Feeling more stressed lately? Who isn’t? Sometimes ongoing stress can turn into something more, like a bout of depression, insomnia or a series of anxiety attacks. It can be confusing and overwhelming to know where to turn or how to get help in such a crisis.
The first stop for many people is often their physician. Your internist, gynecologist or other primary care provider can be the easiest place to turn for initial help.When visiting your physician, it is important to discuss issues of your emotional and physical health and ask questions if there are specific concerns.
If you’re like many people, your concerns about depression, anxiety or sleeplessness will be treated with a prescription for medication. But don’t let that be your only option.
Ask about psychotherapy. Ever wonder about psychotherapy and how it works?
Getting a referral
As a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, I work very closely with physicians. Physicians know that psychotherapy is a very effective treatment for depression and anxiety and that it can also help with managing chronic pain, as well as life crises such as loss of loved ones, divorce, trauma and other stressors.
Many physicians keep referral lists of local psychologists and other mental health experts and can quickly link you up with a licensed psychologist in your community, so you don’t have to spend precious time making random phone calls when you are in a crisis.
When you ask your physician for a psychologist referral, you’ll have some peace of mind that any names you have gotten will have been checked out by your physician and will have been proven to be reputable.
Psychologists and physicians working together
When you work with a psychologist who has been recommended by your physician, the psychologist is able to coordinate your care and consult with your (with your consent of course) on a regular basis. This kind of collaborative relationship can help to better manage your care and help you feel better more quickly.
If you are depressed, for example, most often, your psychologist will do the psychotherapy treatment and work with your physician, who might prescribe any antidepressant medication. This kind of joint treatment has been shown to effective in managing certain kinds of depression and to result in fewer relapses in the future.
Other resources to find a psychologist
Your physician is only one resource to help you locate a psychologist. Some people reach out to a psychologist by recommendation of a friend or family member. You can also contact your state’s psychological association for local psychologists or try APA’s Psychologist Locator service.
You or your loved ones don’t have to suffer unbearable stress or depression in silence. Psychotherapy works!
Do you have a question about psychotherapy or finding someone who can help? Ask it in the comments!