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Do I need a Psychiatrist? 5 different types of helpers

October 10, 2016

 

Do I need a Psychiatrist?

I often get met with a lot of confusion when I explain that I am a therapist but not a 

psychologist-so today we are going to talk about five different disciplines within

mental health.

 

Psychiatrist-This is a person who has an M.D. They went to medical school and they

are licensed to prescribe and monitor medicines. They receive some counseling

training, but counseling or therapy is not their focus-you would generally want to

see a psychiatrist if you were looking for a specialist in psychotropic medications.

In addition to a psychiatrist, you can also get medication prescribed from a Family

Doctor(or any type of Doctor) and a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.

 

A Psychologist-is usually someone who got an PhD in clinical psychology, during

their degree they often study counseling, perform research studies, and frequently

specialize in testing and diagnosing. Or they continue to do research, teaching or

counseling in some combination.

 

Marriage and Family Therapist- Has a minimum of a Master’s degree, sometimes a

PhD-They studied individual, family and couple mental health. They often take a

more global perspective and work to do interventions to help change the system,

they have specialized training in relationships, and also treat many other disorders.

 

An LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker- they often have a bachelors degree in

Social work and continue on to get a Masters or PhD in social work. Their training is

very broad, in school they work to learn about social services, agencies, adoptions,

school settings, corrections and more. Those who want to specialize in counseling

continue that training.

 

LPC/CMHP- Licensed Practitioner of Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Provider.

This is usually a master’s degree in counseling, their schooling often focuses on

individual treatment of Mental Health Disorders such as anxiety and depression.

 

Another form of help is Life Coaches- to be a life coach you don't need to have a

specific degree or license, they might be excellent at helping people, but they do

not do therapy.  

 

All practitioners have to choose some type of focus and many specialize in one or

two areas of expertise.

Check out my video about how to choose a therapist

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