Where can I go to find therapy?
Different kinds of therapy are more effective based on the nature of the mental health condition; however, there are different types of therapies that can work. (See Resources section of website for local providers).
Where can I learn about types of mental health treatment?
Mental health conditions are often treated with medication, therapy or a combination of the two. Treatment is very personal and should be discussed with the person with the mental health condition and his or her team. Psychotherapy is the therapeutic treatment of mental illness provided by a trained mental health professional. Psychotherapy explores thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and seeks to improve an individual’s well-being. Psychotherapy paired with medication is the most effective way to promote recovery. Examples include: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
What are the different types of mental health professionals?
There are many types of mental health professionals and finding the right one for individuals requires some research. Feeling comfortable with the professional you choose is very important to the success of your treatment. Click here to help you understand the differences between services provided
The following mental health professionals can provide psychological assessments and therapy; however, cannot generally prescribe medications (although some states will allow it):
- Clinical Psychologist – A psychologist with a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited/designated program in psychology. Psychologists are trained to make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy.
- School Psychologist – A psychologist with an advanced degree in psychology from an accredited/designated program in School Psychology. School Psychologists are trained to make diagnoses, provide individual and group therapy, and work with school staff to maximize efficiency in the schools setting.
The following mental health professionals can provide counseling; however, cannot prescribe medication:
- Clinical Social Worker – A counselor with a masters degree in social work from an accredited graduate program. Trained to make diagnoses, provide individual and group counseling, and provide case management and advocacy; usually found in the hospital setting.
- Licensed Professional Counselor – A counselor with a masters degree in psychology, counseling or a related field. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.
- Mental Health Counselor – A counselor with a masters degree and several years of supervised clinical work experience. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.
- Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor – Counselor with specific clinical training in alcohol and drug abuse. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.
- Nurse Psychotherapist – registered nurse who is trained in the practice of psychiatric and mental health nursing. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.
- Marital and Family Therapist – counselor with a masters degree, with special education and training in marital and family therapy. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.
- Pastoral Counselor – clergy with training in clinical pastoral education Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling.
- Peer Specialist– counselor with lived experience with mental health or substance use conditions. Assists clients with recovery by recognizing and developing strengths, and setting goals. Many peer support programs require several hours of training.
Other Therapists – therapist with an advance degree trained in specialized forms of therapy. Examples include art therapist, music therapist.
The following mental health professionals can prescribe medication; however, they may not provide therapy:
- Psychiatrist– A medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, but they often do not counsel patients.
- Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist – A medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems in children. Child and Adolescent psychiatrists can also precribe medication; however, they may not provide psychotherapy.
- Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – A registered nurse practitioner with a graduate degree and specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illness.
Additionally, your Primary Care Physician, Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practiotioner (depending on your state) are often qualified to provide medication.
What is a support group?
Many people find peer support a helpful tool to aid in their recovery. There are a variety of organizations that offer support groups for consumers, their family members and friends. Some support groups are peer-led while others may be led by a mental health professional.
Where can I learn more information about clinical trials?
Sometimes consumers of mental health services may consider participating in a research study when they have not experienced improvement despite having tried a variety of medications and treatments. Research studies (also known as clinical trials) may involve the use of new medications or new treatment approaches whose safety and effectiveness is being tested. Consumers however should be cautioned that there are risks associated with clinical trials – make sure you are aware of them before you enroll.
Source: Mental Health America