Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Psychiatrist or Psychologist



I have some issues that I would like to talk to someone about and I am wondering if a psychiatrist can offer the same services as a psychologist. I suppose I am asking because the first is covered by my insurance and the second is not. I just want to talk about a few events that transpired in my life and ask about how to stop thinking about these things and perhaps find a way to forgive myself for a few things also. Does a psychiatrist deal with these things? Also, exactly what is it called when you want to talk about things in your past so that you can move on?

Thank you

You can talk with either about anything, Mary. The differences are subtle.

As a physician, a psychiatrist can prescribe medications (for instance, anti-anxiety), and can admit to a hospital or facility, but doesn't sound like you need that. They tend to be busy -- and costly, so better find out how many visits a year you have coverage for.

Clinical psychologists tend to be more accessible. In a few jurisdictions they can prescribe some pharmaceuticals.

Sorry, there's no specific term for that.  All part of "psychotherapy."

If I may, I'm by no means initiating a therapy process with you, but informing you of some generalities you might want to keep in mind when you start. The therapist may ask why you think you can't progress, and whether there are any other mechanisms, attitudes, realizations, and interpretations of events that will bypass your guilt feelings. If your thoughts are held captive by ruminations over past events, would it be more effective to talk about the events, or to try strategies for putting them aside? Everybody has regrets and yearns for "do-overs" but when they become obsessive, how can you break the pattern?

Then again, if a practical approach doesn't work for you, some people benefit simply by having an empathetic listener on the other side of the desk.

Whomever you see, and whatever is taken as the focus, I wish you the best in finding a suitable clinician and hope it works for you. Thanks for asking us.


Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach


Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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