Health

Mental health professionals: Types and their patient care services

Psychology is the study of the human mind, and it opens up numerous paradigms. These paradigms include different approaches to study the human mind, such as biological, cognitive, behavioral, and psychoanalytical. Mental health professionals work in various capacities to help patients fight off mental distress and mind-altering disorders.

The field of mental health offers a broad range of career choices and mental care expertise to build a rewarding career. While some experts help patients resolve spiritual issues and release emotional distress, others work with severe mental disorders. Counselors and therapists help people overcome relationship issues and resolve past trauma.

People seek out mental health experts for a variety of reasons. In 2021, the world has come a long way in fighting the stigmas surrounding mental health and wellbeing. Today, students from all walks of life get drawn to this profession. So, hold on with us to learn more about the mental health professionals and their patient care services.

● PSYCHOLOGIST

A psychologist is the first name that appears in mind while thinking about a mental health professional. What comes to your mind while imagining a psychologist’s job responsibilities? Listening to people as they laze out on a comfortable couch and asking meaningful questions while feverishly scribbling away?

Yes, psychologists hold deep and meaningful conversations on comfortable couches, but they also do much more. Psychologists typically specialize in the domains of human thought, cognitive abilities, emotional aptitude, and behaviors. Each expert chooses to pursue a paradigm that appeals to his/her school of thought.

These mental health professionals work in various settings, including schools, hospitals, and private clinics. If you aspire to a psychologist’s career, you must begin with an online BA psychology degree from a reputable institute. Online education has now removed barriers for international students to learn from the best platforms out there.

A psychologist is a specialized expert, so you will need a Ph.D. to establish credibility. Psychologists work closely with patients to treat a wide array of mental health challenges. They treat severe mental illnesses, relationship problems, addictions, and other issues through counseling and therapy. Keep in mind that psychologists are not allowed to prescribe medicines in most states across the US.

● PSYCHIATRIST

This professional is different from a psychologist as he/she is licensed to prescribe medications to treat mental illnesses. Either medicine or osteopathic medicine degree remains the most popular choice. They work to diagnose mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, alongside treating and preventing illnesses.

Their patient care services involve laboratory tests, physical exams, psychiatric medicine, therapy, and more. Psychiatrists can treat the following patients:

  1. Children and young people
  2. Patients diagnosed with mental illnesses
  3. Patients with learning disabilities
  4. Patients with emotional and behavioral issues
  5. Assisting criminologists and forensic teams

● PSYCHOANALYST

Psychoanalysts help patients uncover their unconscious desires and repressed memories to address internal conflicts. These mental health experts also aid patients in recovering lost memories and resolve unresolved trauma.

They utilize the following strategies:

  1. Hypnosis
  2. Free association
  3. Dream interpretation and analysis
  4. Resistance and transferability analysis

While psychoanalysis is widely criticized and discredited by experts of other psychological paradigms, it remains popular because of its high success rates. People find it extremely helpful in overcoming childhood trauma, deep-rooted emotional issues, and unconscious psychological impulses.

Psychoanalysts help people identify unhealthy behavioral patterns and change their lifestyle to improve their mental wellbeing. However, to become a psychoanalyst, one requires a diverse profile with adequate certification and licensure.

● PSYCHIATRIC NURSE

Registered nurses with a specialization in psychiatric care, these nurses work in a wide array of settings. Psychiatric nurses work in hospitals, mental health facilities, clinics and even provide home care services. They deliver patient care by establishing therapeutic relationships, monitoring the treatment process, and patient care.

These nurses spend more time with patients as compared to other mental health professionals. They are responsible for ensuring timely medicinal intake and accountability to ensure all patients take their medications regularly. They are licensed and trained to administer psychiatric medication and perform counseling and therapy.

While dealing with patients with severe mental health conditions, psychiatric nurses have to handle violent outbursts. They often have to tackle aggressive and volatile patients and help patients manage erratic symptoms.

● PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Another common term in the mental health community, people often confuse psychotherapists with psychologists. What is a psychotherapist? Essentially, this profession combines the expertise of two professionals: a psychologist and a therapist.

A therapist learns to perform all forms and techniques of psychotherapy. Mostly, psychotherapy involves “talking therapy,” counseling, and general conversations to promote mental wellbeing. Psychotherapists pursue different schools of thoughts and paradigms.

While some focus on group therapy, art therapy, and expressive therapy, others specialize in therapeutic one-on-one conversations. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most popular and effective form of psychotherapy to bring meaningful changes and improvements.

CONCLUSION

Becoming a psychologist, a psychotherapist, or a psychiatrist requires a clear career map to align your goals and ambitions. Regardless of which profession you choose, psychology offers a rewarding and endlessly fascinating career. It is vital to arm yourself with research on academic credentials, licensure, and training to evaluate your career options.

Heather Breese
Heather Breese is a qualified writer who fell in love with creativity and became a specialist creator and writer, focused on readers and market need.

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