Many people often confuse psychiatrists and psychotherapists when searching for a mental health professional. Contrary to popular belief, we are not one and the same. In layman’s terms, a psychotherapist is a person who treats mental disorders by psychological rather than medical means. On the other hand, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who takes additional training and residency in psychiatry.

Psychiatrists conduct psychiatric evaluations and, typically, prescribe meds such as anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and anti-anxiety agents. Although they may have some training in psychotherapy, most psychiatrists engage in medication management and don’t conduct psychotherapy.

As a Delray Beach psychotherapist (not a psychiatrist), I provide “talk therapy” and specific non-medical interventions to help my clients achieve relief from a number of psychological, emotional and relational problems. My mission is to get to the bottom of a patient’s emotional/psychological problems, rather than just alleviating the symptoms.

Benefits of Seeing a Psychotherapist

For some clients, medication provides a kind of “jump start” (similar to jump starting a car battery).

And… just as jump-starting a car requires the rest of the car to be in good working order, so too, medication is most effective in combination with a proven set of therapeutic approaches to address the underlying issues of a client’s distress and tools for moving forward to achieve relief from one’s distress.

Having said this, medication isn’t always indicated for clients in distress and a trained psychotherapist can help uncover what’s ailing or holding back the client while teaching them skills to gain relief and live with joy, purpose, and meaning.

As a psychotherapist, I can work with you to gain insight into how your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors keep you stuck in your anxiety, depression, and/or relationship while giving you the tools to gain freedom from your distress and achieve a life of joy, purpose, and freedom.

Author's Bio: 

Irving Schattner is a licensed clinical social worker in Delray Beach, Florida, and psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience helping individuals, couples and families overcome real-life challenges with his private practice, the Counseling Center for Growth and Recovery. He also offers video and online therapy from the comfort of home, in addition to face-to-face sessions.