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Many mental health specialists can help magnetic couples
Apr 23, 2011

Hi, Dr. Bob,

Absolutely love your column. Great answer to "Magnetic Couple--overflowing love but so much stress." I know that you are aware from previous answers that many licensed mental health specialists--psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses--besides psychiatrists are available to people with HIV. But, you suggested only that this writer see a psychiatrist for what is in this case a nonmedical problem--irrational fear of infection even through protected heterosexual intercourse. Given the limited numbers of psychiatrists, their contemporary trainiing that emphasizes pharmacological approaches rather than talking therapies or a combination, and the often prohibitive cost of seeing a psychiatrist rather than one of the more affordable alternatives among other licensed mental health specialists, it might useful to use the term "licensed mental health professional" when prescription medications are not indicated. Thanks for all your great work, compassion, and humor!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Point well taken. I guess typing "psychiatrist" was just quicker than "HIV-knowledgable licensed mental health professional." I promise to be more inclusive in my subsequent responses. Although many of the totally looney tunes fluffernutters (does that terminology have a DMS-IV code?) who write into this forum probably need both pharmacologic intervening and psychotherapeutic counseling!

Dr. Bob



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