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10 Reasons Why It’s Practical to See a Licensed Therapist FIRST (before a Psychiatrist)

10 Reasons Why It’s Practical to See a Licensed Therapist FIRST (before a Psychiatrist)


10 Reasons Why It’s Practical to See a Licensed Therapist

FIRST (before a Psychiatrist)


Seeking help from a counselor is a positive decision. Recognizing that you are in a stressful situation and needing assistance is a healthy sign that you already found the courage to face your concerns. You must be feeling optimistic and hopeful that soon things will be back to the way they used to be. Around this time, you are ready to see the right professional, but the question is: who is the right professional to approach?

A bit of research would send you to the right mental health professional: a licensed therapist. If ever you’ll have the need to be treated using medications, leave it to your therapist to make the necessary referral to a psychiatrist.

Making the choice between a therapist and psychiatrist, however, is sometimes not easy to do because these are overlapping professions. While both specializations pertain to “the mind” and how it influences thoughts, feelings, behavior, and health, therapists and psychiatrists have different academic training and ways of treating emotional and behavioral concerns. It is not uncommon, though, for them to collaborate to bring desirable results to a patient.

There are many other reasons why seeing a therapist first is logical; here are 12 of them

  1. Seeing a psychiatrist as a final fallback. Psychiatrists are the professionals to consult when your case requires the use of psychotropic drugs to treat. The use of medications is generally frowned upon as a first resort. It is standard in the profession to try therapy first to help you think and feel positive. This is done by using strategies and tools to change your way of life, manage your responses or regulate your moods.
  1. Consulting a psychiatrist can be rather “overwhelming.” Seeing a therapist is an easy first step when you are fraught with distressing concerns – relationship difficulties, complications in the workplace, parenting concerns, etc. They can help you sort out your concerns and find ways to resolve them. These are those kinds that would not require the use of prescriptions or medications from a psychiatrist.
  1. You want a professional who can devote more time with you. With the current shortage of psychiatrists in many areas in the United States, they can only spend about 5 to 15 minutes with you. This is usually spent on medication management. If you feel distressed and you want to talk, see a therapist. They have the time to listen and spend more time with you.
  1. The evaluation of your symptoms can be done by a therapist. Therapists are trained to do the proper evaluation of symptoms to be able to diagnose behavioral or emotional conditions. Not having to rush or having enough time per patient, they can do this with efficiency. If the symptoms can be treated without resorting to medications, you’ll benefit from the care of a therapist better.
  1. Certain psychiatrists prefer that you are “under the care” of a therapist. With so very little time to spend per patient, most psychiatrists are happier when you see a therapist first. It means that some initial work has been done in the evaluation of your symptoms. This can help them efficiently assess your condition with haste. Being “under the care” of therapists also means that another professional is monitoring ongoing concerns that they can’t focus on anymore because of the limited time they can allocate per patient.
  1. Therapists offer the “safety net” to the patients who need them. Psychiatrists also want their patients to benefit from having another professional who can offer more time to spend with them. If aside from medications you also need therapy, these are best provided by therapists. This is why it is common for psychiatrists to refer their patients to therapists.
  1. You can confidently make decisions with the help of a therapist. Making informed decisions critical to your emotional and behavioral stability may not be that easy to make. With the guidance and support of your therapist, you can overcome hesitation and fear to make decisions that will help you achieve functionality.
  1. Therapists know psychiatrists you can trust. If and when you’ll need medications to help stabilize your condition, the best professional to help you find the psychiatrist is your therapist. These mental health professionals know one another. Rather than find one on your own, trust your therapist to refer someone with a good reputation and who can help you best.
  1. There can be wellness with therapy alone. Medications can change the chemistry of your brain. This is the fundamental basis of their benefits, as well as their side effects. If wellness can be achieved with therapy alone, the side effects of the medications are something not needed and you thus you probably wouldn’t want in your life. So, you are actually doing yourself a favor when you see a therapist first.
  1. It is cheaper to be treated by a therapist. The professional fees charged by a psychiatrist are way higher than that of a therapist. The cost of seeking treatment may stand in the way of treatment, especially without an insurance to cover the consultation fee and the deductible or copay. With the high demand for psychiatric care, they typically charge a hefty $250 for the first consultation, lasting anywhere between 45 and 50 minutes. In contrast, a one-hour session with a therapist may only cost you $100 or less. (Please note that many insurers are known to pay for the whole/part/most amount of the consultation, whether with a psychiatrists or therapist. It is best to check this information first with your insurance.)

There is a way to manage your distressing symptoms: assistance from a professional licensed therapist. Once you have found the courage to take this matter in hand, have the insight to see a therapist first; it is both practical and advantageous on numerous points. Consider further getting the best services available in the neighborhood. If you are in North Carolina, that can be Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC. If you live in or close to Sanford, you don’t have to go far to find help from a therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC. Call now for your first appointment.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC

Counties: Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Moore County, NC

Areas: Sanford NC, Tramway NC, Olivia NC, Broadway NC, Cumnock NC, Gulf NC, Goldston NC, Carbonton NC, Glendon NC, Carthage NC, Cameron NC, Lillington NC, Moncure NC

Zip Codes: 27330, 27332, 28327, 27505, 27546



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, Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Fetima Wellington, MS, LPC, LCAS-A

Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Children, Adolescents/Teens, Individuals, Couples, Family Therapy and Marriage Counseling. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Addiction and Recovery, Relationship Issues, Post Partum Depression, Family Conflict, Crisis Intervention, ODD, Conduct Disorder, LGBTQ
 Insurance: BCBS,  Cash, HSA and FSA (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (919) 895-3222 (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!

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Carolina Counseling Services - Sanford, NC
304 N Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330