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Can a therapist make a firm diagnosis, or can s/he only "be comfortable with" saying someone has a certain disorder?
 

David Baxter

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Sometimes, there is little or no question about the diagnosis and one can be quite confident. Other times, a practitioner will provide a "provisional" or "working" diagnosis, which may even include certain "rule out" suggestions.

It really depends on how clear cut the symptoms are and whether there are sympsoms of more than one issue or disorder.
 

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Ok but "legally" or "ethically" - it is possible - it's not like one would have to be referred to a psychiatrist instead of a psychologist for a true - on paper - diagnosis?
 

David Baxter

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Oh, I see what you're asking.

In Canada, only certain professionals have the legal right to "convey a diagnosis". For mental health issues, these include psychologists, psychiatrists, and other physicians.
 

comfortzone

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It depends upon the situation. In the US, one must have a certain level of licensure to diagnose. Right now LCPCs, LCSWs, Licensed Psychologists and Psychiatrists (of course physicians) can diagnosis. Ethically, if a person has not had the training to diagnosis then they should not be doing so as it would be outside of their area of competency.

I don't know how things are done in Canada. As David said, a therapist can diagnosis provisionally, and the personality disorders can be used but instead of the full disorder, one can use PD features.
 

David Baxter

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Yeah but I misspelled "mental health"... eeek!

Social workers don't have the legal authority to diagnose in Canada. I'm not sure what a LCPS is...
 

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Ok - that helps. I wasn't sure if a Chartered Psychologist could make a diagnosis; for some reason I thought only a psychiatrist or person with medical training could, but apparently not!

Thanks!
 

comfortzone

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I noticed the metal health! HEHE!

BG...Master level therapists in the US can diagnosis. Physicians can but I think they should have mental health training to diagnosis. Psychologists tend to have more experience in terms of diagnosis than other master level clinicians.
 

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I probably could have diagnosed myself on this! I have 16 of 24 symptoms for PTSD. To me it's a no brainer, to my therapist it's a no brainer...sometimes...it's just a no brainer!!!
 

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