Seeking help for your mental health disorder can be overwhelming. You know that attending therapy or counseling is a good first step, but you are not sure what to expect. That’s okay. If you believe you have a psychological condition that needs treatment you’ll want to know what questions to ask a psychologist or counselor to ensure they can help. The following describes what to ask a psychologist or counselor specifically as well as inquiries that they might have for you.
The Difference Between a Psychologist and a Counselor
Psychologists vs Psychologists vs Counselors what does it all mean? These are commonly asked questions we receive from patients wondering who to contact for help. To help dispel the confusion we’ve broken them down one-by-one in simple words anyone can easily understand.
- Psychiatrists. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health issues. They may be more experienced than other doctors, but not all psychiatrists are equally qualified. Before choosing one, it’s important to consider their credentials and experience. Ask about their training, education, board certification, and professional affiliations to determine whether they’re qualified for your situation. You should also look into how many years they’ve been practicing. If they haven’t had much time on the job, this could indicate that they don’t specialize in treating certain conditions.
- Psychologists. A licensed psychologist is trained to treat specific disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists aren’t physicians. They typically work with patients over an extended period of time to identify problems and develop treatment plans. In addition to providing therapy, they often conduct research and write articles about psychology.
- Counselors. Counselors are non-medical professionals who provide psychotherapy. They usually focus on helping people resolve emotional and behavioral problems. A counselor will likely meet with you individually, rather than in a group setting. Some counselors offer individual counseling while others only offer group sessions. It’s best to choose a counselor who has experience working with your particular issue.
What to Ask a Psychologist
When meeting a psychologist for the first time it is important to ask some questions to better understand how this person might be able to help you. Here are some questions to ask a psychologist:
- How long do you think I’ll benefit from therapy?
- Therapy doesn’t always last forever. How long before you expect me to see results?
- Will I be able to continue seeing you after my insurance plan changes?
- Do you accept insurance?
- How much will my first session cost?
- Do you take insurance?
- Can you tell me about your qualifications?
- Are you board certified?
- When can I start?
- What happens during our first session?
- What types of therapies do you use?
- What kind of training do you have?
- What are your specialties?
- Does your practice include family members?
- Is there anything else I should know?
What Questions to ask a Counselor
When meeting a counselor for the first time you’ll want to ask them some questions to gain more insight on the services they provide and the goals they have for your recovery. Here are some questions to ask a counselor:
- What kinds of therapies do you use (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy)?
- How long do you expect me to benefit from therapy?
- How much will each session cost?
- Are you insured by any type of insurance company?
- What happens during each session?
- What happens if I miss a session?
- What happens if I stop coming?
- How long do you estimate that it takes to recover from trauma?
- Do you have experience working with children?
- What are your qualifications?
Your mental health care provider will naturally have questions for you as well. These are usually asked during a formal evaluation. The goal of this evaluation is to understand your past and current mental state. During these evaluations, they will inquire about any past traumas, medical conditions, hereditary dispositions for mental illness, and general lifestyle. Additionally, they might have you complete assessments that test for any cognitive issues such as memory loss. In some cases, laboratory testing is also done to identify and address co-occurring medical conditions.
Finding Psychological Care
To find psychological care you should be looking for a therapist who has experience in the area of your concern. The Neuroscience Institute has years of experience in treating mental health disorders. Our multidisciplinary staff includes renowned psychologists and counselors that can give you the help you need. We treat multiple mental health conditions such as:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Substance use disorder (SUD)
Start Psychiatric Treatment in South Florida Today
Psychotherapy is a treatment that involves talking to a psychologist or counselor. During this process, you will work together to explore your problems and find solutions that will help you achieve your goals. At the Neuroscience Institute, we specialize in a variety of therapy options and treatment modalities. In our residential treatment and outpatient programming, we provide therapeutic services such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychiatry, EMDR, and psychiatric evaluations as well as counseling in group, family, and individual settings.
If you suffer from mental illness and are in need of counseling or psychiatric services please give us a call or visit our admissions page for a free consultation.