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Counseling and Therapy: How to Find It! From Sleepy Hollow and Algonquin, IL

Mar 4, 2008
You may be looking for help to improve your marriage, reduce depression, stem your anger or eliminate your anxiety but dont know where to get it. The mental health system can be complicated and difficult to understand.

Your emotional distress can cause disruption to your work and home life and you may have difficulty being objective. You may blame yourself, your parents, your family or others for your difficulties.

It is probably hard for you to know objectively what is causing your difficulty and how to remedy it. You may have already started by talking to your friends, reading books and articles, consulting a spiritual counselor or consulting your family physician.

However, to get professional counseling help, get as much information as possible about counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists in your area. You should be cautious about using Yellow Page phone directories as your only source for information and referrals, however.

Other sources of information include:

An Employee Assistance Program through your employer,

The state chapter of The American Psychological Association or American Counseling Association,

Your county mental health center,

The county mental health department,

Local hospitals or medical centers with psychological services,

The Department of Psychiatry or Psychology in a nearby university,

National Advocacy Organizations (NAMI, Federation of Families for Childrens Mental Health, NMHA),

The variety of mental health practitioners can be confusing. There are psychiatrists,psychologists, psychiatric social workers, psychiatric nurses, counselors, pastoral counselors and others who simply call themselves therapists.Few states regulate the practice of psychotherapy itself, so almost anyone can call herself or himself a psychotherapist.

The Psychologist-Psychologists typically have a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D, or Ed.D) in psychology and are licensed to practice independently by the state. They typically have 2 years of upper division college training in psychology, plus an additional 4 years at the graduate school level.

They must complete a 1 to 2 year internship and pass a rigorous examination by the state. Of all the professions, they are the most highly trained in psychological and counseling practice. They provide psychological evaluations and treatments for emotional and behavioral problems. Psychologists also provide psychological testing and assessments which enables them to make the most thorough diagnosis possible.

The Psychiatrist-A psychiatrist is a physician, a medical doctor, whose education includes a medical degree (M.D. or D.O.) and at least one additional year of study and training, known as the internship. Almost all of their training is in general medicine. They are licensed by the states as physicians and can call themselves psychiatrists, even if they have no coursework, whatever, in psychiatry or psychology.

However, physicians who pass the national examination administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology are board certified in psychiatry, after having completed a three year residency studying psychiatric treatments. Psychiatrists can provide medical/psychiatric evaluation and treatment for emotional and behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. Since most of their training is in medicine, psychiatrists prescribe and monitor medications.

The Social Worker-Some social workers have a bachelors degree (B.A., B.S.W., or B.S.), however most of them have earned a masters degree (M.S. or M..S.W.), which is an additional 2 years of training. In most states they can take an examination to be licensed as clinical social workers. Social workers provide most forms of psychotherapy.

The licensed mental health counselor- Licensed counselors have earned a masters degree (M.S.) in counseling, which is an additional 1 to 2 years of training beyond the bachelors degree. In most states, they take an examination to be licensed as professional counselors. They also provide most forms of psychotherapy or counseling.

You should try to find a mental health professional who has advanced training and experience. However, it is also very important to find a comfortable match and rapport between you and the mental health professional.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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