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Question
Posted by: Carole | 2010-03-28

Difference between therapists?

Pardon my ignorance, but could you tell me the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist? and then there is a clinical psychologist...?

My 10 year old son is suffering from severe self esteem issues, and I see more and more that he tries to please those that hurt him most (friends at school and older siblings) to gain acceptance and this worries me deeply, imagine this spilling over into his adult life! Unconditional love and support from me hasn''t helped and seeing an educational psychologist for a year for play therapy made no difference. So whom do I appraoch, for therapy for him and to teach me how to deal with the situation? When it comes to choosing a therapist, trial and error is too scary a thought and just picking a name from a list...

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

A psychiatrist is a fully trained medical doctor who then specialized in the diagnosis and management of psych problems ; a psychologist doesn't have the medical training and cannot prescribe drugs, but otherwise is trained in mental health to a similar extent. A clinical psychologist is the sort one wants, simply a psychologist trained particularly in working with mental health problems - whereas others have specialized in psych research, or vocational counselling, etc. And an educational psychologist may be able to deal with learning problems, but may not have the needed clinical experience to deal with this sort of problem.

Play therapy might occasionally be helpful as PART of a combination of ways of helping, but I know of NO good evidence that it is helpful, on its own, in people with the sort of problem you describe.

I would think a modern and up-to-date clinical psychologist would be best for your lad, ( run a mile from anyone offering the obsolete and useless psychoanalytic style of therapy ). Maybe the school could recommend someone suitable, maybe call the office of a good local paediatrician who may be able to recommend someone they would usually refer such problems to.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-03-29

A psychiatrist is a fully trained medical doctor who then specialized in the diagnosis and management of psych problems ; a psychologist doesn't have the medical training and cannot prescribe drugs, but otherwise is trained in mental health to a similar extent. A clinical psychologist is the sort one wants, simply a psychologist trained particularly in working with mental health problems - whereas others have specialized in psych research, or vocational counselling, etc. And an educational psychologist may be able to deal with learning problems, but may not have the needed clinical experience to deal with this sort of problem.

Play therapy might occasionally be helpful as PART of a combination of ways of helping, but I know of NO good evidence that it is helpful, on its own, in people with the sort of problem you describe.

I would think a modern and up-to-date clinical psychologist would be best for your lad, ( run a mile from anyone offering the obsolete and useless psychoanalytic style of therapy ). Maybe the school could recommend someone suitable, maybe call the office of a good local paediatrician who may be able to recommend someone they would usually refer such problems to.

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