When you talk to psychologists and other mental health professionals, you might find them using some terms that you do not fully understand. By learning these key terms, you can prepare yourself for conversations with therapists. This way, you can decide which one meets your needs best and get the most out of your counseling.
Psychiatrist – A psychiatrist is a doctor that has the ability to prescribe medications. Your psychologist, however, cannot prescribe medicine.
Mental Health Clinic – Mental health clinics can offer a variety of services. They might focus on meeting the needs of people undergoing drug rehabilitation. They might also focus on anxiety disorders, depression, and other common mental health problems.
Family Counseling – Family counseling often takes place in a group to help family members communicate with each other in more effective ways.
Couples Counseling – This is similar to family counseling, expect therapists focus on the relationship between two people in a relationship.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This is one of the most common and effective forms of therapy. Psychologists using this approach make connections between thought patterns and physical behaviors. This helps the patient modify their thoughts to change their behavioral patterns. Cognitive behavioral therapy might also involve exposure, especially for patients with OCD and phobias that cause high levels of anxiety.
Anger Management – A group of techniques that teach individuals how to recognize signs of anger and find alternative ways of expressing their feelings without yelling, threatening violence, or engaging in other unhealthy behaviors that often lead to bigger communication and legal problems.
Psychologists help people work through issues, ranging from depression and anxiety to family and romantic relationship problems. Psychologists, who are professionals licensed by the state, can counsel patients assigned to them within a hospital or medical clinic, school, or referred via a private practice.
Confidentiality is at the heart of any psychologist’s or therapist's practice. Anything they discuss with a patient is confidential and cannot be discussed with any other party. Schools, especially at the high school level, often employ at least one psychologist on staff to handle student disagreements, behavioral issues, and home issues affecting a child’s school life. Within a nurturing, understanding environment, psychologists offer advice and support, plus evaluations and case management.
Although therapists can’t prescribe medication like psychiatrists are qualified to do, they can recommend treatment for anxiety, metal, social development, and cognitive disorders. With schooling in psychology, these counselors play an important role in the well being of a variety of patients, either within a clinical, or office, setting. They can refer patients to psychiatrists, who may have more specialized expertise in various aspects of this brand of mental health science.
Psychologists may focus on specialties in various areas, such as forensic, psychotherapy, biological, couples, or sports psychology. Sports psychology involves the study of factors affecting sports performance and participation, offering insight into mental health factors relating to team performance and physical activity.
Generally, psychologists use a variety of techniques to provide assistance with anything from anger management to general mental health issues. Patients get referred to psychologists after a stay in the hospital, as part of a mental health clinic visit, or through primary care doctor recommendations.