When you get help for mental health, you’re likely to speak with a number of different individuals, each considered a mental health specialist. But, who are all of these people and what do they do? While there are many roles of mental health specialists, each plays an essential part in providing individual treatment in order to meet the specific treatment needs of each individual. Learning what each of these individuals do to provide you with effective treatment can help you understand more about how each person can help you reach your mental health goals. Therefore, providing you with the knowledge and encouragement you may need to trust these professionals with your care.
Before you can understand the various positions and roles that mental health specialists play, it’s helpful to first understand what a mental health specialist is. Essentially, a mental health specialist is a professional within the mental health field whose job is to help individuals living with mental health issues. They can provide a number of services, depending on their licensing, certification, training, and education. Overall, it’s important to know that these people are professionals who have dedicated their professional lives to helping people of all ages and experiences get the help they need to live better lives.
A psychiatrist is a doctor of psychiatry who has training and education in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. They can also help with the management of mental health illness symptoms by offering preventative methods or treatments. Psychiatrists complete a typical 4-year college program before moving on to medical school. Once medical school is complete, they move forward with a 4-year residency in which they practice within their specialized, chosen field, whether that be for depression, anxiety, substance use, or other mental health issues. This means that generally, psychiatrists have 12 years of higher education schooling/residency before they are considered actual, practicing psychiatrists.
A psychiatrist is who mental health patients will seek for mental health issue identification and care, as they can prescribe prescription medications and verify an accurate diagnosis. Furthermore, as a psychiatrist is a physician, they can order and perform testing and laboratory services that can pinpoint both diagnosis and effective treatments for individual patients.
While a psychiatrist is a medical doctor, a psychologist is not. However, a psychologist is a doctor of the mind. Both psychiatric and psychologist professions are within the field of psychology, but a psychologist doesn’t have the liberty to prescribe medications or make diagnoses.
Psychologists are mental health professionals who specialize in treating mental health patients. They go to medical school to obtain an education in clinical psychology. But, rather than a 4-year residency, they typically move on to work as an intern for 2 years after completing medical school.
Psychologists are the mental health professionals most people think of when they think of therapy, as they offer mental health treatment in the form of various therapy sessions. Since there are many types of therapies, it’s a psychologist’s job to understand which type of therapy will work best for patients. This way, each patient receives treatment that is best suited to their needs.
All mental health specialists aim to provide effective and successful treatment for people living with various mental health conditions. Here at Delray Center for Healing, we offer a number of psychiatric services aimed to help individuals of all kinds. To learn more about our mental health practitioners and what we do to help people living with mental health issues, contact us today.