Episode 65 – Mental Illness and Diagnosis

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Did you know that if you go to therapy, you may be assigned a diagnosis, indicating you have a mental illness? What is a mental illness anyway? Why do you have to have one and be given a diagnosis to go to therapy? Is there any way to avoid this?

In this episode of The Shrink Think podcast, Nathan and Aaron answer all of these great questions in this episode all about a basic premise of psychotherapy. Listen in if you are considering starting therapy or are already seeing a therapist. You’ll want to know how this impacts you!

In This Episode


  • What is mental illness?
  • Why is the diagnosis rate so high?
  • Why is this important for you to know as the “consumer”?

What is mental illness?

  • It is a health condition involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior.
  • It is associated with distress or problems with functioning, social work and family activities.
  • At the point in which you decide you need some kind of help, you have some kind of mental illness.

Why is the diagnosis rate so high?

  • Typically, 1 in 5 people are diagnosed with a mental illness.
  • If you want your insurance to cover your therapy costs, you need to have a diagnosed illness.
  • As a therapist, you want to be able to provide your service at a lower cost, which is why you have to bill the insurance companies.

Why is this important for you to know as the “consumer”?

  • You can come to therapy just for personal growth, but if you want your insurance to pay for it, you need a diagnosis!
  • Technically, therapists cannot bill your insurance if your life isn’t being impaired by a mental illness.
  • Don’t fret if you have a diagnosed mental illness!

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Thanks for Listening!

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aaron potratz and nathan hawkins therapists standing smiling

Meet Nathan & Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

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Episode 65