HealthyLife® Students' Self-Care Guide

 Section V - Mental Health Topics

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A Therapists’ Who’s Who

Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counselor – often has a degree in either social work, psychology, or psychiatry and works in a variety of settings, including drug treatment centers and family service agencies.

Employee Assistance Professional – mental health professionals provided by employers to offer confidential services to employees and, often, to their families. These counselors can be occupational physicians, nurses, psychologists, professional counselors, social workers, and/or trained union members. They provide assessment, brief counseling, and when appropriate, referral to community resources. Some are Certified Employee Assistance Professionals (CEAP).

Social workers are professionals who can help you.Marriage Counselor or Family Therapist – has a degree in social work, psychology, or psychiatry with post-graduate study and training in marital and/or family problems.

Pastoral Counselor – a minister, priest, or rabbi who has a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Divinity (religion) and additional training in psychology or counseling. They can identify mental health problems and make appropriate referrals. Certified Pastoral Counselors have an advanced degree (masters or doctorate) in mental health and may provide counseling.

Professional Counselor – has earned masters or doctoral degree in counseling.

Psychiatric Nurse - Mental Health – holds a degree in nursing, either as a Registered Nurse (R.N.), a Bachelor’s in Nursing (B.S.N.), or a Master’s in Nursing (M.S.N.). and has specialized training in the care and treatment of psychiatric patients.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (A.P.R.N's) - can diagnose and treat persons.  This includes writing prescriptions as allowed by the state they practice in.  Examples of A.P.R.N's are Clinical Nurse Specialists (C.N.S) and Nurse Practitioners (N.P.)

Psychiatrist – a medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) who has had a three or four year residency in a psychiatric facility and is board certified in psychiatry. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication and/or medical treatments.

Psychoanalyst – a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or social worker who has had specialized training in psychoanalysis and has gone through psychoanalysis.

Psychologist – received either a doctorate degree in psychology, education, or counseling (i.e., Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D). This professional must also complete at least a one-year internship in a psychiatric hospital or mental health center and have specific training to do psychotherapy.

Social Worker – has earned a Bachelor’s Degree (B.S.), Master’s Degree (M.S.W.) or Doctoral Degree (D.S.W.) in social work. Graduate training involves coursework dealing with individual, group and family assessment and psychotherapy.


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March 16, 2007