Questions to Your Physician or Psychotherapist
According to ongoing research about the needs of patients with emotional problems misinformation or shame to speak about the problem with the doctor or psychotherapist is a major limitation to treatment success. However, transparency, good information and participation in the course of the therapy is the most important factor for a lasting positive result. Maybe the following list of the most relevant questions might help you to get good information about your personal somatic or psychological problems, diagnosis and treatment options.
This list, however, might help you to be prepared for the right questions :
1. Is there a name (clinical diagnosis) for my problem?
2. What are typical symptoms (somatic and psychological)?
3. What are the causes of the problem or the disorder?
4. What is the typical experience of other patients with this kind of problem or disorder?
5. What could I do myself to achieve a solution?
6. What kind of further technical diagnosis is necessary to exclude other organic disorders?
7. What is the aim of these diagnosis? Are there any possible risks?
8. What kind of treatment options (drugs, psycho-social help, different psychotherapy-methods, biological treatment options) exist for my problem?
9. What kind of advantage can be achieved with the treatment (and how long does it take)?
10. What is the goal of suggested clinical diagnostic process
11. What kind of different treatment options are available?
12. What will be realistic advantages of a positive therapy outcome?
13. Can the treatment offer me a reduction of my complaints?
14. How long will it take to achieve first positive results?
15. What might be the influence on my feelings or personality?
16. Are there any negative consequences for my sexuality?
17. Are there risks or possible side effects of the treatment?
18. Do you think my problems will reoccur? Is it a chronic disorder?
19. What kind of information is relevant for people, who care for me?
20. Is there anything I could do myself to accelerate my rehabilitation?
21. How do I get additional information?
22. Are there self-help groups for my problem?
This is a rather comprehensive list of questions and you must not expect to get a quick answer within a short time. But it might be a start to get the answers you need. Reading books and using the internet to find reliable information related to your personal problems is a great support for you and your doctor.
About The Author
Dr. Martin Winkler is a German medical doctor and psychotherapist. He is medical coordinator of an EU-funded project called web4health.info, a multilingulal question-answering webpage with more than 900 FAQs related to psychotherapy and mental wellbeing (to read more visit http://web4health.info)
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