How to select a mental health provider

Most people donít know the difference between different types of mental health providers and what they are qualified to do. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses so selecting the right one is important to getting the right type of help. To first understand how to select a mental health provider you must first understand the problems that need to be addressed. There is also the need to understand the difference between counseling and therapy.

Counseling and Therapy

Counseling is essentially professional advise. For example a lawyer is a counselor. A lawyer will give you professional advise on legal matters. Another type of counselor is a school counselor. They would give you advise and help you with matters related to education. A marriage and relationship counselor specializes in resolving conflicts between people be it between a couple, or other members of the family. In all cases of counseling it is just professional advise and you can take it or leave it.

A therapist is a person who helps someone to achieve some goal or bring about change. If you had an injury that limited your movement, a physical therapist would be the person to help you get your range of motion back. People recovering from a stroke or surgery often make use of this type of therapist as well. In the case of mental health, a therapist helps a person to deal with emotional trauma or to break past perceived limits. Another type of therapist helps people recover from substance addictions. In this case the therapist does a combination of counseling and therapy because often there is some underlying reason that lead to substance abuse. Bringing closure and resolving that underlying problem is a key step to lasting recovery.

Types of Mental Health Professionals and understanding mental health symptoms

In the area of mental health there are generally four type of professionals to choose from. Depending on how severe the problem it is not always necessary to seek out a Psychiatrist as a Psychiatrist will likely prescribe medication. Medication does not resolve the underlying issues, it only hides them. A social worker who can help you resolve issues is capable of dealing with mild mental heath issues. Often just some new knowledge or help with dealing with financial problems or government bureaucracy can help resolve some mild mental health issues.  For mild cases of mental health the most basic of professional help is often enough.

Symptoms of mild mental heath issues can include any or all of the following:

For moderate mental health issues you need to see a professional who deals specifically in mental health. They include a Psychologist or a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Both of these professions deal effectively with both mild and moderate mental health issues. Recently clinical hypnotherapy has been accepted as a new and effective mainstream treatment. Clinical hypnotherapy is now seen as a separate type of therapy and it can be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy or a stand alone therapy. Each has its strengths and weaknesses so asking what is best for you is the best advise.

Symptoms of moderate mental health issues can include any or all of the following:

For severe mental health issues you choices are limited to seeing a Psychiatrist. When a person is suffering from severe mental health issues, often the ability to use logic and reason is compromised. As logic and reason is part of psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy, they essentially become ineffective. In that case a Psychiatrist can administer medication to help restore logic and reason allowing therapy to begin. A Psychiatrist is the only mental health professional who has access to medication. Even that a Psychologist or Clinical Hypnotherapist can hold a doctorates degree in their field, neither involves the use of medication. If you are not sure who to see it is best to start off seeing a Psychologist. If they feel you can be better served by a different type of professional, they will refer you to them.

Symptoms of severe mental health issues include any or all of the following:

Bangkok Counseling provides the options of counseling, therapy, and clinical hypnotherapy.


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Page last updated January 24, 2014