A fact of life is that in all professions, there are the good and the bad. This goes for Docs, Attorneys, Accountants and Psychotherapists.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about Psychotherapy, for a number of reasons.
First, there is still that stigma that exists: (“why do I need therapy, I’m not crazy”)
Second, Many of you folks with Fibromyalgia have been referred to a psychiatrist and unfortunately many have been told that the illness is “in your head”. (Nothing could be farther from the truth.)
Third, You’ve seen the wrong psychotherapist, who either did not know what they were doing or did not understand Fibro or possibly was practicing the wrong type of therapy for you and your situation. (Every person is different and has different needs).
Fourth, There are so many different types of professionals practicing psychotherapy, that it at times becomes difficult to know who is who and what is what. Lets clear up number four and lets get a definition of psychotherapy which is clear and understandable.
Psychotherapy, or personal counseling with a psychotherapist, is an intentional interpersonal relationship used by trained professionals to aid a client or a patient in problems of living. It aims to increase the individual’s sense of their own well-being. As we all come across these types of problems in our day to day lives, psychotherapy is not just for the mentally ill.
What are the different types of Psychotherapists?
A Psychiatrist is a practitioner who attended 4 years of Medical school and than did a residency of generally 3 years in Psychiatry/Psychology.
A Psychologist is a practitioner who attend graduate school and received a PhD in Psychology (generally 5 years)
There are also different practitioners with different levels of study such as the Counselor with a Masters in Psychology or Counseling, the Clinical Social Worker who might also have a PhD or a Masters in Social Work with an emphasis in Therapy/Counseling and many others with different degrees. The titles of these practitioners will vary from State to state in the U.S, but the one thing that all of the above have in common is that they are continually taking courses, attending seminars and reading to further their skills. A person does not need to be a psychologist to be a skillful and excellent psychotherapist.
Next: Choosing the Right Psychotherapist.