Different Types of Therapists

There are many different types of therapists with different specialties, so choosing the right therapist can require some research. This is a great overview of different therapists to choose from to help with various chronic illness, physical problems, mental health problems, trauma, relationship issues, and so on.

Their job is to diagnose and treat a variety of mental health issues including serious mental illnesses. They conduct their studies through talk therapy and observation, and they report their findings and make diagnoses by interpreting and recording how their patients relate to their surroundings and to people in their lives (Concordia). Psychologists can make clinical evaluations of client’s mental health, diagnose mental illness, and suggest treatments based on research. A licensed psychologist can’t write prescriptions; they are not considered medical doctors. They instead provide counseling, psychotherapy, and may do psychological testing including IQ and neurological function tests.Therapists for Chronic Pain

 

Many psychologists will choose to specialize in certain areas rather than taking on any or all mental health problem out there. They may choose to specialize in certain mental health illnesses (depression, personality disorders, OCD, etc.), ages (kids, teens, adults, seniors, etc.), or specific topics (divorce, death, relationship problems, etc.). 

 

Psychologists have training based on 100 years of ethical standards, and the latest clinical psychological research into human behavior, understanding cognitive, emotional, and social behaviors. It is usually required for a psychologist to have at least a Master’s degree in Psychology, but many are required to have a Doctorate degree in Psychology, as well. Additionally, psychologists are required to complete certain training and residency/internship requirements that are based on the state they practice in. 

 

HumanServicesEdu.org/Human Services Guide/Counselor vs. Therapist vs. Psychologist.

Retrieved from: https://www.humanservicesedu.org/counselor-vs-psych-vs-therapist.html#context/api/listings/prefilter

 

WebMD/Guide to Psychiatry and Counseling. Retrieved from:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/guide-to-psychiatry-and-counseling#1

Counselor-License.com/Psychologist vs. Counselor. Retrieved from:

https://counselor-license.com/articles/psychologist-vs-counselor/

Jacobson, Sheri. (2015, June 16). HARLEY THERAPY: Counselling Blog/The Different Types of Therapists – Which One Is For You? Retrieved from:

https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/types-of-therapists.htm

 

Concordia UNIVERSITY-SAINT PAUL/Program Resources What Does Psychologist Do. Retrieved from: https://online.csp.edu/program-resources/what-does-a-psychologist-do

 

They may provide psychotherapy, medications, or psychosocial interventions. They are actually considered to be more like mental health doctors vs. a therapist. Psychiatrists are often the choice for people who are struggling with a serious, life-altering mental health illness, because psychiatrists can help a person more quickly by prescribing medications. Psychiatrists will manage the prescriptions, check on dosages and the progress of their clients. They can also provide talk therapy, but many people go to psychiatrists when they need to be on medication at least to start with. Often a combination of medication and counseling is needed. In addition, psychiatrists can also prescribe or provide a full range of medical laboratory and psychological tests. They also monitor the effects of mental illness on other physical conditions (such as problems with the heart or high blood pressure), and the effects of medicines on the body (such as weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, sleep, and kidney or liver functioning) (WebMD).

 

Although psychiatrists focus on the mind, behaviors, and overall mental health just like a psychologist, some of them don’t provide talk therapy. So they will recommend a psychologist to see, as well. Psychiatrists deal largely with syndromes and disorders, such as severe depression, personality disorders, ADHD, panic disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. They assess and diagnose such disorders, and come up with a treatment plan to help (Jacobson, 2015).

 

Psychiatrists are required to have a medical degree, and to gain a certification as a psychiatrist typically takes 11 years. Then, depending on where a person practices, there may be a certain amount of training, along with a residency/internship experience required.

 

WebMD/Guide to Psychiatry and Counseling. Retrieved from:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/guide-to-psychiatry-and-counseling#1

 

Jacobson, Sheri. (2015, June 16). HARLEY THERAPY: Counselling Blog/The Different Types of Therapists – Which One Is For You? Retrieved from:

https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/types-of-therapists.htm

 

AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION/What is Psychiatry?. Retrieved from:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-psychiatry

The word "integrative" refers to the use of both conventional and complementary treatments to help a person with their health problems. 

 

An integrative psychiatrist can prescribe medication, but will focus first on finding the cause of the psychological issue, and then using the best conventional or complementary treatments.The goal of integrative psychiatry is to provide safe and effective treatments, and only to prescribe psychiatric medications when absolutely necessary. Holistic Psychiatry takes into account a person’s mental, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, and environmental factors, because they all affect a person’s overall health.

 

Integrative psychiatry is very helpful to someone struggling with chronic illness or mental health problems. But, it can also be a good choice for someone just looking to live a healthier lifestyle, improve mental health habits, better handle emotions, or promote healthier social interactions. It is not necessary to have a specific psychological problem, people who are just struggling through challenging external problems with relationships and huge life changes can benefit too.

 

Integrative psychiatrists are required to have a doctorate degree, typically studying as a Doctor of Osteopathy vs. a Medicine degree. Additionally, they are required to complete certain training and residency/internship requirements that are based on the state they practice in.  

 

Read More on Hope Instilled here: Integrative Psychiatry for Chronic Illnesses

When a person has a serious mental illness, it is usually recommended they seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Whereas a person requiring general therapy would work with a counselor, which is often cheaper than a psychologist. As part of a treatment plan, a counselor will usually see their patients on a regular basis. Counselors will work with their patients to determine how best to conduct the counseling sessions to provide the preferred outcomes.

 

A mental health counselor is a medical professional that helps people to obtain emotional wellness by providing skills to conquer their life challenges. They work more with general mental health problems and life struggles, than with actual mental illnesses. A counselor will often specialize in a specific area: youth programs in schools, handling trauma, alcohol or drug addictions, helping cancer patients, etc. Most work is clinical, so counselors often own a private practice, operate out of a hospital, or work in a rehabilitation center or inpatient facility.  

 

It is typically required to have a Master’s Degree in order to work as a Mental Health Counselor. Then depending on where a person practices, there may be a certain amount of training, and residency/internship experience requirements. Although counselors are trained to perform psychotherapy, they do not have the same degree of training or license to operate. There is less quantitative work, less number crunching, and less in-depth understanding of clinical research comparted to psychologists. Psychologists are the ones more frequently involved in research studies. Counselors do however have access to a much broader field of potential models for counseling (Human Services).

 

HumanServicesEdu.org/Human Services Guide/Counselor vs. Therapist vs. Psychologist.

Retrieved from: https://www.humanservicesedu.org/counselor-vs-psych-vs-therapist.html#context/api/listings/prefilter

 

WebMD/Guide to Psychiatry and Counseling. Retrieved from:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/guide-to-psychiatry-and-counseling#1


Counselor-License.com/Psychologist vs. Counselor. Retrieved from:

https://counselor-license.com/articles/psychologist-vs-counselor/

 

This could be group, family or individual therapy. Social workers work in settings such as private practices, clinics, community programs, offices, schools, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. They typically utilize a multi-faceted therapy approach, with a focus on helping clients improve their emotional, physical and/or financial status (Psychology School Guide).

 

Clinical social workers are more likely to work with disadvantaged populations than other therapists, due to being more affordable. In addition to psychotherapy, social workers can provide case management and hospital discharge planning as well as work as an advocate for patients and their family (WebMD). They are different from psychologists, because psychologist education centers around human behaviors and how the mind functions, which they use to diagnose, and treat people. Social workers’ education typically includes learning about ethics and values, self-awareness, cross-cultural knowledge, cross-cultural skills, empowerment, advocacy, language diversity, leadership, etc. They will often help clients find resources in order to fix their situation themselves, instead of teaching them ways to cope with their problems.

 

Most social workers typically need a Masters of Social Work degree, along with other coursework, clinical training, and license exams.

 

NASW (National Association of Social Workers)/Clinical Social Work. Retrieved from:

https://www.socialworkers.org/Practice/Clinical-Social-Work

 

All Psychology Schools/Social Work Degrees: What You’ll Study. Retrieved from:

https://www.allpsychologyschools.com/social-work/degrees/

 

Rauch, Joseph. (2016, August 30). The Talkspace Voice/Different Types of Therapists (Psychotherapists): The Complete Guide. Retrieved from:

https://www.talkspace.com/blog/the-different-types-of-therapists-and-counselors-the-complete-guide/

 

WebMD/Guide to Psychiatry and Counseling. Retrieved from:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/guide-to-psychiatry-and-counseling#1

 

PSYCHOLOGY SCHOOL GUIDE/Social Workers vs. Psychologists. (2014, July 5). Retrieved from: https://www.psychologyschoolguide.net/blog/social-workers-vs-psychologists/

Hypnosis -- or hypnotherapy -- uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance (WebMD). A person is able to focus more on specific thoughts or tasks without being distracted by anything happening around them. Hypnosis is usually considered an aid to psychotherapy (counseling or therapy), because the hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from their conscious minds (WebMD).

 

Hypnosis is usually considered an aid to psychotherapy (counseling or therapy), because the hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from their conscious minds (WebMD). It may be used to treat anxiety, sleep problems, learning disorders, digestive disorders, and help with pain management. It can also be helpful for phobias and addictions (drugs, alcohol, destructive behaviors, bad habits, etc.).

 

Unlike a hypnosis stage performance, when hypnotized in a therapy session you are still in control, you are not put to sleep or unconscious. The therapist may make suggestions, but you have the full capacity to make your own decisions and choose whether or not to act on them. Hypnotherapy is used in two ways: Analysis Hypnotherapy (digging deeper to find the root of a problem or disorder) and Suggestion Therapy (providing ideas to change perceptions or behaviors with less resistance from the patient).

 

A well-qualified hypnosis therapist will have a doctorate in medicine, psychology, or dentistry, or a master’s degree in nursing, social work, psychology, or family/martial therapy. Then depending on where a person practices, there is a certain amount of training and residency/internship experience required.

 

Psychology Today/Hypnotherapy. Retrieved from:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/hypnotherapy

 

WebMD/Mental Health and Hypnosis. Retrieved from:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-hypnotherapy#1

This type of therapist is often either a psychologist, licensed mental health counselor, or sometimes a social worker. Although many psychologists and counselors will work with trauma clients, it is such a highly specialized area of psychological practice that most don’t have the expertise to effectively treat clients. Whereas a trauma work therapist is specifically trained in it. They understand trauma, know how it impacts a person, and treat it through their direct clinical experience and supervision, often working with trauma patients exclusively.

 

Education and experience for a trauma work therapist will include the qualifications for being a psychologist, a licensed mental health counselor, or social worker. In addition, a trauma work therapist must have extensive experience doing trauma psychology as an internship, or residency in a trauma center. They should also have treated multiple trauma cases, and be trained and certified in evidence-based trauma treatments (EBT’s).

 

Barbash Ph.D., Elyssa. (2019, May 1). Psychology Today/Working with a Real Trauma Therapist. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/trauma-and-hope/201905/working-real-trauma-therapist

 

PSYCHOLOGY SCHOOL GUIDE/17 Types of Therapist – Guide to Therapy Careers. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologyschoolguide.net/therapist-careers/

Nutritional Therapy centers on the idea that real health can be achieved through a holistic and bio-individual approach to nutrition and lifestyle (Nutritional Therapy Association). This is helpful to chronically ill people, patients with weight-loss problems, and health conditions such as depression, IBS, bowel problems, fatigue, diabetes, and autoimmune problems. The nutritionist will advise a wellness plan that may include how to incorporate more nutrient-dense foods, as well as whole foods, and advice on what foods to avoid.

 

A Nutritional Therapist provides dietary recommendations, and possible lifestyle changes, in order to improve mental, physical and emotional health. Information about proper nutrition on the internet and through other sources is often confusing, overwhelming, and even contradicting, hence the need for a nutritional therapist. Also, most primary & specific healthcare practitioners are trained in their specialty, and don’t have adequate training in the area of nutrition.

 

Education for a nutritional therapist usually requires a four-year Bachelor's degree in clinical nutrition, dietetics, or another food-related field. Although many are not doctors, there are some nutritional therapists that are Naturopathic Doctors.

 

Nutritional Therapy Association/What is Nutritional Therapy? Holistic and Bio-individual Nutrition. (2019, July 8). Retrieved from: https://nutritionaltherapy.com/what-is-nutritional-therapy/

 

PSYCHOLOGY SCHOOL GUIDE/What is a Nutritional Therapist?. Retrieved from:

https://www.psychologyschoolguide.net/therapist-careers/how-to-become-a-nutritional-therapist/

 

PSYCHOLOGY SCHOOL GUIDE/17 Types of Therapist – Guide to Therapy Careers. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologyschoolguide.net/therapist-careers/

A creative arts therapist will use engagement in art to address chronic illness, along with mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorders. Art therapy can also help with managing stress and physical health. Creative arts therapy uses the relationship between the patient and therapist in the context of the artistic process as a dynamic force for change (NYSED.gov). Patients creating and reflecting on art and the process can help with: awareness of self and others, better handling stress, improving self-esteem, improving communication/relationship skills, finding new options for handling problems, and understanding patterns of behavior.

 

Creative art therapists typically have a master’s degree in art therapy, music, dance, or other arts. Additionally, they will have psychotherapy training.

 

NYSED.gov/Consumer Information. (2019, June 23). Retrieved from:

http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/catbroch.htm

 

Rauch, Joseph. (2016, August 30). The Talkspace Voice/Different Types of Therapists (Psychotherapists): The Complete Guide. Retrieved from:

https://www.talkspace.com/blog/the-different-types-of-therapists-and-counselors-the-complete-guide/

HumanServicesEdu.org/Human Services Guide/Counselor vs. Therapist vs. Psychologist.

Retrieved from: https://www.humanservicesedu.org/counselor-vs-psych-vs-therapist.html#context/api/listings/prefilter

 

WebMD/Guide to Psychiatry and Counseling. Retrieved from:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/guide-to-psychiatry-and-counseling#1

 

Counselor-License.com/Psychologist vs. Counselor. Retrieved from:

https://counselor-license.com/articles/psychologist-vs-counselor/

 

Jacobson, Sheri. (2015, June 16). HARLEY THERAPY: Counselling Blog/The Different Types of Therapists – Which One Is For You? Retrieved from:

https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/types-of-therapists.htm

 

Concordia UNIVERSITY-SAINT PAUL/Program Resources What Does Psychologist Do. Retrieved from: https://online.csp.edu/program-resources/what-does-a-psychologist-do

 

NYSED.gov/Consumer Information. (2019, June 23). Retrieved from:

http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/catbroch.htm

 

AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION/What is Psychiatry?. Retrieved from:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-psychiatry

 

Counselor-License.com/Mental Health Counselor. Retrieved from:

https://counselor-license.com/careers/mental-health-counselor/

 

NASW (National Association of Social Workers)/Clinical Social Work. Retrieved from:

https://www.socialworkers.org/Practice/Clinical-Social-Work

 

Rauch, Joseph. (2016, August 30). The Talkspace Voice/Different Types of Therapists (Psychotherapists): The Complete Guide. Retrieved from:

https://www.talkspace.com/blog/the-different-types-of-therapists-and-counselors-the-complete-guide/

 

Psychology Today/Hypnotherapy. Retrieved from:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/hypnotherapy

 

WebMD/Mental Health and Hypnosis. Retrieved from:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-hypnotherapy#1

 

Barbash Ph.D., Elyssa. (2019, May 1). Psychology Today/Working with a Real Trauma Therapist. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/trauma-and-hope/201905/working-real-trauma-therapist

 

PSYCHOLOGY SCHOOL GUIDE/17 Types of Therapist – Guide to Therapy Careers. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologyschoolguide.net/therapist-careers/

 

Nutritional Therapy Association/What is Nutritional Therapy? Holistic and Bio-individual Nutrition. (2019, July 8). Retrieved from: https://nutritionaltherapy.com/what-is-nutritional-therapy/

 

PSYCHOLOGY SCHOOL GUIDE/What is a Nutritional Therapist?. Retrieved from:

https://www.psychologyschoolguide.net/therapist-careers/how-to-become-a-nutritional-therapist/

 

PSYCHOLOGY SCHOOL GUIDE/Social Workers vs. Psychologists. (2014, July 5). Retrieved from: https://www.psychologyschoolguide.net/blog/social-workers-vs-psychologists/

 

All Psychology Schools/Social Work Degrees: What You’ll Study. Retrieved from:

https://www.allpsychologyschools.com/social-work/degrees/