Talking Therapy: Professionals
When looking for someone to talk to its hard to figure out who is the right person to call. There are so many different types of professionals who work in mental health and many different techniques used to help improve the lives of their patients. Of course, it also depends on the individual that you see, there needs to be a rapport between you enabling open communication. There is no shame in talking to someone if you need a little extra help. This is a stressful huge life change and can require some adjusting. Mental health professionals are caring, openminded and non-judgement. All these professionals have a wide array of knowledge and techniques to help you through.
I am going to break down these the most common qualification the best I can to help you decide who to approach for support.
Psychologist: This is a professional that I have used several times and really like their approach and techniques. They often have a degree but can have qualifications right up to a PHD. They are not a medically trained doctor and will not prescribe or manage medication. They assess, diagnose, and treat mental, emotional, and behavioural disorders with a wide variety of techniques. Their studies are focused around behaviour and brain function.
Psychiatrist: These are the medically trained profession of mental health. They work in preventing, diagnosing, and managing mental, emotional, and behavioural disturbances. Often of the more severely affected patients. Their role also includes the prescribing and management of medication, and even the admission of patients when necessary. They work in the both the community and hospital settings where they overview the care of their patients.
Therapist: This is a professional who has a masters or doctorate, with their degree most commonly in psychology. They work to diagnose and treat many different mental health disorders though supporting the patient to reflect and make positive changes. Their main roles include listening, counselling, and tracking progress. I discuss about this further in Talking Therapy: Professionals.
Social worker: A social worker is most commonly a degree qualification but can work up to a masters when specialising. They are a more practical approach in care with support through counselling and help with different issues within the system such as government payments and services. They help diagnose and treatment mental health conditions through individual, family, and group therapies. As well as providing programmes for anxiety, depression, and family problems.
Mental health nurse: Similar to social worker, a mental health nurse is also commonly a degree and can also work up to a masters and is also more of a practical support. They work in of areas including hospitals and in homes where they manage, evaluate, and assess physical and mental health. Working closely with the patient and their family to council and educate. Their role also includes the development and execution of mental health plans and the administration of medication.
Counsellor: This profession often has a diploma or a degree in counselling. This enables them to teach methods to manage and overcome different mental and emotional issues. They develop treatment plans and have knowledge of many different coping strategies.
There are many subcategories under each of these professions. If unsure about which avenue or what is available to you, consult with your general practitioner.