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What is a Psychologist?
What is a Psychologist?  
Psychologists are mental health professionals who provide evaluation, diagnostic and therapeutic services to people with emotional, mental, and relationship problems. They use a variety of therapeutic approaches to help individuals, couples, families and groups cope with anxieties, stresses and life crises. In addition, they often provide consultation to business, social and educational organizations in the community.  

How Would I Find a Psychologist?
Utilize GPA’s online referral system 24/7. The system is free, easy and confidential. The database contains GPA psychologists and can be sorted by location, specialty and more. Please note that if you cannot find a psychologists that fits your exact needs, you may need to expand your search as this database only holds members. You can also find a listing for “Psychologists” in the Yellow Pages of your telephone directory or call your managed care company.  

What If I Feel I Am Not Receiving Proper Treatment?
If you believe your psychologist has been unprofessional or unethical with you, contact the Georgia State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. You can also view resources under “Public” on our website to view patient rights.  

What Is the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Psychologists and psychiatrists are doctors who often deal with similar problems of personal distress or emotional upset—one from a psychological approach, one from a medical approach. There are also other mental health professionals at the masters level, such as marriage and family therapists, social workers and counselors. Psychiatry is a medical specialty, which focuses primarily on mental disorders. In addition to treating mental disorders, psychologists may work with persons who are concerned with personal growth or who are dealing with developmental, life or situational crises.

What is a Licensed Psychologist?
Psychologists are mental health professionals who provide evaluation, diagnostic and therapeutic services to people with emotional, mental, and relationship problems. They use a variety of therapeutic approaches to help individuals, couples, families and groups cope with anxieties, stresses and life crises. In addition, they often provide consultation to business, social and educational organizations in the community.

What Training Does a Psychologist Have?

After four years of college, psychologist attend graduate school an average of five more years. Psychologists must complete two years of supervised internship in a hospital or other organized health setting as a requirement for the doctoral degree.  

What Kind of Treatment Would I Receive From a Psychologist?

Psychologists use numerous treatment methods and techniques, such as counseling psychotherapy, behavior therapy and marriage and family therapy. In addition to the initial interview, psychological tests are often used in developing a treatment plan.  

How Long Does Psychological Treatment Usually Take?

For many problems, fewer than 10 to 12 sessions is customary. When problems persist, longer-term treatment is likely. The duration of treatment should be discussed with the psychologist after the initial evaluation procedures are completed.  

Will My Health Insurance Cover the Cost?
Mental health services provided by a licensed psychologist should be covered by insurance in Georgia. You must read your contract or call your insurance or managed care company to determine the extent of your mental health insurance benefits.  

What If I Have a Physical Problem Which is Making Me Emotionally Upset?
Psychologists often work with family physicians or with medical specialists when heart attacks, surgery, pain, accidents and other physical problems lead to emotional upset requiring readjustment. In such situations, your psychologist would consult with your physician (with your permission) to develop the best overall treatment plan for you.  

What If I Need Medication?

Where medication appears to be the primary or most effective treatment, your psychologist would refer you to a physician. In most cases when medication is part of the overall treatment program, your psychologist will consult with your physician.   

If I Discuss Personal Information, Is This Confidential?

Georgia law extends the privilege of confidential communication between psychologist and their clients. Information about you will not be discussed with others without your knowledge and consent except as permitted by law. Your records will not be sent or shown to others without signed permission from you.