Life can be confusing.
So can psychotherapy.
A lot of people aren’t sure exactly what it is, who does it, if they need it or if it will be helpful.
What is psychotherapy?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) psychotherapy is described as “talking therapy” that helps people understand their illness. Psychotherapy also helps people deal with situations and conditions that feel overwhelming.
Who does psychotherapy?
Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists and Counselors are educated and trained to do psychotherapy. Understanding the differences might help you get started. (You can also call us and we can talk about what you need.)
- Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in psychiatry (mental disorders). There are different kinds of mental disorders, and many different ways to treat them. The two general ways are using medication and using psychotherapy. In the 21st century psychiatrists usually do not use psychotherapy, but they do prescribe medications. They also often work along with a mental health professional (psychologist, psychotherapist or counselor) who treats people using psychotherapy. Using psychotherapy with medication offers a greater chance of success.
- Psychologist: A psychologist evaluates, diagnoses and treats people with mental health problems. Sometimes they use psychological assessments in the process. They always do a “mental status exam” and an interview to learn more about your mental health. Psychologists use different types of psychotherapy, but, in most states, they are not licensed to prescribe medicine. Psychologists usually have a doctoral degree such as a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology) or a PsyD (“sigh-D” – a Doctor of Psychology). Psychologists can specialize in clinical, counseling or industrial/organizational psychology. They can also specialize in working with specific age groups, genders, etc.
- Psychotherapist & Counselor: Psychotherapists and counselors also use psychotherapy to evaluate, diagnose and treat people with mental health problems. They do not usually do psychological testing. Psychotherapists and counselors have graduate degrees (masters) in different areas in which they often specialize. They could include clinical psychology; art, drama, music or dance therapy; social work; counseling education; child development and family and human services, etc. As with psychologists licensing is dependent on where they are. In Pennsylvania psychotherapists and counselors can earn the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), or Licensed Social Worker (LSW) designations. Psychotherapists and counselors both use psychotherapy to help people. Counselors often help individuals address specific challenges they are experiencing, whereas psychotherapists often take a closer look not just at how to overcome those challenges, but why they are challenges in the first place.
At Behavioral Healthcare Corporation you will meet with a psychotherapist. You will also have the benefit of our entire treatment team. So whether you have seen our psychiatrist or not, Dr. Ockrymiek (“Dr. O”) is part of our team meetings and participates in ensuring that your treatment is most effective for you. Your psychotherapist will refer you to Dr. O if s/he thinks medication might be helpful and Dr. O will meet with you to determine if medication is right for you. (Remember, though, that the decision to take medication if it is recommended is still up to you.)
Outpatient Psychotherapy Services at Behavioral Healthcare Corporation
At Behavioral Healthcare Corporation most of our clients come to our offices (822 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, PA, 17603 or 535 Locust Street, Columbia, PA 17512) for psychotherapy. In some situations where physical or mental illness is debilitating the psychotherapist might need to meet individuals in their homes until they are well enough to come to the clinic.
- brief (and on-going) counseling.
- general psycho-education for individuals and families, as well as other providers of mental health services.
- mental status evaluations.
- relationship skill-building.
- treatment and goal planning.
Do you need psychotherapy?
When what you are experiencing interferes with your ability to enjoy life, accomplish the things you want and need to do, or enjoy satisfying relationships with people you care about, it might be a good time to consider therapy as a way to address those issues.
Who benefits from psychotherapy?
There is no way to guarantee that you will benefit from psychotherapy. But people who benefit are often able to:
- develop a trusting relationship with the therapist, so you can work together as partners toward your goals.
- commit to change because their current situation is so uncomfortable.
- have a clear recovery plan.
- experience positive relationships with others.
- possess good social skills.
- understand how your personal behavior might contribute to the challenges you face.
- be willing to change behaviors that might be getting in your way.
What do our clients think about having psychotherapy at Behavioral Healthcare Corporation?
- “The Outpatient Clinic is there when you need them.”
- “I’m learning how to manage my anger and PTSD.”
- “Everybody is very polite and accommodating.”
- “The staff is friendly.”
- “Everyone is knowledgeable and knows how to do their job efficiently.”
- “It’s quiet, and everyone has a smile.”
- “You can always get in touch with the clinic.”
- “It feels peaceful.”
If you think psychotherapy could help you contact us to start your journey to mental health by setting up a consultation with one of our therapists!
Learn more about our outpatient psychotherapy staff!