Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Do I have to have a certain request in order to address to a psychologist?
The answer is no. You can turn to a psychologist at any point of your life and for whatever reason. A psychologist can help you not only solve a certain problem, but also work on a certain skill or get in touch with yourself and develop certain aspects of yourself that you haven’t thought about or that might be of your concern in the near future.
- Do I have to visit a psychologist or a psychiatrist?
First of all, you have to be aware that you are in need of specialized knowledge by a mental health professional and seek for help. From that point after, the specialist will listen to your problem or concern carefully, evaluate it and then give you the right guidelines on what expert you should turn to. The most important thing is to address an expert that you are feeling more comfortable with and that you trust.
- Does a psychiatrist do the same job as a psychologist?
The answer is no, but their jobs are quite similar and sometimes they complete each other. A psychiatrist is a doctor, who has graduated from a medical school, and has the right to give prescriptions. A psychologist is not a doctor, but a human scientist, who has graduated from a public school of psychology, thus he has no right to prescribe medication. His job is to help his clients by providing them psychotherapy, making use of the theory and techniques of a certain psychotherapeutic model, adjusted on each disorder. A psychiatrist can also offer psychotherapy, if he wishes to, only if he is also trained in a psychotherapeutic model.
- If I go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, people will say that I am crazy.
You can contact a psychologist at any point in time, at any age and for whatever reason. One will choose to turn to a psychiatrist only if his/her problem requires medical treatment, which could add to the effect of psychotherapy. Under no circumstances an individual who addresses a mental health professional is considered to be “crazy” or less “normal” than another individual.
- There is no need in visiting a psychologist because I have friends.
The truth is that when we are dealing with a problem we turn to our friends or family who can take up the role of the “psychologist”. However, the role of a friend differs from the role of a professional psychologist for three main reasons:
- A professional psychologist does not give advice to his client, while a friend most of the times does. The role of the psychologist is to guide his client and help him find out what is best for him by himself and what costs and benefits each choice might have.
- A professional psychologist does not have or create an affective bond with his client other than the one that his professional role allows. His role is to be empathic towards his client and gain an insight on what his client is going through, but without letting his personal feelings affect his judgment or sweep him away. Psychotherapy is a “magical place” where feelings from both sides surface and meet and most of the times the therapeutic relationship is quite close and strong as well. The difference is that a professional psychologist will maintain his judgment and his professional identity unaffected, as well as his uniqueness in this relationship, without being affected by his personal prejudices and opinions.
- A psychologist will charge his client for his services. This is something that changes the nature of the relationship between a psychologist and his client compared to the relationship between friends. The payment represents that one is addressing to a specialist who is there to offer his expert and reliable knowledge, which a friend most possibly cannot offer.