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Choosing a Psychiatrist
Choosing a therapist and especially a psychiatrist can be daunting for anyone. You may not have any idea about how to find a doctor that will be right for your specific situation. Among psychiatrists, there are various interests and many different ways a psychiatrist might work with you. Some psychiatrists primarily prescribe medication treatments. He/she will often work in collaboration with a non-psychiatric health care professional, such as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, or Psychologist.
However, other psychiatrists, depending on background, training, and personal preference may emphasize a psychotherapy approach. These doctors may evaluate a person for appropriateness for medication treatment, as well as providing psychotherapy personally.
A thorough assessment of a your unique situation is crucial. Sometimes, you are having difficulty that is related to an obvious stressor (job, marriage, financial situation, etc.) A practical approach, with a focus on problem solving may be what works the best. Sometimes medications are not called for. But often a patient’s distress is related to a combination of factors. There may be a troubling situation that is complicated by a person’s reaction to that situation. There are times when personal triggers a more serious condition that has a physical component. Medication treatment can sometimes help greatly.
What I would recommend to a member of my own family would be to find a doctor who has the expertise to evaluate a problem and arrive at the most effective approach to solve the personal problem, or to help alleviate the distress experienced by a person seeking professional help.
It is critical that the doctor is able to convey understanding, respect, caring, and realistic optimism and hope. You must be able to trust the doctor with very personal information and feelings, and you want to feel safe to do so. With this in mind, I do have as my primary goal the establishing of a mutually respectful and non-threatening environment, and help my patients find solutions and relief from distress.