You may have an idea how mental health treatment in the US works. You schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. At your initial interview, you answer a lot of questions. There may even be an extensive written or digital questionnaire. They assign you a diagnosis, and prescribe a treatment that is often built around medication. Right? That is true in the realm of psychiatry and in-patient mental health. It is less true as it applies to talk therapy in general, and the Upper Valley counselors at Vermont Talk Therapy specifically.
Here is how diagnosis plays a role in a talk therapy setting. The therapists at Vermont Talk Therapy will not give you a questionnaire, written or otherwise. At the initial interview, you may be asked what your goals are in seeking treatment. You tell the therapist what you are comfortable sharing at that point in the process.
The therapists at Vermont Talk Therapy will not assign you a diagnosis or prescribe medication. If you are already taking medication, they will not suggest that you change or stop. The therapist wants to get to know you as an individual, to understand your hopes, and to assist in clarifying your goals.
Is There a Diagnosis?
If you have seen a psychiatrist or a medical doctor in the past who gave you a diagnosis such as PTSD, depression or an anxiety disorder, you can discuss that with your therapist. Medication and behavioral history are important pieces of the puzzle as you begin working together.
If your circumstances suggest a medical condition or the use of medication, your therapist will help you find the right solution in addition to talk based therapy. Your work in talk therapy will not require a consultation with a physician or psychiatrist, although that may be suggested..
Is Talk Therapy Relevant to Other Treatment?
Yes. If talk therapy is one part of the work you’re doing, make sure your support team (talk therapy and other sources of treatment) are aware. If talk therapy is helping to reduce symptoms, your psychiatrist will want to know that. You don’t have to tell them the details of your therapy, but knowing that the treatment is occuring is useful information for them to have.
Similarly, if there are changes in other aspects of your treatment, your Vermont Talk therapist will benefit from knowing that as well.
Will Therapy Replace Medication?
It’s tricky to make assumptions or predictions about the future. Your talk therapist isn’t likely to suggest you end the use of medication, but if decisions about medication, symptoms or side affects are part of what brought you to therapy, make sure to tell your therapist. They will certainly want to hear about your history and goals relating to your current treatment.
Which Treatment is Best?
Finding the right sources of treatment can take time. If talk therapy is an option you’re interested in, get in touch. We can tell you a bit more about how the process works and what to expect. Every situation is unique so your best treatment plan will take some time to discover.