If you're having regular counselling sessions and you encounter one of the following situations, your counsellor might decide to refer you to a psychiatrist.
The medication you're taking for your serious psychological condition has stopped working
If you have a serious psychological condition, such as psychosis or clinical depression, and you rely heavily on medication to manage the issues caused by this condition, then it is extremely important to seek help if or when this medication stops working. If you have noticed that your medication no longer seems to be stabilising your psychological condition, then your counsellor might give you a referral to a psychiatrist.
If your current prescription is no longer effective, then you will probably need to start either tinkering with the dosage or trying out some other medications. This experimentation could result in your psychological condition getting worse before it gets better, and it can only be safely done under the supervision of a medical professional, such as your family doctor or a psychiatrist.
The latter might be a better choice, as a psychiatrist is more knowledgeable about the effects of psychiatric medications than a GP. This means that if you're having your therapy sessions with this professional instead of a counsellor whilst you're experimenting with different medications, the psychiatrist should be able to recognise any ill effects you experience whilst taking a specific medication at a very early stage and take action straight away if they feel that your mental health is being compromised by that prescription drug. This action might include helping you to slowly taper off that medication or immediately putting you on a new one, as well as encouraging you to have more frequent therapy sessions (if the ill-effects include psychological distress).
It has become evident that your mental health problems are highly complex
Counselling can be used to treat many common psychological conditions, including phobias, depression and panic disorder. However, if you originally went to your counsellor for a condition such as anxiety, but they suspect that your problems might be more complex than you (or they) first realised, then they might refer you to a psychiatrist. This might happen if, for instance, you initially sought help for your panic attacks, but your counsellor gradually started to suspect that you could also be suffering from a severe personality disorder or psychosis.
In this situation, a psychiatrist might be better able to help you, as they often deal with multi-faceted, severe and treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders. They should be able to accurately diagnose you, determine what the most appropriate form of therapy is in these circumstances and provide you with the medication they believe will be most effective in stabilising your mental health.Share
29 November 2019
Hello, my name is Gary and this is my counselling blog. When I was a boy, my dad was very strict with me. Whenever I got upset, he would tell me not to worry and to keep a stiff upper lip. Any expression of emotion was frowned upon within the household. As a result of this, I never really learnt the skills I needed to properly deal with my emotions. As I got older, I started to drink more and more in order to deal with my feelings of sadness and rage. My friend became worried about me and suggested that I visit a counsellor. It was one the best things I ever did. Talking with someone I trust has really helped me to open up and explore my feelings.