Mental Health Practitioner and related terms

The mental Health arena covers a wide expanse and different practice discipline help cover the area. Its not that one discipline is better than the other. In many ways they are complimentary and there may be some overlap at times.


These are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental or psychiatric illnesses. They have medical training and are licensed to prescribe medication for mental health issues.   They are also trained in psychotherapy, which aims to change a person’s behaviors or thought patterns.


These are doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) experts in psychology. They study the human mind and human behavior and are also trained in counseling, psychotherapy, and psychological testing — which can help uncover emotional problems you may not realize you have.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the psychologist’s main treatment tool — to help people identify and change inaccurate perceptions that they may have of themselves and the world around them. Psychologists are not licensed to prescribe medications. However, they can refer you to a psychiatrist if necessary.

Social Worker:

These are specialists that provide social services in health-related settings that now are governed by managed care organizations. Their goal is to enhance and maintain a person’s psychological and social functioning — they provide empathy and counseling on interpersonal problems. Social workers help people function at their best in their environment, and they help people deal with relationships and solve personal and family problems.


A counsellor is a trained professional who can help you work through your personal problems. Sometimes known as offering ‘the talking cure’, The counsellor helps you to resolve problems in a positive way by helping you to clarify the issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness. Counselling is usually a short-term treatment for a specific problem.

Common personal concerns include, grief, difficult life circumstances, anxiety,  depression and relationship difficulties.



usually refers to longer-term treatment for more complex issues and seeks to attend to deeper aspects of self. There can be a lot of overlap between a counsellor and psychotherapist. Sometime the terms are used interchangeably.

© Valley Counselling

© Valley Counselling

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