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Nine Reasons to See a Licensed Therapist before Seeing a Psychiatrist

Counselor Therapist


Nine Reasons to See a Licensed Therapist

before Seeing a Psychiatrist


You know you need a change. Your life may be dominated by family and work issues or by symptoms of an emotional condition, and you’ve been unproductive and troubled for too long. You have tried resolving your issues on your own, but the symptoms of your emotional condition are getting worse, or your relationship issues are becoming more complicated. Pressures are mounting and overwhelming your ability to adjust and stay focused. The decision to seek help is not easy and you are anticipating effective treatment. Now, who are you going to see first—a psychiatrist or a therapist?

A psychiatrist is a doctor by profession. They may approach emotional or psychological conditions differently, often prescribing psychotropic medication to address your symptoms. A therapist is a professional whose main approach does not require medication.  A practical first step is to seek out a therapist before a psychiatrist for the following reasons.



  1. It may be a practical first step to explore therapy before prescription medication.

When resolving the issues that prevent you from attaining your desired wellness, prescription medication may not be necessary.  Drugs are chemical substances that can treat your body by altering its processes. They can be helpful when that is what your body needs, but they may not be necessary when therapy alone can work. Because drugs are chemicals, they may have side effects.  Sometimes these side effects can compound the challenges you are facing, not to mention the costs associated with prescription drugs.


  1. The professional fees of a psychiatrist may be higher than the cost of a therapist.

Costs should not be a roadblock when working on improving your emotional health, but they are for many patients. Seeing a psychiatrist can cost more. They are doctors, and they charge higher professional fees. They are also in demand because there aren’t many of them. Their fees can cost more per consultation, and the first usually lasts for forty-five to fifty minutes while succeeding ones last five to fifteen minutes.  By comparison, therapists may charge much less for sessions, which are usually an hour.


  1. Therapists use the same diagnostic systems when assessing symptoms.

There isn’t much difference in how a diagnosis is reached by either type of professional. They follow the same protocols and standards, they abide by the same rules and ethics, and they are, therefore, likely to come up with the same findings. Therapists, especially more experienced ones, are just as proficient as psychiatrists in the methodical assessment of symptoms. This means they can diagnose your emotional or behavioral condition and form a program of interventions specific to your case and needs.


  1. Consulting a therapist can be less disconcerting.

Seeing a psychiatrist can give you the feeling that your condition is something you want to keep to yourself.  Unfortunately, despite the many advances in emotional health, some people may still judge those seeing a psychiatrist. This is a myth, people who seek professionals are being proactive and want to improve their lives.  You can talk about your issues with someone neutral and nonjudgmental. People seek professionals because emotional conditions are real disorders that should be treated.  However, choosing to consult with a therapist for these issues carries less of a connotation, and may be a better fit for you.


  1. Therapists may be able to spend more time with you.

Because psychiatrists are in high demand, they may spend less time with you, and they may only address your medication management.  When talking about your actual health issues, you may feel rushed, then your concerns may seem less important. If you want to discuss a lot of things bothering you, the right professional to see may be a therapist.  A therapist can address and treat most of your concerns, but they can’t prescribe medication.


  1. Even psychiatrists prefer that you see a therapist first.

It saves psychiatrists time if you come to them with a referral from a therapist. This means you have already been assessed and you are there to seek additional help, usually in the form of medication. This happens when you have been diagnosed with a condition that needs further evaluation. Sometimes it involves a chemical imbalance, which can be treated with medication.


  1. Therapists serve as reinforcement for those with severe emotional/behavioral conditions.

Even when a condition requires the use of medications, it is recommended that you continue seeing a therapist. Apart from the prescription and medication management, which the psychiatrist will continue to monitor, you still may need a therapist to help you resolve related issues. A lot of concerns may arise when you are going through emotional difficulties.  These are the things you can talk about with a therapist.



  1. Therapists can assist when you need to make decisions.

You will likely be facing several decisions during your treatment, and they can range from simple to major ones.  A therapist is there to ensure you are on the right track.  You can expect them to offer information when you need it so you can make an educated decision.  With this approach, you are being more cooperative and actively involved in your own treatment.


  1. A therapist can refer you to a reliable psychiatrist when necessary.

If your condition requires prescription medication, finding a good psychiatrist could be another concern for you.  You may want help alleviating certain symptoms, and your therapist can recommend the right doctor for you.  Since they are in similar and complementary fields, they are in the position to refer you to someone they trust.


There are many good reasons why seeing a therapist may be the right first step.  If you are burdened with emotional issues or the symptoms of an emotional or behavioral condition, call Carolina Counseling Services — Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks to find the right therapist.

Are you looking for a positive change?  Carolina Counseling Services just opened an office nearby to serve you better. Call CCS today to schedule your first appointment!


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  


Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 716-8006 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!
Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

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PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

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