Many people hesitate to see a psychologist or get counseling because of concerns they do not know how to get answered. Look through the following list and see if we can help. If your question is not listed just click on our e-mail address questions@ManagementAndBehavior.com and ask. One of us will get back to you within a few days.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MDs) who go through all the general training of any physician and then specialize in psychiatry as opposed to internal medicine, surgery, or some other aspect of medicine. As a practical matter they can prescribe medications that may be very helpful in treating mental or emotional problems. These days they are less likely to conduct extensive "talk therapy" than was the case originally. Psychologists receive extensive training in psychological testing (educational, vocational, personality, emotional, and other forms) and in conducting various forms of "talk therapy". They are not medical doctors and, at this time, do not prescribe medications. Therefore, most maintain a close relationship with one or more physicians or psychiatrists with whom they work closely to help those individuals in need of medications as well as talk therapy.
There is no magic answer to this question but, with a little work, you have a good chance of making such a match. You don't have to be an expert or know labels like Jungian, Freudian or Rogerian. Call and ask to speak to a prospective therapist. Ask their approach or "school." If the person gives you a label rather than an explanation, ask: "What does that mean in terms of how you work in a session. You may form a list of questions such as:
- Do you voice opinions and give directives or do you have your clients figure out those for themselves?
- What is the average length your clients stay in therapy?
- Who does most of the talking, me or you?
- Do you give homework assignments, things to work on between sessions?
- How often do you see your clients?
- What are your rates and what forms of insurance do you accept?
Each therapist sets his or her own rates. We use the generally established standard set by Blue Cross Blue Shield in most cases. However, we will accept the allowable rate set by most insurance so that you have no more to pay than your insurance co-pay set amount. For those without insurance, we are able to, in a limited number of cases, consider a reduced rate based on "ability to pay."
You will need your insurance card or information. If you have coverage from two companies you need to know which is "primary."
We generally schedule sessions on the hour, allowing 50 minutes in session. Shorter sessions (for example periodic check-ups when someone is doing well) and longer sessions (used often for family or couples) may be scheduled, when appropriate.
When issues and problems are clear, testing is not usually necessary. Sometimes we may wish to complete a quick "screening" designed to help us quickly understand the severity of a problem as a guide to what needs to be done immediately. There are other times when we may feel "stuck" in therapy, unable to make headway. At such times, psychological testing may help us discover the path to renewed progress.
We have very strict rules governing confidentiality. In general, we will not release any information about you (including your identity) without permission. There are only four times when this rule may be broken. First, if we suspect child abuse or neglect we must report it. Second, if a person is so upset that he or she might seriously harm himself or herself, either intentionally or unintentionally, we may intervene to protect the person. Third, if we have reason to believe that a person intends on harming another person, we have a "duty to warn" that person and the appropriate law enforcement agency to protect the person. Forth, under certain conditions a legitimate court order can cause the release of portions of a record relevant to a court proceeding. This is highly unusual and does not happen without our consulting with our own attorneys to insure the protection of our clients to the maximum extent possible.