Finding the right kind of Mental Health Therapist or counselor can be quite harrowing sometimes. To make it worse, you can get confused with all the similar sounding specializations or even their general names. For instance, if you suffer from depression, should you go to a mental health counselor or a psychiatrist? To make your life easier, here are some of the common types of Mental Health Therapists, with a brief description about their specializations and training.
1. Mental Health Counselor
Generally with a master’s degree in counseling or counseling psychology, the Mental Health Counselor conducts assessments and provides psychotherapy to his patients. Most of them have attended several hours of training experience for counseling on mental health related issues. They need to procure a license from the state before starting work as an independent Mental Health Counselor.
2. Family and Marriage Therapist
This is one of the most commonly used terms in the context of counseling. With a Master's degree (M.A) or Doctoral degree (Ph.D) in marital and family therapy, Family and Marriage Therapists need to complete at least two years of clinical training under the supervision of an experienced therapist. These counselors specialize in providing assessment and psychotherapy for psychological issues existing within marital and familial relationships.
3. Social Worker
There are many social workers who are willing to help depressed people with their counseling, but not all of them are trained for the purpose. Anyone with a Bachelor's degree (a degree from a 4-year university or college, B.A., B.S., or B.S.W); or a master's degree (M.A., M.S., M.S.W, or M.S.S.W); or a doctoral degree D.S.W or Ph.D.) is allowed to work as a social worker. Therefore, it is suggested that one should consult the services of a licensed social worker who has the letters L.C.S.W. or L.I.C.S.W in his qualifications. They provide a variety of services including:
• Case management
Note: There is a restriction on their practice - they cannot prescribe medication.
Any person offering psychotherapy may be called a Psychotherapist. There is no compulsion for a psychotherapist to have obtained a formal degree in a related discipline or have completed a fixed number of months for training. One should be careful before consulting such a therapist.
Anyone with a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology can be practicing psychologist. Training is not mandatory for all of them. However, clinical and counseling psychologists do obtain special training in mental health treatment.
6. School Psychologists
School Psychologists are required to have a Master's degree in the field. Besides this, obtaining a license (issued by the state) is a must for them. A professional School Psychologist can provide the following aspect of behave issues and mental health treatment:
• Consultation with parents
• Consultation with teachers
• Consultation with school system
• Providing psychological counseling
• Developing school-wide programs
• Assessing academic skills
After knowing a little about what different therapists do, it would be easier to find the services of an appropriate counselor.