What is the difference between a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in understanding how medications for mood disorders interact with the body and other medications you may be taking. Some psychiatrists may provide occasional therapy but they primarily provide medication. Psychotherapist are doctors who specialize in understanding mental health. They provide counseling and do not prescribe medication.
Should I take medication or go into psychotherapy?
This is not an easy question to answer and should be thought about collaboratively with you, your therapist, and your psychiatrist. For more of my thoughts on this issue, see my post, Will Medication Help?
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. In our first session together you will discuss the issues that prompted you to contact me. In the next session I will gather some more pertinent history and discuss what treatment may look like if we decide to continue working together. For more information on the theory that influences my approach, check out this article from Scientific American.
How long will it take?
Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for a deeper understanding of yourself. Symptoms have meaning and uncovering that meaning can take time and careful examination. It is most common to begin with weekly sessions. It is encouraged to bring up any questions you have about the process or your progress with your therapist.