Primary Therapist Career Information, Jobs, Degrees & Training Programs

Overcoming an eating disorder is extremely difficult. Sadly, most people who receive therapy for this problem relapse at some point during their lives. To ensure relapse is not severe, they often complete additional therapy. In treatment programs, people recovering from eating disorders receive specialized care designed to address underlying issues. They meet with all types of medical professionals collaborating together to design treatment plans. Since multiple specialists administer treatment, oversight is required to ensure treatment is administered efficiently. Primary therapists are responsible for overseeing patent care when multiple specialists are involved.

Primary therapists typically supervise care plans for between 6-8 patients. When overseeing patient care, they frequently meet with employees, patients, and care providers. They schedule counseling sessions, and when necessary, administer therapy themselves. When a specialist is not available to treat a patient, primary therapists are responsible for arranging treatment for the patient. For example, when treating a person overcoming an eating disorder, primary therapists arrange for food counselors, exercise therapists, and psychiatrists to treat them. In addition to ensuring patients receive the necessary treatment, they must also ensure administered treatment is effective. If patients are not progressing, they're responsible for altering treatment plans, so patients receive the help necessary to change their lives.

Primary therapists are also responsible for making sure records are maintained properly during treatment. Information recorded during treatment is often relied upon during subsequent treatment. Primary therapists often evaluate records and add comments and remove unclear or irrelevant sections. If it's necessary to alter records, primary therapists contact the therapist who made the initial report. This is done to maintain continuity and eliminate confusion.

Since they're familiar with the details of most treatment plans, primary therapists receive numerous phone calls and emails from clinic employees to answer questions and offer advice. Common questions regard medical histories, types of therapies administered, and specific details about treatment plans. They're also responsible for relaying vital information to employees. For example, when a patient experiences a panic attack, primary therapists share this information with employees administering medications, therapists treating patients, and anyone else providing patient care.

Primary therapists are responsible for supervising medical specialists and patients. Therefore, they must be excellent communicators, organizers, and managers. To qualify for a primary therapist position, you must hold a doctorate degree in psychology or be licensed as a clinical social worker, family and marriage therapist, or professional counselor.

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