matter. I would recommend counseling to anyone who feels like they need someone to help them work out their problems. Don’t wait! some emotional issues left untreated can become bigger and more severe. Find someone to listen even if it is just a friend.