People seek out mental health professionals for a variety of reasons, and no two set of circumstances are alike. Finding a psychiatrist to listen and understand your personal problems can be challenging. And developing a therapeutic rapport may not come in one session, either.
However, if you keep the following things in mind you may be more successful in finding a psychiatrist who is a good fit for you and maintaining the doctor-patient relationship.
10 Things to Remember When Working With a Psychiatrist
1) Be certain that they are licensed.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but believe it or not, some doctors are not licensed, or their licenses are not in good standing with the state. You can literally go to your state’s website and look up licensed professionals, and it will list the year their license is valid and if there are any pending complaints.
2) Are you on board?
Ask if the doctor is board certified. Board certification indicates that the individual is recognized by their peers as having demonstrated competence in a particular area — in this case it would be psychiatry.
Remember that a psychiatrist is not a psychologist. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that, if licensed, can write prescriptions for medications that are often involved in the treatment of mental health conditions.
A psychologist may have a master’s degree or doctoral degree, but they are not a physician. They can provide neurological testing, and other types of testing, as well as therapy.
3) Time matters.
A psychiatrist’s schedule may often closely reflect that of your primary care physician in that they do not have 45 minutes to discuss your problems. They have perhaps 15 minutes, so it is important to ask ahead of time what the time allotment is for your appointment.
This will help you set reasonable expectations. If you are seeking a longer appointment time to discuss your situation in detail, you may want to seek the assistance of another mental health professional such as a therapist.
4) Ask questions.