What type of therapist are there

What Kind of Therapy is Best for Me?

You’ve made the decision to go to therapy — great! Often times, that’s the hardest step when it comes to taking care of your mental health. But if you’re wondering, “how do I figure out what kind of therapist I need?” then you’re not alone. There are many, many kinds of therapists and even more types of therapy and counseling. Sites like Good Therapy and the American Psychological Association offer great directories for researching the different types of therapy, but research is often the last thing on our minds when we’re feeling overwhelmed and in need of a listening ear.

To make choosing the right kind of therapy for you a little bit easier, we’ve broken down the essential information below. We’ll tackle the basics of therapy and mental health professionals, and then get into a little more detail on what each type of therapy is most helpful for. Finally, we’ll outline how to choose a therapist that meets your needs. Dealing with our mental health can be challenging enough, but choosing a therapist shouldn't be.

What exactly is therapy and why do some people need it?

When we talk about therapy in this context, what we’re really talking about is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is person-to-person treatment or management of mental health problems, disorders, and general mental health upkeep. Many people seek out a mental health professional for a specific mental health problem like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or addiction, but therapy can be a useful tool for anyone. There are types of therapy dedicated to relationships both familial and intimate, grief, loss, illness, break-ups, work stress, existential crises, personal development, and more.

Nearly half of U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, but many of them still don’t seek treatment because of myths surrounding therapy. Let’s break down those myths:

  1. Therapy is only for crazy people. This is patently untrue. Therapy is for anyone looking for outside feedback and support. In this age of tech addiction and growing levels of societal loneliness, therapy will only become a more integral part of our everyday lives.
  2. You need to have a mental health problem to go to therapy. Therapy can be useful during many of life’s obstacles, not just for mental health problems. A good therapist can help you navigate life changes like moving, changing jobs, becoming a parent, improving your habits, and more.
  3. Therapy is for the weak. It’s a misconception that therapy is about whining. Confronting your feelings and working through challenging thoughts is difficult work. Going to therapy takes courage and should be lauded as a sign of personal strength.
  4. All therapists say is “and how does that make you feel?” Movies and television have popularized the trope that therapists sit back with their pipes in antique armchairs, asking inane questions that go nowhere. The right therapist will create a more dynamic relationship with techniques learned through years of schooling and expertise, customizing their approach for each of their clients.

Many people need therapy to deal with mental health problems, but many others simply want an objective professional to help them navigate some of the trickier areas of life. Both are perfectly valid and excellent uses of therapists’ skillsets.

What are the different types of therapy?

Before delving into the different types of therapy, it’s useful to understand the different types of mental health professionals. Some people may be looking for a therapist with advanced training and a state-approved license, while others may find great counsel in life coaches, clergy, or others. Schooling doesn’t always mean the best therapist, but let’s break down some of the more advanced degrees.


Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD or DO) who can prescribe medication to their patients, in addition to practicing psychotherapy.


Psychologists are similar to psychiatrists, but are unable to prescribe medication. In a scenario where they believe a patient would benefit from medication, psychologists typically have a working relationship with other psychiatrists and doctors to facilitate that conversation. Psychologists usually have a doctoral degree (Ph.D or Psy.D typically) and are trained in understanding how the mind and behavior correspond. You may see some psychologists listed as counseling psychologists and others as clinical psychologists — the primary difference is that a counseling psychologist helps patients to deal with more day-to-day problems, where clinical psychology may focus more on severe mental illness. That said, both are considered licensed psychologists and neither will prescribe medication.

Licensed Professional Counselor or Licensed Mental Health Counselor

An LPC or LMHC has a minimum education requirement of a Master’s in Counseling, along with a great deal of training and state certification. Counselors like these can help people develop a better relationship with their mental health, learning strategies to cope with their emotions.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSWs are usually referred to as clinical social workers or just social workers. They will have a Master’s degree in social work and undergone thousands of supervised hours. It’s common to associate licensed clinical social workers with working in community related fields, but some of these social workers do maintain private practices.

These are only a handful of the types of counselors you’ll see, but it should give you a good starting point to understand the alphabet soup of advanced degrees you may see when trying to find the right person for you. All can offer helpful forms of mental health services and health care for many types of problems and mental illness.

For every type of therapist and every type of problem, there are even more types of therapy. Understanding the different types of treatment should help you in your search for the right therapist, but know that most therapists will employ a mix of these techniques for each individual patient. If any technique stands out to you as interesting, or like something you’d like to avoid, you can ask any potential therapist about their experience with that technique during your first consultation.

Common types of therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of short-term therapy focused on changing how you relate to your thoughts and how those thoughts affect your behavior. CBT is not one technique, but encompasses some of the more widely known techniques like Cognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and others.

  • CBT might be right if: you are dealing with an anxiety disorder, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, or depression. Other behavior-based therapies can be useful for phobias, addiction, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD.)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT is a comprehensive type of cognitive behavior therapy. It is based on teaching problem-solving techniques and learning acceptance strategies.

  • DBT might be right if: other types of therapy haven’t worked for you. DBT is often used to treat issues such as self-harm, eating disorders, destructive thought patterns, borderline personality disorder, and more.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) has been growing in popularity for years now. It’s a type of psychotherapy designed to treat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other traumas. Make sure your therapist is certified to use this technique. Done right, it can be incredibly valuable and works well with other types of therapy.

  • EMDR might be right if: you’ve experienced trauma or deeply stressful events that are causing extreme anxiety.
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is another cognitive behavioral technique that employs mindfulness to help patients see and understand their negative thoughts, allowing them to gain some distance and alter how they react to those thoughts.

  • MBCT might be right if: you suffer from recurrent depression, but MBCT can also be useful for many mental health issues.

Psychoanalysis has been used for years, and has been updated as many times as its been criticized. This is what most people think of when they hear the term “talk therapy.” It’s still a very common form of therapy and can be very useful for bringing unconscious problems to the surface to be dissected and resolved.

  • Psychoanalysis might be right if: you have anxiety or self-esteem issues you want to explore further.
Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy is rooted in psychoanalysis and is another one of the types of psychotherapy, but is a bit simpler. In this technique, your therapist will get to know your feelings, beliefs, and life experiences to help you recognize and change recurring patterns. It can be short-term (a few months) or as long as two years.

  • Psychodynamic Therapy might be right if: you’re generally alright, but are struggling with your past and how it may be affecting your future. Psychodynamic therapy can be used to treat any number of issues, and may be woven into other techniques.

As stated earlier, most therapists will not limit themselves to only one of these techniques. They may combine them or alter them slightly for each patient. You’ll likely see several of these styles listed on every therapist’s website.

In addition to techniques, there are also many different types of arrangements. Here are just a few:

  • Individual: This is the most common type of therapy. All therapy will be one-on-one unless otherwise stated.
  • Family: Family therapy can be valuable for all familial relationships, whether between siblings, parents and children, or other family members. You may see these practitioners referred to as marriage and family therapists.
  • Couples: Couples Therapy can be stigmatized as a sign that your relationship is falling apart, but it’s actually an incredible tool for developing a deeper bond or preparing for changes ahead. Many couples find value in this type of therapy when shifting responsibilities, like a change in the breadwinner or becoming parents.
  • Group: Most group therapy deals with some form of substance abuse or addiction, but group therapy can also be useful for trauma, grief, and victims of physical abuse.
  • Therapy for certain life events: Some therapists specialize in very specific life moments including but not limited to medical issues, childbirth, divorce, death, impotence, infertility, and others.
  • Online vs in-person: It’s becoming more and more common for therapists to offer remote services via phone or video chat. If special situations prevent you from seeing a therapist in an office, this may be a great choice. At Two Chairs, we value the in-person element of therapy, and suggest building your trusting relationship with a therapist in-person whenever possible.

How do I choose the right therapist/therapy for me?

The most important question to ask yourself is what you want to get out of therapy. That answer may be as simple as, “I want to feel better,” but being able to share that with a potential therapist will help both of you determine if it’s a good fit.

Take time to think through what sort of environment you feel comfortable in and what accessibility you may have to a potential therapist. You can visit our guide on how to find a therapist if you’re not sure where to start.

Once you have a short list of therapists that you’re interested in, set up phone consultations with each. These calls will help you to investigate a few things like availability, cost, and how many therapy sessions to expect, but they should also help you determine if you feel comfortable. While you’re on the call, think about these questions:

  1. Do you feel like you can talk to this person?
  2. Do you feel like you can be honest?
  3. Does it feel like this person accepts you?
  4. Are they a good listener?
  5. Will they customize their approach for you?

For a good fit, therapy should be an open line of communication. In your first session, you’ll be laying the groundwork for what you want to work on. Don’t be afraid to push back if something doesn’t feel right to you, and if something really doesn’t feel right, you’re under no obligation to continue seeing someone. Therapy won’t always feel amazing, but it should always feel safe.

The next step in your well-being

Hopefully this guide provided you with the basics of therapeutic approaches, and you know enough about the types of therapy and psychotherapy to make informed decisions. Remember, therapy can be work, but it really helps, and therapists want to help you. Doing this research is the first step to a better understanding of yourself and better mental health.

If you or someone you know is seeking mental health care, you can reach out to our Care Coordination team at [email protected] or by phone at 415.202.5159.

If you or someone you know is experiencing an emergency or crisis and needs immediate help, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Additional resources can be found here.

What Different Kinds of Therapists Are There? Decoding the Alphabet Soup : OpenCounseling



Searching for a therapist can feel confusing. How can you increase your chances of finding a good therapist? How do you choose a therapist who’s a good match for you? We’ve covered these topics before (click the links to go to those articles), but we’ve never fully explained why you’ll see so many different types of licenses when you’re looking for a therapist.

So, what are all those different types of licenses? What do they mean? Is one kind of therapist better than another? Is it always better to see someone with a more advanced degree? If you want to get couples counseling, do you have to find a marriage and family therapist? Why do some social workers work in government agencies and others have a private practice?

In this article, we’ll answer all those questions, and more. Read on to learn about the different kinds of therapy licenses, the steps therapists take to get them, and whether a certain type of licensed professional might be a better match for you than another.

On This Page

  • What Is a Therapy License?
  • What Types of Therapy Licenses Are There?
  • What Kinds of Degrees Do Therapists Get?


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What Is a Therapy License?

A therapy license is a document that proves someone meets the professional requirements to practice therapy. It is unlawful to practice a licensed profession like therapy without a license.

Licensing laws protect consumers from incompetent or unethical therapists. First, they establish rigorous education and training requirements therapists must meet to get a license. Next, they make sure therapists follow ethical guidelines and professional standards after they’re licensed.

For more information on licensing laws and standards, you can read our article on how to check a therapist’s license. You can also go to our licensing board listings page to find a direct link to the licensing board for the therapist whose license you’d like to check.

What Types of Therapy Licenses Are There?

There is more than one kind of therapist and more than one kind of therapy license. These different therapy licenses were developed to address different issues and needs in the community.

How Many Therapy Licenses Are There?

The most common types of licensed therapists are:

  • Licensed professional counselors (LPCs)
  • Licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs)
  • Licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs)
  • Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs)
  • Psychologists (PhDs or PsyDs)
  • Psychiatrists (MDs or DOs)

This list is not exhaustive. There are a few other kinds of therapists who work in specialized niches. Behavior analysts primarily work with people who have autism. Art therapists use art to help people heal. And in some states, addiction counselors are licensed like therapists. This allows them to offer individual substance use disorder counseling like other kinds of therapists offer individual mental health counseling.

However, in most cases, when you’re researching therapists, the people you’ll find will have one of the licenses listed above. All of these licenses show that people have the training they need to treat mental health conditions and help people achieve their personal growth goals.

What Kinds of Degrees Do Therapists Get?

The minimum level of education a licensed therapist can have is a master’s degree. Most master’s degrees take two to three years to get. Some therapists stay in school longer and get a doctorate, but no licensed therapist should have less than two to three years of postgraduate education. Therapists can’t practice independently with only a bachelor’s degree.

What Degree Does a Master's-Level Therapist Get?

To become an LPC, LMHC, LCSW, or LMFT, a therapist needs to get a master’s degree in their chosen field. Degrees that these therapists may have include:

  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT)
  • Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Psychology
  • Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Counseling Psychology
  • Master of Arts or MS in Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Master of Education (MEd) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

It’s possible to become licensed as a master’s-level psychologist, but in most states, these licenses only allow psychologists to work in certain specialist positions and not in private practice.

Most psychologists who practice as therapists have a doctoral degree—either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. Psychiatrists must complete a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree.

All therapists are required to gain a certain amount of internship and supervised practice hours after they get their degree. Psychiatrists must complete a medical residency that includes a clinical rotation in mental health. Psychologists and master’s-level counseling professionals usually must complete between 2,000 to 3,000 supervised practice hours before they are qualified to seek a license. (Psychologists often do this by completing a postdoctoral fellowship.)

How Does a Therapist Get a License?

A therapist gets a license by applying for one after completing a series of requirements. First, they have to get a degree that qualifies them to become a therapist. Then, they have to complete supervised practice hours and take a test. You can read the step-by-step guide below for more details.

The Steps to Getting a Therapy License

A therapist gets a license by following these steps:

  1. They get a degree that qualifies them to practice therapy (usually a master’s degree or higher).
  2. After completing that degree, they apply and get a provisional or associate license, usually by taking an exam and paying a fee.
  3. Next, they complete their supervised practice hours.
    •  Master’s-level therapists usually do this by getting an agency job that allows them to provide therapy or other clinical services under the supervision of a licensed therapist.
    • Psychologists often gain their supervised practice hours by doing a postdoctoral fellowship.
    • Psychiatrists complete a clinical rotation in psychiatry while they are a medical resident.
  4. After gaining the required number of supervised practice hours, they submit an application to the licensing board with documentation of their hours and their degree.
  5. Once that application is accepted, they take a licensing exam that proves they have the clinical, ethical, and practical knowledge they need to be a competent therapist.

Once a therapist passes their final licensing exam, they get their license. A license allows a therapist to practice therapy independently. This means that once they have one, they can start a private practice or work in a job setting that doesn’t require them to be supervised.

What Is a Provisional or Associate License?

A provisional or associate therapy license shows that a person has completed the educational requirements to become a therapist but hasn’t yet completed their supervised practice hours. It allows a therapist trainee to provide therapy or other clinical services as long as they are being supervised by a qualified clinical supervisor.

A clinical supervisor gives a therapist trainee face-to-face guidance and feedback. If a trainee therapist is troubled by their reaction to a client, or feels stumped about how to help them, they can talk to their supervisor about it. This helps them learn and improve their skills as a therapist. (Think of it as a therapy apprenticeship.)

For More Information

For more information about how licensure supervision works, you can read this article.

Therapists with provisional or associate licenses usually work and gain their supervised practice hours at agencies or other professional organizations. These can be private therapy agencies, community mental health agencies, hospitals, hospices, or other settings that hire therapists.

What Are the Differences Between Therapy Licenses?

Some therapy licenses require more advanced degrees than others, but for the most part, the differences between types of therapy licenses are philosophical differences.

This means that while some licenses allow therapists to do additional tasks, like prescribing medicine, one type of therapist is not necessarily more skilled at providing therapy than another. Different types of therapists just approach therapy from different perspectives.

What Do the Different Licenses Mean?
  • Psychiatrists have medical degrees and approach mental health from a medical perspective. They study how the brain works and are qualified to prescribe medication.
  • Psychologists with PhDs specialize in testing, social science research, and applied psychology. Psychologists pursuing PsyDs have similar degree requirements but spend more time studying clinical techniques and less time doing research than PhD candidates.
  • Like psychiatrists and psychologists, all master’s-level therapists, including LPCs, LMHCs, LMFTs, and LCSWs, are trained to provide clinical mental health treatment. However:
    • Therapists with LPC and LMHC licenses study individual psychology and human development and specialize in therapy for individuals.
    • Therapists with LMFT licenses are trained to understand relationship dynamics and specialize in providing relationship, couples, marriage, and family counseling.
    • Therapists with LCSW licenses specialize in understanding the social contexts that affect mental health, including how policy, law, and social realities affect mental health on a mass scale.

It’s important to note that all licensed therapists learn clinical methods and all of them are qualified by their licenses to provide individual (and group, couples, and family) therapy. Their differences are matters of specialization, not reflections of the absolute limits of their knowledge.

As therapists build their careers, what they become specialized in has as much to do with what they’re interested in and where they choose to develop their talents as it does with their original degree and training.

So, unless you specifically require service only one type of licensed therapist is qualified to provide—such as wanting to see a psychiatrist (or, in some states, a psychologist) who can provide both medication and therapy—it’s usually more important to focus on finding a therapist who’s a good match for you than on which specific license they have.

Really, Though, Which Kind of Therapist Should I See?

We really mean it: the kind of therapist you should see has more to do with the kind of person you should see than the kind of license they have. It also depends on the options available to you.

Is a Psychiatrist an Option for Talk Therapy?

Honestly, it’s rare these days to find psychiatrists who are accepting new clients at all, much less psychiatrists who still provide therapy as well as medication management. So, it’s unlikely you’ll be choosing between therapy with a psychiatrist or therapy with another kind of professional.

What about psychologists? First, the simple fact they go to school longer than master’s-level therapists doesn’t necessarily mean that they spend more time studying therapy methods than other therapists. Many spend more time in school doing research than anything else.

But the reality is that no matter what they study, some people have stronger “people skills,” and some people spend more time after graduation getting certified and trained in therapy methods than others. Highly-trained research psychologists often become skilled and warm clinicians. Just keep in mind it’s equally true that psychologists aren’t better-trained as therapists by default than other kinds of therapists just because they have a doctoral instead of a master’s degree.

Does a License Limit What Kind of Therapy a Therapist Can Provide?

The kind of master’s degree a master’s-level therapist gets often has more to do with what academic programs are available to them and what they believe will improve their job prospects than a specific idea of what kind of therapist they want to be.

Any therapist with training in family or couples counseling can become good at it, not just LMFTs. (And LMFTs can be just as good at individual therapy as other kinds of therapists.)

Similarly, people with LPC, LMFT, or LMHC licenses can be just as interested in social justice as social workers with LCSW licenses.

Really, the best way to find a therapist who has the right expertise to meet your needs is to take the time to research and screen therapists until you find the right one. Online reviews, personal webpages, profiles on sites like ours or Psychology Today, and word of mouth will tell you more than the type of degree or license a therapist has. (It can also be really helpful to know what methods a therapist has been trained or certified in.)

For more information on how to do this research, you can read our articles on how to screen a therapist and how to choose a therapist.


The range of degrees and licenses that therapists can have can be confusing, but it doesn’t matter as much as you might think it does.

It’s definitely important for you to make sure that a therapist has a license (read our article on how to check a therapist’s license to find out why). But it’s way more important to find a therapist whose personality, skills, and expertise match your needs than to find a therapist who has a specific kind of degree or license.

Therapists choose one particular degree program over another for a variety of personal reasons. But in the end, their careers are shaped more by what they learn and find out as they practice than what they studied in school.

Over time, therapists learn where their natural talents lie, what kind of clients they serve best, and what certifications, methods, or training make the most sense for them to pursue.

That said, it can help to understand the differences between therapy licenses. It can help you feel more comfortable reaching out to a therapist who seems like a good fit if you know what those letters after their name mean. It helps to know you’re not making a mistake by picking the “wrong letters” in the alphabet soup of therapy titles.

And yes, there are cases where it makes more sense to see one kind of licensed professional over another. Master’s-level therapists can’t prescribe medications like a psychiatrist or administer the psychological tests a psychologist can. And many master’s-level therapists do choose to specialize in the areas they focused on in school.

But if you’re only looking for therapy, you’ll usually find out more by reading individual profiles than by making assumptions based on someone’s license. It’s more important to find a therapist who uses methods that suit your needs and who has experience working with clients like you than to find a therapist who has a specific kind of degree or license.

At OpenCounseling, we believe choosing the right therapist is essential for success in therapy. But we also believe there is no shortcut that lets you skip the research and get the same results. Please trust us that it's worth it—finding the right therapist can change your life.


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Stephanie Hairston

Stephanie Hairston is a freelance mental health writer who spent several years in the field of adult mental health before transitioning to professional writing and editing. As a clinical social worker, she provided group and individual therapy, crisis intervention services, and psychological assessments.

Group of specialties of the therapeutic profile, Total

  • English en
  • Russian en

Group of specialties of the therapeutic profile, Total

Show whole graph

European health workforce and technology database

Stats: 250

Update date: September 23, 2016

The contact person: Please enable Javascript to view

The European Human and Technical Resources Database for Health (HlthRes-DB) contains a variety of statistics on human and technical resources for health and information on non-financial resources for health care, compiled jointly by the European Union statistical office (Eurostat agency), the Economic Organization Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. HlthRes-DB contains data for almost 200 health workforce and technical resource indicators.

Human resources indicators: The indicators include the number and density of a range of health worker categories (physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists and health auxiliaries) under three different concepts: practitioners, professional staff, and licensed workers. In addition, there is information on the number of hospital employees and the number of graduates of medical and other relevant educational institutions.

Technical resource data: This provides data on the number and density of hospitals and hospital beds, broken down by facility type (public, non-profit private, and commercial private) and the number of long-term care beds. In addition, HlthRes-DB contains information on the availability of the following types of medical equipment: computed tomography (CT), MRI, positron emission tomography (PET), gamma cameras, digital subtraction angiography, mammography, equipment for radiation therapy and lithotripters.

Coverage: HlthRes-DB provides key population health statistics for the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region. The database will be updated once a year, usually at the end of the summer. It currently exists in English and Russian versions.


Group of specialties of the therapeutic profile, Total
Indicator Code: ph_spec.spec.med

Physicians are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of somatic disorders and diseases.

- therapy (internal diseases)
- Cardiology
- Endocrinology
- Gastroenterology
- Pulmonology
- Respiratory diseases (respiratory medicine)
- Oncology
- Immunology
- Neurinology
- Otorinoralrinology
- Otorinolarythology
- Otorinoralrinology 9003 diagnostics
- Infectious diseases
- Microbiology-bacteriology
- Hematology
- Dermatology
- Pathological anatomy
- Occupational medicine (occupational hygiene, occupational health)
- Interns and trainee doctors (residents) specializing in the above areas

Excluded :
- Surgery
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Pediatrics
- Psychiatry
- General Practitioners

Note: The number is at the end of the calendar year.


Republic of Moldova

Russian Federation


San Marino



The United Kingdom

9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000.






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Contents of the article:

  • How is the reception of
  • What diseases does the doctor treat
  • When to call, symptoms

Mathematics is called the "queen" of sciences. And in medicine, therapy has such a status. The fact is that she has the widest profile among all medical fields, so the therapist is a very popular medical profession all over the world. It is to him that patients turn for help in the first place. However, not everyone knows what the doctor of this specialty is responsible for and what is included in his duties.

Therapist is a generalist with a higher medical education who has completed a residency in Therapy. Its tasks are diagnostics, treatment and prevention of diseases of almost all organs and systems. The doctor provides assistance to patients with pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, liver, kidneys, genitourinary system, metabolism, etc. The therapist also issues a referral for a consultation with a specialist: oncologist, surgeon, gynecologist, etc.

How is the appointment

Consultation of a general practitioner is carried out in a therapeutic room, which is equipped with the necessary furniture and medical instruments for the reception of various patients. On average, the duration of the reception is no more than 20 minutes. This time may vary depending on the characteristics and severity of the clinical case.

There is no need to prepare for a doctor's visit. Before the initial consultation, it is sufficient to take medical reports and the results of previous examinations.

How is the therapist's appointment:

  1. History taking. The doctor carefully examines the patient's complaints, the time and characteristics of their appearance. Be sure to specify what preceded the appearance of pathological symptoms: hypothermia, trauma, illness, surgery, and so on. The patient will be asked if he has allergies, chronic diseases and hereditary predisposition to certain diseases.
  2. Patient examination. The therapist examines the skin and visible mucous membranes, assesses the constitution of the body. Also assesses the presence of visible injuries, wounds, asymmetries and other defects.
  3. Palpation. During palpation, muscle tension is determined, the presence or absence of pain at the site of exposure. The therapist checks the mobility and condition of some internal organs during deep palpation of the abdomen.
  4. Percussion. This is a method of tapping cavities with your hands. Depending on the type of sound, the therapist evaluates the condition of some internal organs.
  5. Auscultation. With the help of a phonendoscope, the doctor listens to the lungs, heart and intestinal motility. These primary data are important for drawing up a further diagnostic plan and establishing a presumptive diagnosis.
  6. Measurement of blood pressure and heart rate.
  7. Purpose of laboratory instrumental diagnostic procedures. Doctor can prescribe:
  • general and biochemical blood tests;
  • urinalysis according to Nechiporenko and Zimnitsky;
  • coagulogram;
  • blood test for hormones;
  • electrocardiography;
  • Ultrasound of the abdominal organs, blood vessels, heart, lymph nodes, endocrine glands;
  • fluorography, radiography;
  • CT, MRI;
  • scintigraphy;
  • endoscopic examination: FGDS, colonoscopy, irrigoscopy, etc.;
  • needle biopsy.

If the obtained diagnostic data allows to confirm the diagnosis, which is included in the treatment profile of the therapist, then he controls the treatment process until the patient recovers. The treatment plan is made individually, depending on the characteristics of the clinical case.

There is no clear answer to the question of what the therapist treats. His duties include the treatment of various diseases affecting almost all systems of the human body. Common illnesses that the therapist most often encounters:

  • colds: acute respiratory infections, influenza, seasonal colds;
  • viral and bacterial infections: chickenpox, mumps, measles, rubella, etc.;
  • diseases of ENT organs: sinusitis, laryngitis, otitis, etc.;
  • pathologies of the cardiovascular system: hypertension, arrhythmia, angina pectoris, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, atherosclerotic disease, etc.;
  • problems with the digestive tract: food poisoning, gastritis, peptic ulcer, colitis, etc.;
  • pathologies of the respiratory system: bronchitis, bronchial asthma, COPD, pneumonia, pleurisy, etc.;
  • diseases of the urinary system: glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis, cystitis, urolithiasis, etc.;
  • pathologies of the endocrine system: diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Itsenko-Cushing's syndrome, etc.

This is not a complete list of diseases treated by a general practitioner. Often he performs a coordinating function - directs the patient to a specialized specialist and controls the course of treatment, that is, "leads the patient" until the moment of recovery. The therapeutic profile provides only conservative therapy. If surgical intervention is necessary, the patient is referred for a consultation with a surgeon.

The therapist also draws up sick leaves and documents for obtaining a voucher for spa treatment.

When to contact, symptoms

Not everyone understands why they turn to a therapist and what role he plays in the medical chain. A general practitioner is a specialist to whom you need to make an appointment if any signs of a deterioration in well-being appear.

There can be many reasons for visiting a general practitioner:

  • the first symptoms of a cold: fever, headache, sore throat, drowsiness, weakness, cough, runny nose, etc. ;
  • fatigue even after little exercise, muscle weakness;
  • sleep disturbance: difficulty falling asleep or waking up, lack of sleep, insomnia;
  • pain of any localization: headache, in the neck, chest, abdomen, limbs, genitals;
  • skin changes: rash, microtrauma, age spots, changes in moles, etc.;
  • eating problems: loss or excessive appetite, pain after eating, nausea, vomiting, loss or distortion of taste, etc.;
  • violation of the stool: constipation, diarrhea, increased gas formation in the intestines, gas passage, the presence of blood, pus and other atypical impurities in the stool;
  • breathing problems: shortness of breath, inability to take a deep breath, feeling short of breath, dry or wet cough;
  • psycho-emotional disorders: causeless mood swings, increased irritability for no reason, tearfulness.

After the examination, the doctor will prescribe a diagnostic examination, establish a diagnosis and prescribe treatment.

Article published on : 2/2/2017
Last updated : 01/30/2023

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