Mental Health Professionals and Physicians (Intro)

Millions of people who could benefit significantly from a few visits with a mental health professional never get the chance.  This is because the psychosocial stresses they are coping with manifest primarily as physical symptoms.  When they go to a medical office, diagnostic tests are normal because the stress causes no visible damage to the body.  Most of the time, neither the physician nor the patient knows what to do next.

If you are a mental health professional (MHP) with experience in mind-body medicine and room for more clients, you might consider meeting with nearby primary care, neurology, rheumatology, gynecology and pain clinicians.  You could begin by sharing the published research (some of it cited in my earlier posts and in the next post) that shows how stress is capable of causing symptoms indistinguishable from those caused by organic disease.  The issues that cause these symptoms are common in mental health practice so you could provide a tremendous service to these patients.

My next post will be a sample letter from a MHP to a medical clinician that will illustrate how some of these ideas can be communicated in a way that establishes mutual trust.

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