General Frequently Asked Questions
CAN YOUR OFFICE PRESCRIBE MEDICATION?
No, psychologists cannot prescribe. However, after evaluating your situation, we can decide if you need to speak with a psychiatrist, who is physician, and allowed to prescribe medication. Consulting psychiatrists are available upon request.
Research has consistently shown that many disorders are best treated with a combination of both medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.
HOW LONG IS A SESSION?
Therapy or consulting sessions typically last 45-50 minutes. For children, we may split the session spending some time with the child, the parent, or the parent and child together. Group therapy sessions are one hour. Psychological evaluations vary in length. Please contact us to discuss your evaluation needs and we can give you an idea of the time required to complete the evaluation.
CAN I BE FRIENDS WITH MY THERAPIST?
No. Because of the unique clinical relationship between a therapist and their patient, this is an ethical conflict that could negatively impact the patient. Therapist are privy to private and confidential information about their patients, while patients have little personal information about their therapist, thus leaving patient's more vulnerable. As such, psychologists ethics prohibit them from engaging in personal relationships. This also refrains us from connecting with you on any personal social media.
However, this does not mean that you my not have any contact with the therapist outside of the therapy situation. This is especially true in smaller communities, like Wellington.
WHAT IF I SEE MY THERAPIST IN PUBLIC?
We have a "you first" policy. This protects you in situations which you choose not to disclose your therapeutic relationship with others.
If you would like to say "hi" or introduce someone to your therapist, you will be the one to initiate the interaction.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PSYCHOLOGIST, PSYCHIATRIST, AND OTHER THERAPISTS?
Enter your answer here. Be thoughtful, write clearly and concisely, and consider adding written as w
Psychologists: a "psychologist" has a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree in clinical or counseling psychology, has the most extensive training (5-7 years), and can specialize in a wide range of issues (social issues, PTSD, substance abuse, divorce, parenting, career or work problems, adolescent psychology, bipolar, couples/family therapy, anxiety and mood disorders, etc). Psychologists also frequently do psychological testing.
Counselors: a "counselor" has a Masters degree (2-3 years training), is licensed (LMHC, LMFT, LCSW), and specializes in mental health counseling, marriage family and couples therapy, or substance abuse (drug and alcohol). They often identify themselves as "marriage counselor" or "family counselor".
Therapists: a "therapist" is a general designation that many types of providers can use, but is not standard terminology beyond people who are licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT), who fit the above description for counselor. Essentially, any mental health provider can call him/herself a therapist. You may also see a practitioner refer to him/herself as a "psychotherapist," which is also not a formal type of provider.
Psychiatrists: are trained physicians that specialize in mental health. Many psychiatrists do some limited form of counseling, with some being trained in deeper counseling approaches. Most treat mental health issues through medication.
Coaches: are a relatively new type of provider that as of this writing, are not regulated by state licensing bodies. That means that pretty much anyone can call themselves a "coach" and give some type of life advice, guidance, or counseling, although they are not legally allowed to practice the type of counseling that any of the above providers can.
ell as visual examples.
DO YOU KEEP MY SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
Psychological Wellness Center takes issues of confidentiality very seriously. Psychology services are confidential, which means what you share with us will be kept private. The following are the instances in which information can be shared:
Information can be released with your written permission (or parent’s permission for children, to another doctor, teachers, family members, or other people you designate.
There are a few situations in which therapists are required by law to break confidentiality in order to protect people. If therapist learns that someone is planning to seriously injure himself/herself or someone else, or gains information about possible child or elder abuse that is currently happening, the therapist has to tell authorities to keep people safe. Only information about these risky situations needs to be disclosed, and we will not share unnecessary information with outside parties. If you are discussing something that might require a therapist to talk to other authorities (i.e. hospital or safety services), then the therapist will discuss this with you. Therapists will go over the parameters of confidentiality in the first session, and this information will also be provided in written format.