What Can Psychologists Treat?
Have you searched for “psychologist near me” recently? Here’s all you need to know about finding a psychologist that suits your needs.
What Is a Psychologist?
What Is a Psychologist? A psychologist is a trained professional who studies the mind and body and helps people learn healthy ways to deal with mental health situations. With several areas of care delivery and a range of subspecialties, the function of psychologists as health professionals is broad.1
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What Do Psychologists Study?
Psychologists study the abilities, information, and training needed to comprehend how basic behavioral and cognitive processes condition the body to form a disorder. They are also trained to recognize how behavioral and cognitive processes are altered, the causes that lead to these changes, and how these dysfunctions are recognized and managed.
What is the Science of Psychology?
How Can a Psychologist Benefit Mental Health?
They are also equipped with knowledge and skills to employ a variety of psychological, psycho-diagnostic, and psychotherapeutic strategies in dealing with such issues, which aid and affect people's capacities to function in different circumstances and situations. They also assist people in changing their behavior and lifestyle in order to avoid and recover from health issues.2
You’ll need a psychologist for mental health problems that do not require medications. For more involved mental health issues that do require medications to be prescribed, a psychiatrist might be the right person for the job.
What is a Psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in the field of psychiatry, which is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists are trained to evaluate both the mental and physical aspects of mental illnesses.
Depending on the needs of each patient, psychiatrists use different forms of treatment such as psychotherapy, medications, psychosocial interventions, and other treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to achieve their goals.3
Most times, people use the terms psychiatrists and psychologists interchangeably. These two professions are similar, but they are quite different. Let’s take a look at some of their differences.
What is the Difference Between Psychiatrists and Psychologists?
The approach each profession takes toward treating mental health issues is different.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor and has a license to prescribe medications to their patients. That is beyond the scope of practice of a psychologist, even though in some states like Louisiana, psychologists can get additional qualifications to prescribe medications. This is not the norm, however. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, meaning they work primarily in healthcare settings such as hospitals, mental health clinics, or private practices.
On the other hand, psychology as the study of the human mind and behavior can be applied to virtually all fields, including mental health. The word “psychologist” is an umbrella term for many different subfields of psychology such as counseling psychology, clinical psychology, child psychology, and more.4
When we compare their education path, psychiatrists need a medical degree in psychiatry while psychologists require at least a bachelor's degree in psychology.
So next time you’re searching online, you now know the difference between looking for “psychologists near me” or "psychiatrists near me."
Types of Psychologists
With the various subfields of psychology, you may need to be specific when you search for “psychologists near me” to help save you some time. To know which specific psychologist is best suited for you, here is a list of some types of psychologists along with their roles.
A clinical psychologist is a mental health professional who has received extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental, behavioral, and emotional dysfunctions.
With the exception of a few jurisdictions, clinical psychologists do not have the power to prescribe drugs to treat mental diseases. Clinical psychologists can act as psychotherapists, and may also conduct psychological testing or research, as well as teach.5
A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specializes in the study of the relationship between the brain, the mind, and people’s behavior. People with various sorts of nervous system problems are evaluated and treated by neuropsychologists.
Most times, neuropsychologists work closely with medical professionals, especially neurologists. Memory disorders, emotional abnormalities, learning challenges, nervous system dysfunction, and other issues may necessitate the services of a neuropsychologist.6
Health psychologists analyze the impact of behavior on health and devise techniques to assist people to make behavior choices that promote good health and avoid illness. They operate in clinical settings, conduct research, and influence healthcare policy.
They may also take part in individual or group therapies, such as programs to assist people to manage stress, quit smoking, and prevent sedentary behaviors.7
Counseling psychologists pay close attention to how problems and people change over time and with their environment, and they value the impact of various human qualities on psychological wellbeing, such as gender, disability, race, religion, and sexual orientation. They work with people of all ages to provide psychotherapy, to teach, and to conduct scientific research.
Forensic psychologists are trained psychologists who apply psychological theory to criminal investigations in order to better understand psychological issues associated with criminal behavior and how to treat those who have committed crimes. They are involved in every aspect of the criminal justice system.
There are many other types of psychologists, such as child psychologists and organizational psychologists. All in all, there are more than twenty different types of psychologists, each applying psychological theory in their given area of specialty for the betterment of patients.
What Can Psychologists Treat?
People of all ages, including children, can benefit from psychological treatments. Psychological treatments for emotional, mental, and behavioral issues have been shown to be effective regardless of the cultural, social, and linguistic backgrounds of the patient.
The following are some of the issues that can be treated using psychological approaches.
Depression is a mental illness that causes a person to feel sad or unable to enjoy any activity. This illness is usually treated by mental health professionals.
There are different types of depression, ranging from mild to severe. Psychological therapists are helpful for mild to moderate depression. However, antidepressant medications might be needed alongside psychological treatments for severe depression.
A Deeper Look at Clinical Depression
Anxiety disorders are serious mental illnesses that cause intense worry or fear that does not go away and may worsen over time. Psychotherapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders.
Psychotherapists are trained to diagnose anxiety and can assist patients in finding a healthier and more effective way to cope.
Addiction is defined as the inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior despite the fact that it is harmful to one's health. The first step in treating substance use disorder is usually detoxification. Then, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is implemented in most cases. But even after your body is no longer dependent, there’s still the risk of a relapse.
Relapse can be triggered by a variety of psychological and social factors such as stress. This is usually where a mental health counselor comes in. They will help the patient overcome the cravings and subconscious yearnings that may lead to a relapse and help them develop techniques to cope with life challenges without the use of drugs or any harmful substance.
Eating disorders are mental disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits and are quite common. This disorder has serious medical and psychiatric consequences and has a negative impact on a person's life. Treatment usually entails the assistance of mental health providers.
The mental health therapist assists patients in recognizing and changing the disorder-causing thinking patterns and behaviors. Medications are required mostly in dual diagnosis cases.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a mental disorder brought on by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Psychological therapies or medication are the most common treatments for PTSD. The psychological therapist's goal is to assist patients in reducing PTSD symptoms and developing coping mechanisms for traumatic events that have occurred in their lives.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is characterized by a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears that cause you to engage in repetitive actions or compulsions that can cause significant distress and interfere with daily activities.
OCD has no known cure. However, medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of treatments can be employed to help patients manage the symptoms. The function of a psychologist in treating OCD is to help reduce the frequency and intensity of the symptoms. Usually, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy are the two types of therapies used in combating OCD.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a mental health condition that causes excessive impulsivity and hyperactivity. People with ADHD may also have difficulty concentrating on a single task or remaining still for extended periods of time. This mental health condition is very common among children.
Like most other mental disorders, ADHD can be treated with either medication, behavioral therapies, or a combination of both. Behavioral therapy services are provided by mental health providers. So, if you or your child have impulsivity and hyperactivity symptoms, you may need to find a mental psychologist to get a diagnosis and commence treatment.
A personality disorder is a type of mental illness characterized by a rigid and unhealthy way of thinking, functioning, and acting. A person suffering from personality disorder has difficulty interpreting and relating to situations and people.
Some psychiatric medications may be used for combating personality disorders, but psychological counseling is the most common form of treatment employed.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects a person's ability to think, act, express emotions, perceive reality, and interact with others. This mental disorder has no cure and requires lifelong treatment.
In the treatment of schizophrenia, medications are quite effective in relieving the symptoms. However, psychosocial treatments can help patients develop techniques to manage symptoms and identify early warning signs and take necessary steps to prevent relapse. These services are provided by psychological therapists.
Emotional distress is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of symptoms associated with a variety of mental illnesses. Anyone can suffer emotional distress without necessarily meeting the criteria for any mental health disorder.
Some symptoms of emotional distress include feelings of guilt without reason, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and a lot more. Emotional problems are simply a state of emotional suffering.
Professional therapists can help people going through emotional problems deal with the triggers of negative emotions and develop coping skills.
Grief and Trauma
It can be difficult and emotionally draining to lose a loved one, go through a terrifying or scary event, or witness others go through pain and tragedy. Fortunately, there are ways to manage these feelings and move on from the feeling of grief and trauma. Engaging a psychologist is one of the most common ways of achieving this.
It is common for relationships to face challenges every now and then. Such strains in relationships can lead to serious relationship problems that may require the intervention of a psychologist.
Relationship problems are one of the most common reasons why people seek the assistance of mental health providers. It has been proven that psychological interventions are quite effective in improving the quality of interaction between the couple involved.
Psychologists can also support the treatment of issues like dementia, insomnia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), problems with chronic health issues like heart disease, and more.
These are some of the issues psychologists can treat using either psychotherapy or other forms of treatment.
Types of Psychological Treatments
There are various types of psychological treatments used by mental health providers. Below are some of the common ones.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychological treatment based on the idea that our thoughts influence our behaviors and feelings. CBT works by identifying negative or destructive thought patterns that contribute to and worsen mental and behavioral disorders. Through CBT, these thoughts are replaced with objective and realistic ones.
Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT) is actually a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, it is mostly used for people who suffer from extremely intense emotions like anger.
DBT teaches that when opposing thoughts and feelings come together, it’s more likely that truth and reality will emerge.
This type of psychological treatment is based on the idea that people are often motivated by wishes and desires developed in their unconscious minds. The psychoanalyst builds a relationship with the patient and tries to identify these desires and wishes by listening to the patient's memories and feelings.
Family therapy is a way to solve family issues by getting family members to talk to each other with the guidance of a psychologist. The theory behind family therapy is that a family is a system and is a unit in which members act and react to one another.8
Group therapy is a type of psychological treatment that involves the treatment of roughly five to fifteen people by one or more psychologists. Group therapy allows you to hear from others who are dealing with similar problems as you, gain insight into their experiences, get closure and gain a better understanding of your own problem.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT) is a form of short-term treatment that aims to improve or enhance interpersonal functioning in order to alleviate psychological symptoms. IPT is based on the theory that once a person is able to interact with others more effectively, their psychological symptoms will improve.
This type of psychological treatment encourages patients to focus in the present and be in the moment while objectively processing their thoughts and emotions. Mindful living saves people from overwhelming thoughts that can trigger much more serious mental and behavioral disorders.
Motivational interviewing is a guiding style of communication, used by psychological counselors to help people find the motivation to change their behavior for the better. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based practice in treating substance use disorder.9
Psychodynamic psychotherapy works by making clients aware of their thinking patterns, as well as how they feel and act. This approach is based on the idea that when people’s thoughts and feelings are brought to light, they will be able to make better choices and relate more effectively with people.
Supportive psychotherapy is a type of conversational therapeutic intervention that aims to make clients feel relaxed and less anxious, while also assisting them in developing practical coping skills for stressful situations.
Psychologists Near Me
Before joining the crowd that searches “psychologists near me” on search engines, you must know when to seek help from a psychologist. Below is a guide to help you determine if you need a psychologist, as well as resources to help you find psychologists near you.
When to Seek Help
Life can be overwhelming. Sometimes, we may not be able to carry the weight placed on our shoulders. Thankfully, there are professionals who can help us ease off the burden. Some of the issues that life throws our way and that we may need a psychologist for include:
It is important to note that whatever we go through, there’s always help and all we are required to do is reach out. Below are resources you might find useful in reaching out for help from psychologists.
How to Find Psychologists Near Me
A search online for “psychologists near me” might be effective, but there’s also the risk of consulting with an incompetent psychologist. To help avoid this, we have compiled a list of websites to look at to help you get qualified, competent, and licensed psychologists near you.
Prioritizing Your Mental Health and Asking For Help
Get Psychological Treatment at Boardwalk Recovery
At Boardwalk Recovery, we have trained, qualified, and licensed psychologists in various specialties ready to work with you to help you achieve your goals. Our experts apply psychological theories to treat different mental and behavioral disorders ranging from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorder, including many others. We use any of the psychological treatment approaches depending on which is best suited to our clients.
On your first therapy session with a psychologist, you will most likely have to tell your story, including your current situation, your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and any additional information you might like to share. You will also have to let the psychologist know your goals for the treatment.
The questions asked on the first day should not be one-sided. This is a great chance to know if the psychologist is right for you. Engage the psychologist in questions too, with the aim of finding out if you will be comfortable working with the person.