Do I Need a Therapist, a Psychologist, or a Psychiatrist in Kingsport, TN?

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The terms “therapist,” “psychologist,” and “psychiatrist” are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to distinct professions. These professionals often collaborate closely to enhance a patient’s mental health, providing a network of support and expertise. It’s crucial to understand the unique contributions each profession brings to this collaborative effort. 

Tri-Star Counseling, a renowned and trusted name in the field of mental health services across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, is here to guide you in selecting the most suitable professional for your health needs. Whether you require a therapist, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist in Kingsport, TN, we are here to help you understand the differences in these fields and how each can cater to your specific requirements. 

What is a Therapist?

In Tennessee and Virginia, mental health services are provided by Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Licensed Master-Level Social Workers, who are commonly referred to as therapists. These professionals hold master’s degrees and are approved by their licensing boards. They are authorized to offer mental health diagnoses, create treatment plans, and provide a range of therapeutic services. 

Tri-Star Counseling therapists offer different types of therapy to meet various needs, including: 

Numerous techniques are used in these therapies as needed, such as ACT, mindfulness, defusion, and Brainspotting. However, therapists cannot prescribe medication but may refer you for evaluation for medication or other treatments.

When embarking on your therapeutic journey, your Tri-Star Counseling therapist will take a comprehensive approach. They will inquire about your reasons for seeking therapy, your concerns, and any symptoms you’re experiencing. You may also be asked to fill out questionnaires and provide details about your childhood, education, work history, current relationships, and long-term goals. Together, you and your therapist will establish goals and work towards achieving them. The duration and setting of therapy will be tailored to your specific needs.

What is a Psychologist?

Psychologists are experts in behaviors and mental processes, including emotional and cognitive processes, interactions with the environment, and interpersonal relationships. They help individuals understand and manage various life challenges and mental health struggles. Psychologists diagnose and treat learning disabilities, mental disorders, and behavioral problems, offering treatment in individual, family, or group settings.

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is the most common form of treatment provided by psychologists. They also assist patients in coping with stressful events, overcoming addictions, and managing illnesses. People often seek counseling or treatment from psychologists for issues such as traumatic experiences, bereavement, or chronic anxiety.

One key distinction between psychologists and psychiatrists is that psychologists are not medical doctors and do not have a medical degree. They are not trained in general medicine and cannot prescribe medication.

What is a Psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists specialize in studying, diagnosing, preventing, and treating mental, emotional, behavioral, and developmental problems. However, psychiatrists are medical doctors with a degree in medicine. They diagnose mental disorders, focus on chemical imbalances in the brain, and can assess a disorder’s physical, emotional, and mental effects. 

Psychiatrists can prescribe medication, and while they may provide some counseling, they often refer a patient to a psychologist or therapist for mental health therapy or counseling.

Do I Need a Psychiatrist in Kingsport, TN?

Many people are unclear whether they need a psychiatrist in Kingsport, TN, or a therapist. Tri-Star Counseling is the place to begin when you need mental health assistance. Our therapists can evaluate your needs and provide services, resources, and recommendations for the best course of action. While our therapists do not prescribe medication for mental health conditions, we partner with several area psychiatrists to provide top-quality mental health care. 

Psychiatric care and effective mental health therapy go hand in hand. A Time Magazine article exploring the efficacy of mental health care in the United States revealed, “One of the best predictors of success in therapy, research has shown, is the relationship between patient and provider—which may explain why it can feel like a crapshoot, with some people leaving their sessions feeling enlightened and empowered and others feeling the same as when they walked in.”

Tri-Star Counseling therapists are eminently personable and relatable, as they are real people, too. You will find them easy to talk with, and they are great listeners. Schedule an appointment today at our Colonial Heights office, just minutes from Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City. 

Hear From Our Clients

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"Tri-Star Counseling has been a lifesaver during a tough time. The team's compassion and personalized approach made all the difference. I highly recommend for anyone seeking transformative mental health support. I am so grateful that I found them!"
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"Brent is an amazing therapist! I highly recommend utilizing brainspotting with him. Definitely worth checking out Tri-Star!!"
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"Tri-Star Counseling is phenomenal! You will not be disappointed I promise!"

Discover How We Can Help

Tri-Star Counseling accepts referrals from many providers across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia along with several popular insurance plans. Our Colonial Heights office on Fort Henry Drive is easily accessible and just a short drive from almost anywhere in the Tri-Cities. Contact us today at 423-430-9687 to schedule your first appointment and take the first step towards a brighter future.

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Call or message us today. Share some information with a team member and schedule a consultation with us in Colonial Heights, Tennessee, just off Interstate 81.


4012 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee 37663, United States