Being a teen in today’s world is harder than it has ever been. Maybe you have noticed off behavior in your teen that has you concerned and you are seeking help and guidance. There are therapists, counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists but with so many options, how do you know the best option for your teen and what is the difference between these professionals? How do you know when your teen needs a psychiatrist? Here at WHOA, we would like to provide you with some information so that you will know how to best help your teen. 


When people often speak of a “therapist” or counselor, they could be referring to a number of mental health professionals. A true licensed therapist is one who has a Master’s degree and sees clients in an office setting. Therapists offer a practical approach for clients to work through their problems. They help the client develop coping skills for depression, anxiety, and other strong emotions through the use of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and other researched based therapy techniques. Therapists can diagnose and help with mental health issues, but they are not able to prescribe medications. 


Similar to therapists, psychologists also serve as a listening ear and provide help and coping skills through counseling. Psychologists are educated further and are qualified to do more special testing to diagnose specific mental health and learning problems. These include ADHD, autism, learning disabilities or other issues that may be affecting your teens education. Psychologists are often used for testing, diagnosing and helping to develop a plan of treatment for those who are struggling in school. They are not doctors and are unable to prescribe medications. 


The biggest difference between psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists, is that psychiatrists have added education and experience that earns them a medical degree and the ability to prescribe medications. They study chemistry and biology along with psychology so they better understand how medications affect the brain. 

They often work with other mental health care providers when they feel a client may benefit from medication. Initial visits may be frequent to establish the best treatment plan but once that is established, meetings with a psychologist may be months apart, all the while the client is still seeing their other mental health provider on a regular basis. 

How do you know it is time for your teen to see a psychiatrist? When is it time to take the next step and seek more help? If any of these situations apply to you or your teen, consider seeking the help of a psychiatrist.

  • Your teen has been in therapy for a while and still struggles with behaviors and moods and wonders if medication could help.
  • Your child’s pediatrician, therapist, or another professional in your child’s life has suggested that medication might be helpful.
  • You have questions about medications and wonder if they are right for your child, and you’d like to talk about your options with someone knowledgeable.
  • You need someone to help you select the right medication and dosage for your child and keep an eye out for side effects.

If you are seeking a psychiatrist for teens in Goochland VA, here at WHOA we can help you. We offer psychiatric services for teens as well as adults. We also offer many other mental health services such as:

  • Cognitive Evaluations
  • Equine Therapy Program
  • Outpatient Services
  • Treatment For SAIOP
  • Mental Health Skill Building
  • Intensive In-Home
  • Crisis Stabilization
  • Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
  • Group Therapy

We also offer services via telehealth so that we are better able to serve people across the state. We care about you and your family’s well-being and want to help you find the right provider and service. Contact us to find out how we can help your teen. 

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