View Full Version : Counselor, therapist, social worker, psychologist?


Swede63
01-05-07, 06:50 PM
So is there any real difference in terms of the quality of service you get from the above mentioned? Does it matter that the person does or doesn't have a Phd? Where do you start? I could go from person to person Ad Infinitum and still not find the right one.

fasttalkingmom
01-05-07, 06:51 PM
So is there any real difference in terms of the quality of service you get from the above mentioned? Does it matter that the person does or doesn't have a Phd? Where do you start? I could go from person to person Ad Infinitum and still not find the right one.
I'm not sure but I do know I love your icon !! ;)

casinowife
01-17-07, 03:42 AM
Psychologist (doctoral level) Psychological theory, personality, learning, developmental
Mental health counselor (min. of 2 years graduate study at Masters level) Emphasis on providing preventive, developmental services
Social worker (2 years graduate study)Emphasis on community organizations and social policies.

All the above can be called therapists and all offer counseling/therapy. The quality of service should be the same. You can start with any of them. I use a mental health counselor.

jeaniebug
01-17-07, 11:59 AM
So is there any real difference in terms of the quality of service you get from the above mentioned? Does it matter that the person does or doesn't have a Phd? Where do you start? I could go from person to person Ad Infinitum and still not find the right one.
Char,

I have seen probably close to a dozen different therapists with all kinds of pedigrees, in three states, on and off for 30 or so years.

For me, it the person and their approach, not the initials after their name. My personal favorite therapists also have group therapy. This usually meets in the evening and requires quite a time committment from the therapist. Group therapy is also generally cheaper. I have found some terrible therapists who couldn't care less, and also some of the greatest people God over put upon the earth.

The energy that is created by a group is astonishing. In my favorite group, we did a guided breathing + meditation followed by brief check in and then worked on something specific.

Hallowell discusses Group therapy in his book "Delivered from Distraction." He describes the group as doing all the work and he was more of a technical advisor. His group even met without him.

The good news is that there are "group" settings in a lot of other places as well. I just started a group which is working on recovering from Divorce. A large group starts by watching a video, then we break into small groups of about 8 for an hour. As has always been my experience there is nothing in the world like connecting with a group working on the same issues.

It is nice if you can ask a friend for a referral, but some people don't reveal they are in therapy. Ask around and do some calling. Ask specifically about group therapy. Trial and error, baby!

Of course there is also AA and al-anon, groups that meet where you aren't paying a therapist. The divorce group I just joined is $20 for 13 weeks. It is a faith-based approach, so don't discount church groups either, for that matter.

I am always open to trying new things, as I have been on a life-long quest to figure out "What is wrong with Me?" Of course, I discovered in Hallowell's book that therapists get very frustrated with ADHD patients, because they can't be "cured" in the traditional sense of starting therapy, resolving issues and then becoming all better. There is no cure for ADHD, because you either are ADHD or you are not. Often coaching combined with group therapy offer the most help.

Which is not say that your life can't be improved a great deal by therapy. Knowing you need help and asking for it are important steps in dealing with it.

Sorry this got so long. I've also been quite frustrated that in 30 years of therapy and talking to physicians and psychiatrists about depression and anxiety, no one ever even mentioned inatentive ADHD. But I also don't feel like I wasted my time either.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes! :D

QueensU_girl
01-21-07, 05:59 PM
I tend to think that MSWs are the most practical, for day-to-day living problems, and understanding our pasts to not repeat it. (Since we tend to do that -- those vicious circles.)