Types of Mental Health Professionals


Mental health services are provided by several different professionals, each of which has its own training and area of expertise. Finding the right professional(s) can be a critical ingredient in the process of diagnosis, treatment and recovery when a loved one is faced with a serious mental health challenge. Below is a brief list of common mental health professionals:

Psychiatrist
Medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses. Like other doctors, psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medication. Qualifications: state license; board eligible or board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems in children. Child/Adolescent psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medication. Qualifications: state license; board eligible or certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Psychologist
Psychologist with a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited/designated doctoral program in psychology and two years of supervised professional experience, including a yearlong internship from an approved internship. Trained to make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy. Qualifications: state license, may be certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and/or credentialed as a health service provider in psychology.

Clinical Social Worker
Counselor with a masters degree in social work from an accredited graduate program. Trained to make diagnoses and provide individual and group counseling. Qualifications: state license; may be member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

Licensed Professional Counselor
Counselor with a masters degree in psychology, counseling or a related field. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. Qualifications: state license

Mental Health Counselor
Counselor with a masters degree and several years of supervised clinical work experience. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. Qualifications: state license; certified by the National Academy of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors.

Physician’s Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
These professionals will commonly work with a medical professional to provide counseling and/or medication management for mental health problems.

Want to hear more from Set to Go? Get updates about Set to Go and other JED news.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from The Jed Foundation (JED). View our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Contact Information.

Go to Video...