Types of Mental Health Professionals

If you have a mental health ailment and you wish to seek professional help to treat your disorder, then there are numerous options available to you.

Regardless of the type of mental health condition you may have, you can select a mental health professional who is best qualified to handle your specific needs. Recovering from a mental health condition can be made easier with the assistance of a certified professional who can guide you through the process successfully.

You can gain access to a mental health professional through various avenues available in your area. You can choose to receive treatment at a hospital, psychiatric facility or a community mental health clinic. You may also be able to find a mental health professional with the aid of a school counselor, regardless of your education level. Middle schools, high schools and colleges often provide onsite counselors for students who need assistance with a mental health illness.

Mental Health Professionals for Therapeutic Treatment

For those who have a mental health illness and wish to seek therapy as a form of treatment, there are several mental health professionals who fall under the category of therapeutic care. When you see a therapist for assistance with a mental health ailment, you will not be able to receive prescriptions from this type of mental health professional. Therapists, psychologists, counselors and clinicians are not allowed to prescribe medication for mental health patients. However, mental health professionals who offer therapeutic care can provide guidance and will offer you the ability to speak about the issues you are dealing with through counseling.

When choosing a new mental health professional specializing in therapy, you will want to consider what each individual offers before determining what type of professional will best meet your needs. Assessment professionals include:

  • Therapists who will help you to cope with and understand your thoughts, feelings and disorder. He or she will also assist you in achieving long-term and short-term goals and provide you with coping mechanisms that promote positive mental health. A therapist is qualified to assess your mental condition and can diagnose a mental health disorder as well.
  • Psychologists have received a doctoral degree after extensively studying psychology at the collegiate level. A psychologist is qualified to evaluate your mental health through a series of psychological testing. These tests can include psychological evaluations and clinical interviews. You can receive individual therapy sessions or group therapy sessions with a psychologist. A good resource for finding and getting mental health treatment is Psychology Today’s directory. Plug in your zip code and find listings for both psychologists and therapists near you.
  • Counselors have received a master’s degree and can use therapeutic methods to assist you with your mental health ailment. The techniques used by a counselor will vary depending upon the training program he or she completed to receive a degree. Receiving help from a counselor can assist you in reducing mental health symptoms as well as finding improved ways of thinking and feeling on a consistent basis.
  • Clinical social workers have received a master’s degree and are trained in handling case management services and advocacy services in addition to providing therapeutic techniques. Clinical social workers will need to receive licensure as a social worker as well as completing a training program designed to help individuals with mental health disorders.

Mental Health Professionals Who Can Prescribe Medication

If you want to begin receiving mental health treatment from a professional who is capable of prescribing medication when necessary, then you will want to research local psychiatrists in your area. Certified psychiatrists can offer a variety of services for individuals who are suffering from mental health conditions. To become a psychiatrist, an individual must complete extensive psychiatric training. A psychiatrist is considered a licensed medical doctor who can diagnose mental health disorders, prescribe medication for mental health disorders and monitor existing prescriptions you have already received. To look for a professional near you, go to the American Psychiatric Association’s site where you can locate a licensed psychiatrist in your area.

For those who want to receive prescriptions for mental health medications without speaking to a psychiatrist to do so, you will need to arrange a meeting with your primary care physician. Your primary care physician will work with you to determine what prescriptions may work best in treating your mental health condition. He or she is qualified to prescribe medication for you once he or she deems it necessary to treat the mental health illness you are suffering from. However, to ensure you are getting the best treatment possible, you may want to consider working with a primary care physician who specializes in mental health conditions. If your current doctor is not specialized in this area, then he or she may be able to direct you to a doctor who is.

Other Mental Health Professionals You Can Seek Help From

You can seek help from additional mental health professionals if you are looking for guidance from a certain type of counselor. If you are struggling with a mental health condition or a substance abuse disorder, then you can speak with a certified peer specialist to address your illnesses properly. Certified peer specialists and trained to assist with the recovery process when an individual is suffering from a substance abuse disorder. Working with a certified peer specialist can help you to set, develop and reach personal and professional goals. He or she can also act as a mentor to you throughout your recovery.

Social workers are considered mental health professionals, as they are qualified to provide mental health services in a variety of ways. Social workers can oversee:

  • Placement services.
  • Inpatient discharge planning services.
  • Case management.
  • Healthy living services.

Social workers commonly provide services to youth patients who are undergoing the process of being removed from the care of a parent or guardian. Children can often suffer mental health conditions as the result of this upheaval and social workers can help guide the children through this difficult time.

If you are a faithful individual, then seeking help from a pastoral counselor could prove beneficial if you do not wish to seek assistance from a counselor outside the faith. Pastoral counselors are members of the clergy who are trained in pastoral clinical counseling education. The education received by pastoral counselors can sometimes equate to a doctoral degree in clinical studies if the counselor has studied enough to obtain this level. A pastoral counselor can offer guidance, support and diagnoses.

It might also interest you: