Would it be Weird to See Psychologist Just to Chat and De-Stress?

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In summary, a person might feel lonely or stressed and want to talk to someone about it, but would not necessarily go to a psychologist. It may be cheaper or more convenient to go to a counselor instead.
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Suppose someone doesn't have anyone to relate to on a variety of personal matters and just wants someone to talk to about those things. Would seeing a psychologist be a solution? Or, do they mainly see people with psychological issues?

Also, what if a person is just feeling "lonely" or wanting to chat with someone? Some of the topics, as noted above, may be in areas where there is not really a good person to chat with...or maybe your good friends suck at offering "support" or suck at being good conversationalists/listeners (at least, in these areas). . .It's not like I would do anything to harm myself or I feel like I cannot function or anything like that. It's more sometimes just wanting a human to listen (in a non-judgmental way) to life stresses. . .Sometimes you tell a friend or family member and they don't have much to say. They're not bad people who don't care, but it's more like they literally just don't know what to say or don't have a curious interest to find out more, etc. Maybe they're also just busy with their own lives and don't have time.

Would it seem weird to ask to speak to a psychologist just to have someone to chat with at times to "vent" your stresses and/or to work through some "feelings" about things in life? Or, is that more the domain of a "counselor" instead? ...Actually, are psychologists and counselors even different?
 
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  • #2
Weird? I don't know. Inexpensive? Surely not.
 
  • #3
Hi, kyphysics!

Lots of questions!

kyphysics said:
Suppose someone doesn't have anyone to relate to on a variety of personal matters and just wants someone to talk to about those things. Would seeing a psychologist be a solution?
Yes
kyphysics said:
Or, do they mainly see people with psychological issues?
It's another possibility

kyphysics said:
Also, what if a person is just feeling "lonely" or wanting to chat with someone? Some of the topics, as noted above, may be in areas where there is not really a good person to chat with...
I agree

kyphysics said:
or maybe your good friends suck at offering "support" or suck at being good conversationalists/listeners (at least, in these areas). . .
It's my experience

kyphysics said:
It's more sometimes just wanting a human to listen (in a non-judgmental way) to life stresses. . .
Absolutely

kyphysics said:
Sometimes you tell a friend or family member and they don't have much to say. They're not bad people who don't care, but it's more like they literally just don't know what to say or don't have a curious interest to find out more, etc. Maybe they're also just busy with their own lives and don't have time.
It may seem contradictory, but I learn from everybody about myself.

kyphysics said:
Would it seem weird to ask to speak to a psychologist just to have someone to chat with at times to "vent" your stresses and/or to work through some "feelings" about things in life?
Is not weird

kyphysics said:
Or, is that more the domain of a "counselor" instead? ...Actually, are psychologists and counselors even different?
Don't know what a counselor is.

I see a psicologist once a month, and feels good.

Greetings!
 
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  • #4
The proper response to your questions greatly depends on your country, culture, religion, age, etc.
Many years ago, good friends and lovers, as well as old family members were good at providing the help you wish you had.
Nowadays things have changed much and people tend to be more scared, isolated and distracted, even persons that are close to one.

I would recommend you to do a research about possible social services that may be available in your area.
If that fails, approaching wise old persons that have lived a good (not neccesarily successful by Western standards) life, would be another golden opportunity.

It is also important to define to yourself the type of help you need, because most psicologists are good at problems of the mind, but don't know much about other type of situations.
 
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  • #5
My understanding is that a psychologist has a PhD. There are other classes of therapists, a common one being an MFT, a Marriage and Family Therapist, which despite the title doesn't mean they only deal with married people or families.

I think if you look into it a bit you will find there is a belief that just about everybody could benefit from some amount of therapy. Probably that's true. But I suspect it's also true that it's kind of expensive. $100 an hour? I'm just guessing.

I saw an article in the Washington Post recently that said that over 80% of therapists in the U.S. are female. And the demand has gone up for therapists during the pandemic.
 
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  • #6
Traditional therapies tend to concentrate treatment on a specific problem being defined, a treatment plan tackles that issue and when the specific problem is resolved the treatment ends.

There are counsellors who practice the method of "talk it out", where one can simply talk, and the therapist listens, occasionally interjects and redirects.

So, yes.
 
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kyphysics said:
Suppose someone doesn't have anyone to relate to on a variety of personal matters and just wants someone to talk to about those things. Would seeing a psychologist be a solution? Or, do they mainly see people with psychological issues?
IMO, if you think you might need to talk to a psychologist, you probably should.
Would it seem weird to ask to speak to a psychologist just to have someone to chat with at times to "vent" your stresses and/or to work through some "feelings" about things in life?
"vent your stresses" and "work through some feelings" sounds like the domain of a psychologist to me.
Or, is that more the domain of a "counselor" instead? ...Actually, are psychologists and counselors even different?
As far as I know, "counseling" is what psychologists do.
 
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  • #9
I also note that there is a proliferation of online services being offered. Talkspace.com is advertised (by U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps among others) on the tube. Give it a look it seems to offer various levels. My brother is a retired shrink and I know he provided a consistent sounding board for some folks.
 
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  • #10
hutchphd said:
I also note that there is a proliferation of online services being offered.

Do you talk to a psychiatrist? A psychologist? A counselor? A therapist? A social worker? Amazon Mechanical Turk? A bot?
 
  • #11
Vanadium 50 said:
Do you talk to a psychiatrist? A psychologist? A counselor? A therapist? A social worker? Amazon Mechanical Turk? A bot?
Up here, we talk to our GP, and our GP hooks us up with the right person/service. Many of those professionals you mention won't be seen without a referral - though some accept walk-ins. YMMV.

Note that your GP is the one to determine what you need. From money troubles, to hearing voices to self-harm, they can direct you to the right resource AND they can expedite the wait time.
 
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  • #12
mcastillo356 said:
I see a psicologist once a month, and feels good.

Greetings!
Thanks for the post. I agree that it can "feel good."

I actually did see a "psychologist" for a few months while a junior in college. It was very "therapeutic," as it was a nice way to relieve stress and work with someone to break down some things that were causing it.

I had to stop our sessions, because the college only offered a few months worth of free sessions before we had to pay out of pocket (which I did not want to do).

One that was was very relaxing was the lighting. Even though I saw her during times when it was very bright and sunny outside, she kept her office dimly light and had low level (yellow-ish) lamps inside. I felt I could have fallen asleep in there within minutes if I wanted to. :smile:

I think a difference between then and now is that I had a very specific set of identifiable problems I wanted to talk to someone about during that time. Right now, it feels more like a "vague" set of issues that are making me unhappy - partly, it's just not having the same people around me that want to chat in a way that would be helpful.

I think it's great to know, however, that people see psychologists for all sorts of reasons and that it can be a way to feel better. I think I wouldn't mind paying a few hundred dollars for a few sessions just to see if I wanted to do it further.
 
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  • #13
Vanadium 50 said:
Do you talk to a psychiatrist? A psychologist? A counselor? A therapist? A social worker? Amazon Mechanical Turk? A bot?
I think there are a variety of levels.
There might be an auxiliary Turing test here involving the question did he/she/it make you feel better?
But I don't know...

.
 
  • #14
hutchphd said:
I think there are a variety of levels.
There might be an auxiliary Turing test here involving the question did he/she/it make you feel better?
But I don't know...

.
I am reminded of this.
 
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  • #15
Vanadium 50 said:
Do you talk to a psychiatrist? A psychologist? A counselor? A therapist? A social worker? Amazon Mechanical Turk? A bot?
No, you just shout, shout and let it all out.
 
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  • #16
One thing I dislike:
COST + session length

I have a Bronze plan with a major provider and have a high deductible (literally have $0 towards it as I've not seen a doc all of 2021). Most counselors I've looked up have $120 (moderate to average) session rates.

I am finding it hard to part with that much money per session, which usually is about 40 minutes from what I'm seeing online and also based on my university sessions (which, again, were free - up to 8 sessions, after which you start to pay).

Some psychologists/counselors charge up to $200/session...that's more than my primary care physician (for a basic issue check-up). Am I being cheap? Or, do these rates seem high? ...I know...everyone has to make a living. :rolleyes:
 
  • #17
kyphysics said:
Some psychologists/counselors charge up to $200/session...that's more than my primary care physician (for a basic issue check-up). Am I being cheap? Or, do these rates seem high? ...I know...everyone has to make a living. :rolleyes:
It's a bit of a loaded question because expectations vary, but no, to me those rates while par for the course seem cheap based on education and comparison to other professional services.
 
  • #18
kyphysics said:
One thing I dislike:
COST + session length

I have a Bronze plan with a major provider and have a high deductible (literally have $0 towards it as I've not seen a doc all of 2021). Most counselors I've looked up have $120 (moderate to average) session rates.

I am finding it hard to part with that much money per session, which usually is about 40 minutes from what I'm seeing online and also based on my university sessions (which, again, were free - up to 8 sessions, after which you start to pay).

Some psychologists/counselors charge up to $200/session...that's more than my primary care physician (for a basic issue check-up). Am I being cheap? Or, do these rates seem high? ...I know...everyone has to make a living. :rolleyes:
I am very cynical about counselling (from my experience)

The level of training in the UK is very different to say a psychologist “shrink” in the US, https://www.chrysaliscourses.ac.uk/...dvanced-diploma-psychotherapeutic-counselling
Also maintenance seems to be the process rather than readying someone who is struggling, going through a hard time.

A counsellor you talk to, spends time with you makes you feel better momentarily then see you next week (in my experience)

Two years later you are still going, or in my friends case four years/eight years respectively that is X amount per month per year
What is the motivation to make that person strong enough to overcome anxieties, confidence issues and go out in the world and be independent?
If you still need help after 6 months is it working? Back to the GP a better option?

In short, if one chat a week for 1 hour with a counsellor with 1-3 years training “cures” you after 2 months did you really need that? Or just someone to talk to?

If you are still going years later do you need to seeing a professional instead of wasting money.
 
  • #19
If the alternative is self-harm or a ruined life then the cost is moot. You do need to find the right fit. But consider value, not just money.
 
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  • #20
pinball1970 said:
I am very cynical about counselling (from my experience)

The level of training in the UK is very different to say a psychologist “shrink” in the US, https://www.chrysaliscourses.ac.uk/...dvanced-diploma-psychotherapeutic-counselling

Also maintenance seems to be the process rather than readying someone who is struggling, going through a hard time.

A counsellor you talk to, spends time with you makes you feel better momentarily then see you next week (in my experience)

Two years later you are still going, or in my friends case four years/eight years respectively that is X amount per month per year
What is the motivation to make that person strong enough to overcome anxieties, confidence issues and go out in the world and be independent?
If you still need help after 6 months is it working? Back to the GP a better option?

In short, if one chat a week for 1 hour with a counsellor with 1-3 years training “cures” you after 2 months did you really need that? Or just someone to talk to?

If you are still going years later do you need to seeing a professional instead of wasting money.
Am I reading right that the training is a 3-year, post-bachelors education? Like a JD? That's less than a PhD, but still a pretty high/professional education.

Needs and outcomes can vary of course, but yes, obviously if you have a problem that isn't getting better and going for 2 months "cures you", then it was absolutely needed and that's the best possible result. But it is also true that some psychological problems are chronic. Some people take drugs their entire lives to manage that, otherwise get counseling/therapy. Some, both.

It would be a difficult balance (not to mention unethical) to help someone enough that they feel better but not enough that they no longer need counseling. Still, I exercise 2-3 times a week, but never seem to be finished.

[Edit] There is a perception, seemingly more common amongst older people that people should just be "strong enough" to work things out on their own. This perception makes no sense. There is no reason why emotional pain/trauma(injury/illness) should be viewed/approached differently from physical pain. This stigma is in dire need of fixing.
 
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  • #21
russ_watters said:
It's a bit of a loaded question because expectations vary, but no, to me those rates while par for the course seem cheap based on education and comparison to other professional services.
Yeah, maybe I'm just cheap and you're right.

I keep forgetting my primary care doc sees me for 10 minutes (max) and then charges me that $120 fee (assuming no lab work/tests)...counselor sees me 45 minutes or so.
 
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  • #22
This is getting perilously close to asking us for psychiatric advice. How are we to know if $200/hour will help?

Maybe he'll get Jane Lynch.

 
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  • #23
hutchphd said:
If the alternative is self-harm or a ruined life then the cost is moot. You do need to find the right fit. But consider value, not just money.
In those serious cases, I agree that you really need to get the mental health help/care.

My case isn't that serious, but I'm going to try to ask for a discount. We'll see if it works. I've gotten them before in certain cases.
 
  • #24
Vanadium 50 said:
This is getting perilously close to asking us for psychiatric advice. How are we to know if $200/hour will help?
No psychiatric advice, but just pricing perspective mostly.

For the record, I've seen a counselor before (in undergrad when it was free to me) and it DID help a lot with my stress and relationship problems. It CAN BE helpful for many people. No guarantees I suppose.

I guess 1 session costs less than a share of GameStop, though. :smile:
 
  • #25
russ_watters said:
Am I reading right that the training is a 3-year, post-bachelors education? Like a JD? That's less than a PhD, but still a pretty high/professional education.

Needs and outcomes can vary of course, but yes, obviously if you have a problem that isn't getting better and going for 2 months "cures you", then it was absolutely needed and that's the best possible result. But it is also true that some psychological problems are chronic. Some people take drugs their entire lives to manage that, otherwise get counseling/therapy. Some, both.

It would be a difficult balance (not to mention unethical) to help someone enough that they feel better but not enough that they no longer need counseling. Still, I exercise 2-3 times a week, but never seem to be finished.

[Edit] There is a perception, seemingly more common amongst older people that people should just be "strong enough" to work things out on their own. This perception makes no sense. There is no reason why emotional pain/trauma(injury/illness) should be viewed/approached differently from physical pain. This stigma is in dire need of fixing.
I searched for some entry qualifications for these courses and there were a couple that said 'no formal qualifications or experience required.'

Some on line only, 1-3 years then you get a qualification.

Would a client know the difference between 1/a degree in psychology, 3 A levels entry level followed by a masters or 2/ a diploma in counseling on line pay up and you are good to go?

https://www.openstudycollege.com/courses/cie-therapeutic-person-centred-counsel-5
 
  • #26
kyphysics said:
No psychiatric advice, but just pricing perspective mostly.

For the record, I've seen a counselor before (in undergrad when it was free to me) and it DID help a lot with my stress and relationship problems. It CAN BE helpful for many people. No guarantees I suppose.

I guess 1 session costs less than a share of GameStop, though. :smile:
I am not saying it's completely useless. A good friend a game of badminton and a few beers can do a similar job.
A stranger can be be easier because they know nothing about you and you can perhaps open up without the embarrassment of repercussions and judgement. I get that.
Sometimes you find it hard to burden friends, I get that too.
It is the dependency part I do not like.
 
  • #27
pinball1970 said:
I searched for some entry qualifications for these courses and there were a couple that said 'no formal qualifications or experience required.'

Some on line only, 1-3 years then you get a qualification.

Would a client know the difference between 1/a degree in psychology, 3 A levels entry level followed by a masters or 2/ a diploma in counseling on line pay up and you are good to go?

https://www.openstudycollege.com/courses/cie-therapeutic-person-centred-counsel-5
If it is indeed without even a bachelor's degree, yes that's much less than what I'd expect in the US. Perhaps there is a market for lower quality/features of services at lower cost. It's not what I would choose (have chosen).
A stranger can be be easier because they know nothing about you and you can perhaps open up without the embarrassment of repercussions and judgement. I get that.
Sometimes you find it hard to burden friends, I get that too.
It is the dependency part I do not like.
A psychologist is not supposed to be just a paid friend you vent to. They are supposed to be capable of analyzing what's going on in your head, identifying harmful thought patterns and correcting or teaching how to manage them.
 
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  • #28
russ_watters said:
A psychologist is not supposed to be just a paid friend you vent to. They are supposed to be capable of analyzing what's going on in your head, identifying harmful thought patterns and correcting or teaching how to manage them.
Agreed and from experience this does not always happen because you have low level qualified people out there with Bull **** 'letters' after their name advertising themselves as counseling experts.
It makes my blood boil.
Saying, 'hi'putting the kettle on (UK thing) asking about the day then pontificating like a mate down the pub because you know them (because they are now latched on ££) is indeed unethical and serves NO purpose other than a monetary one.
For the counsellor.
 
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  • #29
pinball1970 said:
Agreed and from experience this does not always happen because you have low level qualified people out there with Bull **** 'letters' after their name advertising themselves as counseling experts.
It makes my blood boil.
Like any good professional service be it physician, engineer, lawyer, or counselor make sure they are licensed are before using their service.

Here are the American Psychological Associations' recommendations for preparing for state licensure.

https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2004/01/get-licensed

Here are the specific requirements for state licensure of counselors.

https://www.counseling.org/docs/licensure/72903_excerpt_for_web.pdf

Not anybody can hang out a counselor shingle.
 
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1. Would it be weird to see a psychologist just to chat and de-stress?

No, it is not weird at all. In fact, many psychologists offer therapy sessions specifically for stress management and relaxation. Seeing a psychologist for this reason is a healthy and beneficial way to cope with stress and improve overall well-being.

2. Is it necessary to have a mental health condition to see a psychologist?

No, it is not necessary to have a diagnosed mental health condition to see a psychologist. Just like we go to the doctor for physical check-ups, it is also important to take care of our mental health. Seeing a psychologist for general mental wellness is just as important as seeking treatment for a specific condition.

3. Can a psychologist really help with stress and relaxation?

Yes, psychologists are trained professionals who specialize in understanding and managing human behavior. They can provide techniques and strategies to help cope with stress and improve relaxation. They can also offer a safe and non-judgmental space to talk about any concerns or worries.

4. How many sessions do I need to see a psychologist for stress and relaxation?

The number of sessions needed varies depending on individual needs and goals. Some people may see improvements after a few sessions, while others may benefit from more long-term therapy. Your psychologist will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that fits your specific needs.

5. Will my conversations with a psychologist be confidential?

Yes, all conversations with a psychologist are confidential. This means that your psychologist cannot share any information about your sessions without your consent, unless there is a risk of harm to yourself or others. Confidentiality is an important aspect of the therapeutic relationship, and it is important for creating a safe and trusting environment.

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