If I go to a therapist, will they make me take pills?

As previously mentioned, psychologists do not have a medical degree (here in Manitoba) and so they are not able to prescribe medication. If a psychologist thinks that you need medication, they will likely get your permission to contact your physician so that this option can be discussed. While I cannot speak for all psychologists, I do believe that most of us are conservative when it comes to recommending medication. After all, we are in the business of helping people to learn better coping skills. Unless a client is seriously suicidal, unable to get out of bed in the morning, incapable of performing their job and/or compromised in their ability to parent, a psychologist will often start by trying to assist by using talk therapy. If therapeutic attempts fail because the individual is too distressed to be able to think clearly, remember and/or process information, a psychologist may suggest that medication be used in addition to counselling. Even though they cannot prescribe, many psychologists know quite a bit about how different medications impact as they often end up seeing people who are on medication more regularly than a person’s prescribing physician would.

One response

I agree, willingness to explore, discover, change and be vulnerable are essential to therapeutic change. The safety and competence offered by the therapist and experienced by the client in the process also are key ingredients in facilitating change in the client.

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