What is the difference between Psychiatry & Psychological Counseling?
Both professionals often deal with similar mental health problems, however the focus of treatment tends to be different. Psychiatrists are trained medical physicians, specializing in the treatment of mental disorders. They are qualified and authorized to prescribe psychotropic medications as needed. A professional counselor is a psychologist who has the ability to define problems and identify the barriers that prevent them from thinking clearly. The counselors throws light on those barriers and works with the individual and his/her family (when necessary) to develop proactive, objective solutions to problems. Psychiatrists and professional counselors may team up together in treatment process for better results for various mental disorders such as addictions, clinical depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders that require medications.
When should an individual seek professional help?
Some valid reasons for consulting a professional counselor include: * Having excessive anxiety that interferes at the functional level in daily life
* Having phobias & panic attacks (irrelevant and uncontrollable fears)
* Manifestations of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior
* Unable to cope with stress
* Experiencing sleeplessness
* Being confused about decision making
* Depressed with lack of interest in life
* Having difficulties in communicating with others
* Facing problems in relationships with the family, friends, workplace, community and society at large.
How does counseling help an individual?
It helps in learning new/different ways of thinking, feeling and behaving to resolve conflicts/problems/losses in everyday life.
What does a Professional Counselor do?
A professional counselor uses specific scientific knowledge and skills to treat mental, emotional, behavioral health problems. In addition, the counselor uses several counseling techniques in empowering individuals, couples and families cope with anxieties, stress and any crises in life. A counselor is useful in remedial as well as preventive treatment.
Why not just talk to a close friend or relative?
These very important people are involved in our life. Although we have the utmost regard for them, they cannot be entirely objective. There is a risk of receiving subjective advice to the problem unintentionally. This may cause the problems to escalate than resolve. A trained mental health professional will be objective and use scientifically proven counseling methods to identify what the issues really are and provide logical and rational approaches.
Who benefits the most?
The individual who accepts that their own efforts have not helped and seeks counseling voluntarily benefits the most! Please remember that counseling is NOT advice giving. Counseling help is not a "quick-fix" solution. It is an interpersonal process between the client and a trained mental health professional. Commitment on the part of the client and their families along with counseling professional bring greater results. The individual who delays seeking professional help may unconsciously magnify or intensify their conflicts/issues thereby sabotaging their lives and the lives of their loved ones