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Building Your Own Treatment Team

February 23, 2014

Too often, I hear how people have no idea who to turn to for support. This is sad and uncomfortable and yet, I am glad to say, fixable. First, there are family and friends. We may have a number of such members available to us, even if we don’t usually reach out. Family and friends want to help us and can be just the emotional support we may need in the moment. But whether you have this support available to you or not, there is much more to tap into.

If you are struggling, and not going to a therapist, I challenge you to consider it. It is not a place where you are judged, but rather a place where you can go and truly open up, which many of us wont do. With family and friends, we fear we may burden or hurt them with our pain. You don’t have to worry about this happening with a therapist. It is our job to support you through the most difficult of struggles. Oh! But there are even more sources of support.

Do you have a good doctor? Most of my clients do not see a regular doctor. Some don’t have insurance but most will say they see whichever doctor is available when they call in or that they may just go to an urgent care to be seen. That’s okay in a pinch but a good doctor is one who knows you, spends time listening to your concerns and questions and, bottom line, has a good sense of your every day condition. Let me take that further. A good doctor is one who works alongside me to function as a team to best help you.

Clients seem confused though when I ask if their doctor is aware of their emotional pains. “Why would my doctor need to know this Stuart?” Because, I say, the doctor can then better assess what you may be experiencing, offer their own insight into how our mood can affect our bodies, as well as offer other tools and techniques. Mood disorders, issues with anxiety, and many other issues, are within your doctor’s scope of practice and to leave them out of the process does not make sense to me. They can also refer you to a psychiatrist if concerned about deeper issues. My point here is that there are many different forms of support; I want you to have as many as you need.

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