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Professional Psychiatric Help – What Would They Actually Do?

Question by Sparky: Professional psychiatric help – what would they actually do?
I asked this in the Social Sciences > Psychology section and they were intensely unhelpful, so I’ll try here.

Background: My exceptionally brilliant emotionally repressed girlfriend of two years, who was the victim of some sort of childhood trauma or another (probably not sexual) lost control of her ability to regulate her emotions, told me she loved me for the first time since we’ve been together, and has been having great difficulty letting me back into her life because she thinks (or recognizes) that I’m the source of her problems.

Huh, I should always write the intros that short. ^
Even though she seems to be doing better, the topic of seeking professional help came up over lunch. The result is that I feel like an ***.

I suggested that a professional therapist might be able to help her out, to which she replied quite bluntly, “you believe me to be inadequate.” A statement, not a question mind you.

I tried to explain that it would be for her benefit, not mine. She rather quickly cut through that, though, saying she was – I think the words were – “correcting any psychological difficulties.” In many ways I believe she’s capable of this. Just over the past week she’s managed to regain a lot of her composure, though her apartment’s still a terrible mess.

I don’t have any formal training in psychology, but I know pretty well how her mind works – and I understand her far better than I figure some wacky therapist could. Granted there’s still a great deal about her that she’s kept completely hidden from me. If she hasn’t told me those things after two years of intimacy, I don’t think a psychologist would have much hope.

So what would they actually do? Keep in mind this isn’t for “couples counseling,” it’s for her.

Best answer:

Answer by Bulldog mama
As you didn’t ask for any comment on the situation, let me just answer your question directly.

All we would do is perform an evaluation to get a better handle on what the cause of her difficulties is and the best method(s) of treatment. This can include individual therapy, group therapy, or medication. Maybe a combination of these. She could be treated by a therapist (e.g.,licensed clinical social worker, nurse practitioner), or psychologist for “talk therapy.” A psychiatrist or nurse practitioner might prescribe medication if indicated. By the way, we are not all “wacky” as you suggest. Therapy and/or medication can help immensely if the person is open to it. Being able to understand how someone thinks is good but a professional could be helpful in helping her to sort things out and determine ways to manage any difficulties.

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Professional Counseling – CFL.