Seeking professional mental health help can often feel daunting and unnerving. You may feel stressed knowing who to turn to and what each mental health professional can provide. Is your best bet a psychiatrist? a psychologist? or a therapist? It is important to not let this put you off as professional help is highly likely to have a positive effect on your life. Knowing where to turn when consulting with a therapist or licensed professional is crucial for being able to access the help that you need.
What Is A Psychologist?
A psychologist will have a minimum degree in psychology and will more often than not, have undertaken advanced studies in the same field such as a doctorate or Ph.D. They will carry out extensive research on various psychology-related topics and will work closely with fellow researchers or as faculty for higher education institutions.
The job of a psychologist is to observe and diagnose patients to determine what treatments and/or therapies they may need. They have a key role in providing support and guidance to enable patients to make decisions, understand what they’re going through and be able to comprehend what they need to do so they can better manage their emotions.
When it comes to tackling problems faced by new clients, psychologists commonly work with a psychiatrist to get to the root cause of the issue. It is the psychiatrist, not the psychologist, who can prescribe medication so both professions complement each other well.
What Is A Therapist?
On the other hand, therapists can encompass a number of different professions such as social work. The actual term therapist can encompass a variety of professions ranging from social care to different kinds of counsellors. Typically, therapists will have a degree in psychology or social work and whilst they ordinarily do not conduct their own, independent research, they will often make contributions and write for research-based publications. Their primary job is to evaluate, and treat people who are suffering from emotional and mental disorders.
Therapists provide their patients with non-directive advice which means that the direction of the treatment plans they provide relies on the ever-evolving needs of their clients. Whilst it is their job to provide guidance and support, the advantages of a therapist can often be limited by their area of expertise or level of qualification. There are a number of different types of therapists including
– Family therapists
– Marriage/relationship therapists
– Substance abuse/addiction therapists
– Social workers
– Child therapists
– Grief/loss therapists
– Group therapists