By Lindsey Danisch, RSW and provider of psychotherapy
Myth: Only crazy people or people with severe issues receive psychotherapy.
Everyday, people seek therapy for a range of reasons. Some pursue psychotherapy for treatment of anxiety or depression. But others want help coping with life stressors or transitions like martial strain or separation, parenting challenges, the loss of a job, stress management or conflict at work. Others may need help managing and balancing work and family responsibilities, coping with an aging parent, or improving relationship skills. By learning problem solving skills and coping strategies, anyone (young and old) can benefit from psychotherapy. I work with both adults, teens and children.
Myth: Social Workers only work in Hospitals, Schools, and for the Children’s Aid Society.
Registered Social Workers are able to work in a variety of settings and have different and unique areas of specialty. While it’s true that Social Workers can work in the above settings, they are not limited to those. Social Workers can also provide Psychotherapy (talk therapy). Depending on their schooling, experiences, and certifications, Social Workers can work as Clinical Therapists, again, offering Psychotherapy. Unlike a Psychologist, they cannot diagnose clients with disorders, nor can they prescribe medication like a Psychiatrist. Therefore, they often offer lower rates for therapy and are more accessible in the community. Unfortunately, at this time, Registered Social Worker Psychotherapy services are not covered under OHIP. Hopefully in time, this will change.
Myth: Talking to family members or friends is just as helpful as going to a Social Worker/Provider of Psychotherapy.
When you’re having a difficult time, support from trusted family and friends is very beneficial. Social Workers have a Masters Degree of Social Work, specialized training and experience that make them experts in treating and understanding complex problems and issues. Therapy is more than someone just listening, or offering advice. Clinical Social Workers can point out behaviors or thought patterns that may be negatively impacting coping or decision-making. They are a natural party, able to talk through complex issues in a confidential setting.
Lindsey is a Registered Social Worker working at Innate Wellness, High Park. After nine years as a High School Special Education teacher, Lindsey shifted careers and received her Masters in Social Work in Mental Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She connects with struggling children and teenagers (and their parents), as well as with individual adults looking to make changes in their life. Lindsey previously worked as a Social Worker at The Hospital for Sick Children and currently works at St. Josephs Health Centre in the Emergency Department. Additionally, Lindsey has been working for Chicago-based company, Smart Dating Academy since 2011, as a dating writer and coach. She coaches and supports singles on their dating journey on a daily basis.