Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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Also, what kind of doctor should I go to for this? Psychologist? Therapist? Shrink?
To get an asperger's diagnosis as an adult, I would see a psychiatrist who specializes in developmental disabilities. The Autism Speaks website has resources, including autism docs in your area. I wouldn't be shy about calling someone who listed his/her specialty as children and adolescents and asking for an assessment.
At a minimum, the assessment should include the administration of one or more formal diagnostic tools for autism spectrum disorders, and a discussion with you about your symptoms. They will probably give you an IQ test . They might want to give you an MMPI to rule out other pathology.
There are many types of psychology professionals. You really need to check their education to find out what type you're dealing with.
In my state, someone who describes himself or herself as a "psychologist" usually has a PhD or PsyD in psychology. A "therapist" is usually someone who has a masters in psychology or another field that allows them to take the licensing exam to be a licensed professional counselor. After enough clinic hours, they can upgrade the LPC license to LCPC, licensed clinical professional counselor. You can also get counseling from a licensed social worker.
That's not a hard and fast rule, but around here most people who call themselves a psychologist have a doctorate and most people who call themselves a therapist or a counselor have a masters. I've heard masters levels professionals describe themselves as psychologists, though. A "shrink" is a usually a psychiatrist who has been to medical school and has an MD. They usually do diagnosis and prescribing, but around here don't do a ton of therapy or counseling. You can also get drugs from a family doctor or from a nurse practitioner who specializes in mental health.
For day to day counseling, I think talent in counseling and insight matters more than education. For diagnostic purposes, I'd want the best educated person (PhD level) person with the most experience I could find.