4 Different Types of Mental Health Professionals You Should Know

interpersonal psychotherapists

Mental health is just as important as physical health, but many people don’t regard it as such. According to Mental Health First Aid, more than 46% of all Americans will suffer from a mental health disorder. To provide care, there are several types of mental health professionals that are each trained in a different discipline. If you are struggling with mental health or want to consult with a professional, you should first learn what type of interpersonal psychotherapists are available.

Psychologists

Psychologists are the most common type of interpersonal psychotherapist. They have doctoral degrees in clinical psychology and some have also studied counseling and therapy. A psychologist can diagnose a mental disorder through constant clinical interviews, which is why they’re often the first interpersonal psychotherapists most people see when they have a mental health disorder. Along with private practice, some psychologists are also academics who teach at universities, conduct experiments, and publish papers in their research fields.

Therapists

Therapists and counselors are health care professionals who treat a patient over the course of weekly or monthly sit-down sessions. These interpersonal psychologists work in different fields based on their professional training. Some therapists work as clinicians, some work in education, and others work in private practices. Counselors are commonly found in the health offices at public and private schools, universities, and some health clinics. Today, online therapy is also available.

Psychiatrists

Similar to psychologists, a psychiatrist holds a PhD and MD degree. However, the additional education required for psychiatrists means they can officially diagnose patients and prescribe them medication. They will also communicate deeply with their patients during conversational therapy to get at the root of their problems and develop coping strategies that they can use in tandem with medication to feel better. Psychiatry can be just as specific as any other health discipline. Some professionals will choose to assess teenagers and adolescents while others may focus in geriatric psychiatry, which takes certain age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia into account.

Primary Care Physicians

A primary care physician can prescribe medication to help treat mental disorders even if they are not necessarily a trained psychologist. In health care clinics, there will often be psychologists in the same ward or office as the primary doctors. That way, the medical professionals can refer patients to one another at the patients’ convenience. A primary care doctor’s general knowledge of mental health is often helpful for patients who aren’t looking for an intense therapeutic process but still want to address their mental health concerns.

Mental health is a serious matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Knowing what type of interpersonal psychotherapist is right for you is important to consider before meeting with a medical professional. For more information about mental health professionals, call SouthEnd Psychiatry today or explore the talk therapy and medication management services on our website. We look forward to working with you.