Psychotherapy is the general practice of treating mental health problems through the use of dialogue, psychology, and personal interaction. It is primarily focused on helping patients overcome mental disorders, along with other unresolved or negative compulsions, thoughts, and beliefs. As a result, some patients are surprised that many psychotherapists ask for a partial or even a complete medical history before they are willing to begin treatment.
Like many other facts about ourselves and our pasts, our medical history can be a sensitive topic for many people who are otherwise interested in psychotherapy. That’s why we’ve developed this guide to explain the importance of providing your medical history. We hope that after reading these reasons below, you’ll be more comfortable with sharing your medical history with your psychotherapist and prepared to get the treatment you need for your personal issues:
Reason #1: Past conditions inform present concerns
The goal of psychotherapy is to treat your current issues as thoroughly as possible. Many mental conditions are affected by physical concerns, including past injuries and trauma. By providing your medical history, you help your psychotherapist understand how some of your present issues may have come about.
By reaching the source of what may be causing your present ailments, your psychotherapist will be able to come with better treatments able to help you overcome your current trials.
Reason #2: Medical history informs safe medication
Similarly to the last point, the pain caused by many physical ailments can lead to mental disorders, while some mental disorders can further aggravate unpleasant physical conditions. The mind is connected to the body, and oftentimes the best way to treat the former is by resolving the issues with the latter as best as possible.
As such, your psychotherapist may prescribe medication to help treat your condition. As with all medication, dosage must be careful and precise, especially in patients with allergic reactions. By providing your medical history, you make it much easier for your psychotherapist to prescribe safe medicine at just the right dosage to treat your personal conditions.
Reason #3: A complete record informs future treatment
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, many of which cause us to leave where we live and move somewhere else. Additionally, some people just don’t work well with particular psychotherapists, causing them to seek treatment elsewhere. Whatever the reason, it is possible that your treatment with your particular psychotherapist may come to an end before your issues are fully treated.
By providing your complete medical history to each psychotherapist you meet with, you can continue treatment with each new professional instead of restarting from scratch each time. Not only will you save time and money, but you will be able to go deep in seeking treatment for your issues, rather than simply scratching the surface by restarting treatment over and over again.
Get Psychotherapy at South Country Psychiatry
Psychotherapy is an effective but sensitive treatment for mental trauma, which means you should get psychotherapy from experienced professionals you know you can trust. If you live in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Road Island, we’d be happy to help you here at South Country Psychiatry.
Our team of licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, and physicians are all well versed in helping patients overcome their personal challenges. While we do our best to treat all patients, we are especially experienced in helping with depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and more. We also offer child psychiatry, helping young patients with their mental and emotional difficulties in this pivotal stage of their life.
Contact us today if you have any questions, or to schedule an in-person consultation at one of our four locations. We look forward to helping you build your confidence and resilience here at South County Psychiatry.