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Kathryn L. Vennie, MS

Find real help for life's problems!

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1. What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?


A psychologist spends all of the years of graduate education learning about human development, behavior and mental health, as well as diagnosing and treating mental illness. A psychologist may have an MS, MA, PhD, or PsyD degree.


A psychiatrist goes through all the same training as any medical doctor and then goes on for specialized residency training in psychiatry after receiving either an MD or DO degree in medicine.


2. Do you prescribe medications?


No, psychologists cannot prescribe medications in Pennsylvania at this time. In some states they have recently become licensed to do so after receiving additional special training. If you require medication, I will collaborate with your prescribing physician.


3. Is treatment confidential?


Confidentiality has always been an essential aspect of psychotherapy. The relationship between a psychologist and patient is called a “privileged” relationship. The privilege is something only the patient can release except under certain very special circumstances. Written releases are required to share information except in dire emergencies.


4. How do I get an appointment?


You may call the office at any time and I will respond to schedule a mutually convenient time to see you.


5. Do I need a referral from my doctor?


This is rarely required. Your doctor may make a direct referral to my office if s/he feels you need someone to talk to about your problems. Your insurance company may require a “pre-authorization” before you seek services. This can be obtained by calling the customer service number on the back of your insurance card. Some companies require that you already have the appointment date and time before giving the authorization.


6. If I don’t see my insurance company listed on your website, how can I check to see if you participate?


In most cases, you will find a provider directory on your insurance company website. Just type in my name where it says “search by name”. If I participate, my name, address and phone number will come up.


7. How long does therapy take?


Well, that depends! Some people really need to work through a lot of issues and may be in therapy for a longer time. Others need just a brief bit of help to get going on the right track.


8. How can I tell if therapy will work?


The important thing to remember is that you get out of therapy what you put into it. If you are a serious client, and work hard at making changes, you have a good chance of seeing results rather quickly.


9. Doesn’t going to therapy mean you’re weak or crazy?


Absolutely not! Getting into therapy means that you have the ability to understand that you need some help at this stage of your life. That shows intelligence and a willingness to do what is needed to make things better for yourself and those around you. There is nothing weak or crazy about it.