What is the difference between a psychotherapist, psychologist and psychiatrist?

Psychotherapists are trained counselors who treat persons with emotional symptoms with counseling or psychotherapy. A psychologist has a doctoral degree in psychology. A psychiatrist has a doctor of medicine degree and specializes in psychiatry following medical training. A psychiatrist is the only psychotherapist who can prescribe medication. A psychopharmacologist is a psychiatrist who specialized in the use of medications to treat emotional symptoms. Psychopharmacology is simply the study of how medications affect the mind and thinking processes.


If I go to a psychiatrist, does that mean that I am mentally ill?

"Mentally ill" is a term usually reserved for those with severe emotional disturbances such as schizophrenia. Many individuals consult with psychiatrists for medication and therapy for transient symptoms such as stress, depression and anxiety. Most individuals in treatment with a psychiatrist are able to function normally in their everyday life and in society.


Does our team always prescribe medication?

If your condition warrants psychotherapy alone or other forms of treatment, our team will not necessarily prescribe medication.


Is information that I provide to our team confidential?

All information provided to a member of our team is confidential and can only be released with your written consent. The only exceptions to this are in the areas of child abuse, elder abuse, or threats of homicide.


Are our team's services covered by health insurance?

Our services are covered by most health insurance plans. Please have your health insurance information at hand when you call to schedule an initial evaluation. Kathy Davis, our office manager, will then check on your benefits.


How long is my first appointment?

Your initial evaluation will take about 30 minutes in most instances. If our team believes that you will benefit from medication and if you desire to try medication, we will write a prescription at that first visit. Follow-up visits are typically one month later and usually last for 15 minutes. If our team needs more time in your particular instance, we will arrange for additional time with you.


Do some emotional symptoms have a "physical" basis?

Many emotional symptoms in depression and anxiety disorders occur when the levels of certain brain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin or norepinephrine, drop below effective levels due to stress or other causes. Our current antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications help restore the natural balance of these neurotransmitters and are not addicting or habit forming.


How do I reach Dr. Hubbard or his staff?

We are available by telephone at (619) 795-7434 on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. When we are on the telephone, you will get voice mail. It may be necessary for you to leave a message and we will return your call the same day. Most of the time we are able to schedule an appointment within 24 hours of your call.