What is Therapy/Psychotherapy?

What is therapy? Therapy (also called counseling or psychotherapy) is the process of meeting with a professional to work through specific goals. People begin therapy for lots of reasons. Therapy can be brief (just a few sessions) or ongoing (6 months or more). In sessions, a trained therapist will help you develop goals and recommend exercises that may be helpful. Mostly, though, the therapist will listen to you and discuss what is most important to you.

What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry is the branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists provide some psychotherapy, but their primary role is to prescribe medication to help manage mental health symptoms.

What is the difference between therapy and psychiatry?

Do I need both? Psychiatry is a time to discuss medication and symptoms. It is more like a typical medical appointment. You can meet with a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner to discuss medication related to your mental health. These providers have specific training in the medications used to manage mental health diagnoses. By contrast, therapy sessions are a time to work on goals and learn new coping skills to manage symptoms with recommended exercises. These are longer, usually weekly or bi-weekly meetings. If you are taking medication, therapy is typically recommended.