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.