When you’re taking charge of your mental health, you need to build a treatment team. That team will often include a psychologist and a psychiatrist, but you might wonder: “Well…who’s helping me more: a psychologist vs. a psychiatrist?” The reality is that both professionals need to be there helping you, just in different ways. When you see your psychologist, you’ll be talking about your problems and sorting out behavioral changes. You need to figure out what behaviors are serving you and which aren’t, then make changes in your life to make sure that you’re coping healthily. When you see your psychiatrist, it’s a different story. You’re there to talk about medication management and whether you’re on the right medications. Both mental health professionals are a vital part of your team.
Why a treatment team matters
Your treatment team is working together to ensure that you have good mental health. It’s important to understand that they’re communicating with each other and that their services are complementing one another. One member of your treatment team isn’t more important than the other, and no one should be helping more than the other. They’re helping you in different ways, and they should be communicating with one another so that they know what page you’re on.
When you’re working on yourself in therapy, you want to make sure that your therapist is in touch with your psychiatrist. Maybe, your psychologist sees that your medication isn’t working well, and they tell your psychiatrist to consider a medication change. It could also be that it’s the other way around. Your psychiatrist notices that you might need a medication adjustment and asks your psychologist what’s going on in therapy. Either way, your treatment team needs to be on the same page, and they’ll work together to make sure that you’re getting the best care possible. That starts with you being honest about your symptoms with everyone on that team. Your treatment team can help you best if they know what issues you’re managing.
Psychiatrists help you with medication
In addition to talk therapy, many people see a psychiatrist or medication management. Psychiatric medication can help people’s mental health and make life easier. There’s no magic pill to fix mental illness, but these medicines can help make life more manageable. To get psychiatric medication, you need to see a psychiatrist, who is a medical doctor and can prescribe psychotropic medication. A psychiatrist is a vital part of a treatment team for many, and finding the right medication can make a world of difference when it comes to your mental health. Sometimes, it’s hard to talk about things in therapy, or you have a condition that isn’t being helped by therapy alone. Having the right medication can ease your anxiety about opening up about tough topics such as trauma during a therapy session, and it can help you in your daily life when therapy doesn’t do the trick on its own. Some conditions are best treated by using medication in conjunction with counseling.
Why a psychologist matters
A psychologist matters because talking about your struggles in therapy is what will open the door for you to get well and retain good mental health. It’s essential that you’re candid with your therapist about what’s going on with you. If you’re on medication, you can check in with your psychologist and let them know how you’re feeling about it in between meetings with your psychiatrist.
One place you can talk out your feelings is online counseling. You can talk out your emotions with an online therapist. There are also online psychiatrists who can help you with medication management. Start with online counseling, and take it from there. Online therapy is an excellent place for you to talk through problems and work through things in your life that may have been traumatic. It’s convenient, and you can access it anywhere with a reliable internet connection.
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