Finding a psychologist can become overwhelming if you are unsure of where to start. If you’re searching for psychologists near you, a necessary first step is understanding what psychologists can treat and what type of psychological help may be most beneficial for your specific needs.
What Is a Psychologist?
A psychologist is a trained mental health professional who can provide a wide variety of counseling and treatment services to help people learn how to manage their mental health in positive, constructive ways. Psychologists can either provide diagnoses and treatment options for specific disorders, or they can merely provide support for people who are struggling through a hard time in their life.1
What is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
The main difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is licensed to prescribe medication. The counseling services and treatment received from a psychologist are focused simply on teaching life skills and coping mechanisms to clients to help them better manage diagnosed mental health conditions. If a psychologist is treating a client with more severe symptoms that require medication, they may refer the client to a psychiatrist or other more specialized medical professional.
What Does a Psychologist Do?
There are many types of treatment a professional psychologist can offer during therapy sessions. Psychologists are trained in a variety of different techniques to help treat an array of conditions. The scope of a psychologist’s responsibilities will be detailed below.
Identifying Behavioral and Emotional Patterns
During an initial consultation, a psychologist will help a client identify behavioral and emotional patterns. This will allow the psychologist to identify key factors that may be contributing to a mental health condition. The psychologist can then establish a diagnosis and begin developing an appropriate treatment plan.
The goal of a psychological consultation is to get to know the client in order to diagnose any mental health disorders that may be present. Psychologists are trained to diagnose a variety of disorders that could be negatively impacting a client’s quality of life.
If a client’s needs are beyond the scope of a psychologist’s ability to treat, such as instances of severe mental health conditions or conditions where medications may need to be prescribed, they can make referrals to psychiatrists, treatment centers, or other specialized medical professionals.
Developing Appropriate Treatment Plans
Upon establishing a diagnosis, a psychologist will work closely with clients to come up with an appropriate treatment plan tailored to their specific needs. Psychologists are highly trained to develop well-rounded treatment plans that adequately address the diagnosis of each client.
Types of Psychologists
There are several different subcategories of psychology that are specialized in diagnosing and treating more specific conditions. Specialized psychologists are well-trained in their areas of expertise.
A clinical neuropsychologist is a specialized clinical psychologist that focuses on understanding the relationships between the brain and behavior. Clinical neuropsychologists know how to analyze brain behavior to accurately diagnose disorders and assess cognitive functioning.2
A clinical psychologist uses science and psychology to treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Clinical psychologists are well-versed in treating a variety of different conditions.
Child and Adolescent Psychology
Child and adolescent psychologists are clinical psychologists who specialize in treating psychological disorders in children and adolescents.
Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology
Behavioral and cognitive psychologists help clients better understand how their thoughts influence their behavior. Behavioral and cognitive psychologists most often treat behavioral disorders, such as addiction or other compulsive behaviors.
Forensic psychology is a specialty in professional psychology where a psychologist uses their expertise in legal or judicial systems. Forensic psychologists assist in both civil and criminal law, and their expertise can contribute valuable insight to aid in legal proceedings.3
Oftentimes, sleep problems can be due to, or contribute to, mental health issues, and psychological treatment may prove necessary in these instances. Sleep psychology is a psychological treatment for those who struggle with sleep disorders or who are having trouble sleeping.
Rehabilitation psychologists serve individuals who have a disability due to injury or illness. Rehabilitation psychologists teach coping mechanisms to manage the rehabilitation process and work with clients to foster independence and return to normal activity in an achievable capacity.4
Group Psychology and Psychotherapy
Group psychology and psychotherapy involve group therapeutic treatment. A group psychologist helps guide a group of people to share and learn from each other’s experiences.
Serious Mental Illness Psychology
Serious mental illness psychologists work with clients who struggle with serious mental health conditions. These specialized psychologists are trained to diagnose and help manage severe mental illness with the goal that clients can learn to manage their condition independently.
Is a Clinical Psychologist a Doctor?
A clinical psychologist is not a medical doctor. Clinical psychologists typically have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in psychology. While clinical psychologists can be a vital resource during different types of medical treatment, they are not licensed to prescribe medication or conduct medical tests.
However, if a psychologist concludes that a client may require medication or more extensive medical treatment for their condition, they can refer them to a psychiatrist or other medical doctors who are qualified to help in these instances.
Reasons to See a Psychologist
There are countless reasons to seek the consultation of a psychologist. If an individual is experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be a sign that a psychological consultation would prove beneficial.
- Regularly feeling anxious
- Experiencing overwhelming feelings of sadness or helplessness
- Having difficulty with everyday challenges or work
- Using drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms
- Having suicidal thoughts
- Experiencing abuse or other trauma
What can Psychologists Treat?
Psychological advice can prove beneficial in treating and improving a number of different conditions, such as behavioral disorders, emotional disturbances, and overall mental health. Common conditions that psychologists treat include, but are not limited to:
- Alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders
- Chronic and explosive anger
- Eating disorders
- Family and relationship issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Grief and loss
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postpartum depression
- Sleep disorders
- Stress management
Get Treatment from a Psychologist at Great Oaks Recovery Center
If you are searching for a psychologist near you in Houston, Texas, Great Oaks Recovery Center can help. The highly-trained psychologists at Great Oaks are equipped with the skills needed to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, you don’t have to go through it alone. There are many resources available that can help, including those at Great Oaks Recovery Center.
Contact us today for more information about how we can help.