It can be hard to admit that you need help from a professional for your mental health. It can also be challenging to find the right mental health professional, but we are here to help you with that. Keep reading to find out the difference between different types of mental health professionals.
It can be hard to admit that you need help from a professional for your mental health. It can also be difficult to find the right mental health professional, but we are here to help you with that. Keep reading to find out the difference between different types of mental health professionals.
Psychiatrists typically diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders using psychiatric medicine, physical exams, and lab tests. They are a doctor with either a doctor of medicine (MD) degree or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree. General practice doctors can prescribe medication to help with mental and emotional issues, but most people prefer to go to a psychiatrist for complicated disorders. Psychiatrists’ specialties can include children, adolescents, forensic psychiatry, and learning disabilities.
A psychoanalyst follows the theories and practice of Sigmund Freud by helping others explore their repressed and unconscious impulses, anxieties, and internal conflicts. They use techniques such as free association, dream interpretation, and analysis of resistance and transference. The title and credentials are not protected by federal or state law, meaning that anyone can call themselves a psychoanalyst and advertise their services.
- Psychiatric Nurse
Psychiatric nurses specialize in mental health. They’re also known for their therapeutic relationships with the people who seek their help. They perform psychological therapy, usually administer psychiatric medication, and will often deal with challenging behavior related to mental health conditions under the supervision of a medical doctor.
A psychotherapist can be a lot of different types of mental health professionals who provide psychotherapy, including psychologists and therapists. Psychotherapy is a type of “talk therapy” used to improve mental health. It can involve therapeutic conversations, group therapy, expressive therapy, and more. One of the more popular types is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which is used to help learn how to change bad behaviors, thought patterns, or emotions.
- Mental Health Counselor
This is a broad term used to describe someone who provides counseling, and their titles can include “licensed” or “professional.” Counselors can specialize in different fields like job stress, addiction, marriages, families, and general stress.
- Family and Marriage Counselor
Family and marriage counselors specialize in issues that can arise in families and married couples. The sessions are usually focused on specific topics and reaching quick solutions. They are generally a one-on-one basis, so group sessions may be used at some points if one person’s problem affects others that are close to them, such as eating disorders or addictions.
- Addiction Counselors
This type of counselor specializes in people with addiction. Usually, it does involve substance abuse or gambling issues, but can also include sexual addictions or hoarding. It is often done in a group setting, but can also be private or with loved ones affected by the addiction.
- Religious Counselor
Religious counselors are also known as pastoral counselors and are trained to help others with a variety of issues, usually within a spiritual context. They are primarily focused on faith, marriage, family counseling, and emotional and mental problems. They are often leaders in area churches and may have extensive religion and mental health training, usually in a one-on-one or group setting.
- Art Therapist
Art therapists use methods involving creative ways like painting, sculpture, and writing to explore and help with depression, medical illnesses, past traumatic events, and addiction. Most people think it can help you express underlying thoughts and feelings that talk therapy may not expose.
- Social Worker
Social workers are public employees dedicated to helping people cope with and solve issues in their lives, including personal problems and disabilities. They may address social issues like substance abuse, housing, and unemployment, and are often involved in family disputes that involve child abuse or domestic violence. There are subtypes of social work, including child, family, school, medical and public health, mental health, and substance abuse.