For many years most people thought to go to a psychologist or psychotherapist one had to be "crazy," or in real emotional trouble. Many today still believe that to be the case. Much has been developed in the way of tools and understanding of our inner selves and difficulties that may derive from emotional distress or conflict.
Families, couples, adolescents, and children now consult psychologists and psychotherapists to solve life's problems and conflicts. Problem solving, relationship and communication training, parenting training, dealing with compulsive behaviors (over-eating, and substance abuse), stress management, dealing with depression, as well as more severe emotional difficulties are all done in psychotherapy.
Learning to be in touch with and talk about our feelings can make life richer in every dimension. We become freer to love, enjoy, and express ourselves!
Medication or Psychotherapy?
Advertisements for medications to treat depression and other emotional problems have become commonplace. It can be difficult to know what type of treatment to pursue when you or a loved one is struggling.
Modern pharmaceuticals have been helpful to large numbers of people. They are easily obtained from a primary care physician and are often covered by health insurance. However, there are some things to keep in mind. First, many of the medications take weeks or months to bring relief. Dosages usually need to be gradually raised to a level where they are most effective. Often it requires a trial and error method to find the medication that works best in your body. Frequently there are side effects associated with taking the drugs.
Psychotherapy has also been helpful for many people. It is often covered by health insurance. As with medication, it usually takes some time to be effective. While medication may relieve symptoms, psychotherapy can help people resolve problems in living, social functioning and interpersonal relationships. When distress is caused by problems in the environment, a good therapist can help you get to the root of your difficulties and find strategies for resolving them. A pill cannot do that for you.
How About Both?
If medication can help with the symptoms of distress and psychotherapy can help with the problems associated with that distress, might both be useful?
In our practice we have often found that reducing troubling symptoms with medication can lead to a more effective and a more efficient course of psychotherapy. For instance, people often lack the energy to deal with their problems when they are depressed or have not been sleeping well. Medication may help increase energy levels and thus make it easier to implement solutions developed in psychotherapy.
At Cañada Counseling Center, we are not only experienced therapists, we also are familiar with most of the medications that physicians prescribe to treat psychologically based symptoms. We have a long history of working hand-in-hand with physicians in order to optimize treatment. Please feel free to give us a call at (818) 957-2060 if you have been struggling with treatment options.
Cañada Counseling Center
Experienced Professionals, Individualized Solutions
David Jarvis, PhD, FPPR, PSY 9529, Merlyn “Lynn” Jarvis, PhD, L.C.S.W., LCS 11848, and Associates
3225 N. Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208 (Montrose)
Most Insurances Accepted