Deciphering Mental Health Care
Mental health is a foundational part of life, however, it can be difficult to find the right provider among the sea of different professionals. There are several different types of mental health professionals including:
- Professional Counselors
- Clinical Social Workers
Complementary Approaches to Mental Health Care: Talk Therapy & Psychiatry
Counselors, psychologists, and social workers provide talk therapy, while psychiatrists prescribe medications. Thus, people who take psychiatric medications, like anti-depressants, often work with a psychiatrist in addition to another mental health professional who specializes in talk therapy. While any general care physician can prescribe psychiatric medications, psychiatrists have special training and a lot of experience focused just on mental health. Similarly, some psychiatrists provide talk therapy, however, these psychiatrists may not have the same training, experience, and skill with talk therapy as a counselor, psychologist, or social worker.
Research shows that talk therapy can have numerous mental health benefits including treating mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. However, talk therapy isn't just for people who are going through challenging times. Talk therapy can be useful for people who are facing major life decisions or who want to live deeper, more meaningful lives.
There are many different types of talk therapists, all with different training, skills, professional licenses, and other credentials. Commonalities, like confidentiality and building an empathetic relationship, exist across all mental health professions, however, different professions can also have unique skills due to differences in training models and professional philosophies.
- What is counseling, and how can it help.
- Credentials (LPC, NCC, LCSW, Psychologist, etc.)
- Talk therapy
- In person v. distance