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When to seek psychological help

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One of the many misconceptions about therapy is that only "crazy" people go to therapy, when in fact, many people who go to therapy are struggling with normal life issues such as relationships, health concerns or managing stress. Sometimes these life issues get in the way of having a good quality of life and a competent psychologist can be extremely helpful in helping clients manage issues more effectively and regain control of their lives.

Of course there are many people who seek therapy (or in some cases are mandated to go by a judge) who are dealing with more serious concerns such as eating disorders, substance abuse, PTSD and depression. Most psychologists are trained to address these more serious concerns as well as normal life issues by providing education, cultivating awareness and offering a different perspective, among other interventions. Many psychologists are also trained in mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and diaphragmatic breathing that can be taught to clients to help them deal with stress and anxiety.

If you or a loved one are having any of these concerns or other mental health concerns, seeking out a competent, compassionate psychologist can be really beneficial. Psychologists have a doctorate in Psychology and typically are licensed by the state, although in some settings psychologists do not need to be licensed. They have extensive training in understanding behavior and the human mind and know how to apply psychological principles to help improve people's mental health.

Keep in mind that a psychologist provides evaluation and psychotherapy as treatment and a psychiatrist provides medication as treatment. Often these two types of professionals will work together with a patient when medication is warranted but many people in therapy do not need or want psychotropic medications and can find relief through talk therapy interventions.

To find a psychologist near you, you can search a variety of websites including google to see who is located in your area that treats your specific concerns.

Additional websites:

www.apa.org (American Psychological Association)

www.pawny.org (Psychologists of Western New York)

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