Moving Toward Positive Change and Feeling Better

Are you ready to make a positive change in your life? You can do it, especially with a team of supporters on your side. Your physician, your mental health professional and you can work together to bring out your best.

Your Physician

Physical fitness affects all aspects of your life. When your body is not in its best shape, you are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, depression and other conditions. A key player on your team to help you improve the state of your body is your general medical provider.

Your doctor is a resource who can:

  • Discuss what types of exercise would be safe or effective for you.

  • Answer questions about symptoms you are experiencing.

  • Run screening tests.

To get the most out of a visit with your provider, come prepared with a list of topics or questions you would like to discuss.

Your primary care provider can also be a helpful resource when it comes to your mental health. In one study, 52% of visits for mental health treatment were made to a general care provider. These doctors have some training in mental healthcare, can prescribe medications and can refer patients to a specialist when the situation warrants it.

To find a physician, consult your insurance company for a list of covered providers. Local acquaintances may provide recommendations. Some practices will let you set up a getting-to-know-you appointment where you can interview a potential caregiver before making your choice.

Your Mental Health Professional

Choosing to see a mental health care provider may be a hard decision, but in the end, you’ll probably be glad you did. Mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists and licensed clinical social workers, can help you work through problems, such as anxiety, depression, fear or stress.

When visiting a mental health provider for the first time, you will probably be asked a series of questions that will help him or her understand you. Working with a counselor may be an ongoing process, and after the first session, the therapist will probably provide a recommendation about how often you should visit.

As with a visit to a general care provider, coming to the appointment prepared with a list of things you want to discuss can be a good idea. Other tips for a successful visit include:

  • Keep an open mind and a positive attitude.

  • Ask questions about the therapy process.

  • Be honest about feelings that counseling elicits, and ask for help processing them as necessary.

To select a mental health professional, consider what type of care you will need. For example, unlike many mental healthcare specialists, a psychiatrist can prescribe medication. Additionally, you may want to look into what caregivers are covered by your insurance, consult your primary care provider for recommendations and refer to the practitioner lists provided by national mental health organizations.

Yourself

The number one person on your health team is you. In fact, without you on your team, there won’t be any change at all. You are the one who will identify the need for change, make the choice to live differently, commit to the process and maintain the results. It won’t always be easy, but it will certainly be worth it. After all, you’ll also be the one who gets to enjoy the results of being the best you that you can be!

To move from where you are to where you want to be, WebPsychology’s Positive Psychology section can help. The articles, videos and analysis tools will walk you through the rewarding process of personal growth.