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Hi Invisible

Sorry if this is a weird question but I was just wondering how those of you who go to therapy found the courage to get in touch with a therapist and how did you know which therapist would be right for you?

I must admit to you invisible, I didn't get in touch with a Therapist, even though I see one on a weekly basis. My Psychiatrist referred me to this Therapist telling me that my Psychological problems needs to be dealt with. So... I left it in the hands of the professionals I'm afraid!

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Hi Invisible, a psychiatrist basically just prescribes medicine a psychotherapist doesn't prescribe medicine but does therapy. As far as why people go to therapy I'm sure some go on their own, some go through the encouragement of others and some are probably there involuntarily. Hope this helps.

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Hi Invisible.. I found my T in the Christian Blue Book. I took a chance and when I went to him the first time I knew he was the T for me. Although being I have big trust issues it did take me 2 yrs to trust him. I was seeing him for severe child abuse I had gone through for many years starting at age 2 through 16. I also have been raped and had to deal with that as well. After 5 yrs things had become even more complex and he said that he isn't qualified for the kind of therapy I needed. So he sent me to another therapist who is a Psycotherapist. Much different type of therapy. I didn't like this T at first. I literally hated him. But I was desperate to get better. I knew I couldn't go on the way I was. So, I trusted the process. And as with my other T it took 2 yrs to trust him. I knew he was right for me because he made me look at things I didn't want to look at. If I didn't look at them I would never get better. He was there for me through horrible times in my life. I would not be where I am today if it had not been for these two T. I thank God for them. I have things I am still working on with my T but if you would have seen me 20 yrs ago and see me now....I am completely different. I am alive. Something I would not have been if it were not for these T.

I guess I would say to trust your gut. It is so important to listen to your gut. I know. If I had listened to my gut when I should have I wouldn't have gone through some of the things I did.

Good luck and let us know if you find someone. I know it is scary to take this step but it's a good one. Therapy does work "if" you work it.

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Hi Invisible

What's the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?

This is one of the more commonly asked questions. There are a lot of different people who work in the mental health area, each with different training and qualifications. There is often a lot of overlap between them. A list of their titles and a little bit about them follows below:

Title Training

PSYCHIATRIST These are medically trained Doctors who have chosen to specialise in treating mental disorders. The only ones qualified to prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists have undergone extra training in therapy and offer similar things to psychologists or psychotherapists.

PSYCHOLOGIST Anyone who has obtained a Psychology degree is entitled to call themselves a Psychologist. However, there are many different kinds of Psychologist, and the people who are qualified to offer therapy are usually called Clinical Psychologists or Counselling Psychologists. These people undergo an extra 3 year training which usually qualifies them up to a Doctorate level. This can be a little confusing as they are Doctors of Psychology, not medicine. They are usually trained in a variety of different therapies and are in a good position to assess you for the type of therapy you might need, and often are able to provide it.

PSYCHOTHERAPIST Psychotherpists are usually highly trained in one particular type of therapy. They have an in depth knowledge of that therapy (eg Psychodynamic), but are often not overly familiar with other forms.

COUNSELLOR These people are usually trained within one particular form of therapy. That is usually Client Centred (Humanistic) Therapy, but not always. They will have been trained in Counselling skills and will possess a counselling qualification.

NURSE SPECIALIST Nurse Specialists are people who have trained as nurses and have then gone on to further training or gained specialist experience in a particular type of mental health work. Examples include Behaviour Nurse Specialists who are trained in Behavioural Therapy techniques.

SOCIAL WORKER SPECIALIST Like Nurse Specialists, Social Worker Specialists are fully trained Social Workers who have obtained extra training or experience in a certain form of psychological treatment.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST These people are trained to help people learn skills that will help them recover. These can include practical household or work skills, or things such as anxiety management and relaxation skills. They are commonly seen attached to hospitals or community teams.

SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPIST As the name suggests, these people concentrate on problems associated with communication (e.g. talking, reading etc). They have undergone a specialist training in this area.

The list above does not include everyone (e.g. hypnotherapists, Art therapists etc). So please don't read it as such, but it does cover the main people involved.

Please remember that there are a lot of people out there who claim to be therapists. Check their qualifications, because the UK law, at least, allows anyone to set up as a psychologist, even without any training. That's not to say these people aren't any good, but the extra guarantee of a well trained person, responsible to a professional organisation will give you some idea that at least the person isn't a complete hoax. Of course, in truth, it also doesn't guarantee that they are any good. But like most professions (e.g plumbers, builders, accountants etc), you get some that are better than others. That's just a fact of life!

Hope this helps!

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