Diagnosing in Therapy: Pros and cons of being diagnosed by your therapist




Many individuals seek out therapy for several reasons: stress, anxiety, depression, etc. What people may not know, is that many therapists will typically diagnose you, the client, with a clinical diagnosis that could potentially follow you in several ways, and could also hurt you in the future.

What is a diagnosis?

A diagnosis is the identification of several symptoms that typically occur together. For example, a therapist may diagnose their client with depression when they experience frequent tearfulness, feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest in things they used to enjoy, and fatigue. It should also be noted that diagnosing is sometimes helpful for a therapist to do, in order to find the right treatment options for their client. It is important to note, that being diagnosed in therapy, is actually pretty common. Although it is common practice, that doesn’t mean that it is best practice for your therapist to formally diagnose you unless they have conducted psychological testing.

Does every therapist diagnose their client?

Not every therapist will diagnosis their client. Some therapists will see no need for a diagnosis, others may feel the need to diagnose their client for insurance reimbursement reasons. For example, major label insurance companies require a diagnose to judge whether or not services are worthy of reimbursement or not. If being diagnosed is something you’re uncomfortable with, be sure to speak to your therapist. Many individuals will choose to pay for therapy through cash and avoid their insurance to prevent “attainable records” of their treatment.

Why would being diagnosed be a “bad” thing?

For many individuals who are seeing a therapist under their insurance or for those who are court-involved, their mental health records may be more accessible that others. With that being said, your mental health records could be stored through the insurance billing process or, for those who are court-involved, the records may be subpoenaed. For example, if you’re a parent who is currently litigating in a custody battle, the last thing you would want, is your mental health records to state a history of “depression” or “Bipolar Disorder”… these things could potentially hurt your case. 

Additionally, there is always the social stigmas or “labels” behind certain diagnosis. For example, for those who suffer from Bipolar Disorder, there is the stigma of being “emotionally unstable.” Bottom line, talk to your therapist if you would like to avoid having a documented diagnosis.

I have a mental health diagnosis that I don’t want! What do I do?

If you feel that you have been wrongfully diagnosed (which does happen!) there is always the option of getting a full psychological evaluation to rule out any diagnosis that you may have been wrongfully labeled with. A psychological evaluation conducted by a licensed psychologist will always supersede any diagnosis made by a regular therapist because of the extensive testing conducted.

Overall, you have options if you feel as though you have been wrongfully diagnosed, or if you feel you the need to seek out therapy, without the labels or stigmas. Give us a call today to find out what service would fit you best: 561-429-2140






Date: November 17th, 2014 | Categories: Uncategorized | By: | Comments: 0

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