Skip 
Navigation Link

Mental Health Professions

Introduction to Mental Health Professions

Mental Health Professions

Many people confronting mental illness for the first time fall back on (often quite inaccurate) preconceptions about what mental illness is, what sort of treatment is available, and who does the treating. The most common scenario I've encountered is one in which people think that mental illness involves hallucinations and delusions (e.g., that mental illness reduces to schizophrenia), and that it is treated primarily by medical doctors in corduroy coats (with leather arm patches, beards and pipes) who offer some variation on Freudian analysis as treatment. This scenario was actually a little accurate forty years ago, but it resembles little having to do with reality today.

Mental Health treatment in the 21st century generally involves a coordination amongst several healthcare professionals drawn from different disciplines. While medical doctors still run the show (in the form of Psychiatrists), their role has typically diminished to that of diagnostician and prescriber of...More

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

What are mental health professions?

  • Mental Health treatment in the 21st century generally involves a coordination amongst several healthcare professionals drawn from different disciplines.
  • While medical doctors still run the show (in the form of Psychiatrists), their role has typically diminished to that of diagnostician and prescriber of medication (and the occasional assessment and/or ECT).
  • Clinical Psychologists are often called upon to handle assessment work (psychological and cognitive testing), as well as psychotherapy.
  • Social workers increasingly offer psychotherapy services as well.
  • A host of related professionals, (licensed counselors specializing in substance abuse, marital and family therapy, etc.) now exist as well and handle many psychotherapy tasks.
  • Psychiatric nurses are still around too, handling much of the hands-on work involved in inpatient hospital care.
  • Whether you are looking to understand your therapists' credentials better, or are wondering about a career in mental health treatment, this information is helpful to know about.

For more information


News Articles

  • Women Underrepresented Among Grand Rounds Speakers

    Women seem to be underrepresented among academic grand rounds speakers, according to a research letter published online March 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine More...

  • Strategies Suggested to Protect Practices From Hackers

    Steps should be taken to protect medical practices, including small practices, from hackers, according to a report published in Medical Economics. More...

  • Physician Burnout Eroding Sense of Calling

    For physicians across specialties, burnout is associated with reduced odds of a sense of calling, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. More...

  • Cyberattacks Remain Serious Threat to Health Providers

    Cyberattacks remain a serious threat to small providers as well as big institutions, according to a report published in Medical Economics. More...

  • Useful Tips Offered for Addressing Negative Patient Reviews

    In an article published in Medical Economics, five tips are presented to address negative patient reviews. More...

  • 7 More
    • ICU Clinicians Cautiously Support Electronic Portals

      Clinicians are cautiously supportive of an electronic portal to enhance communication in the intensive care unit, according to a study published online Oct. 4 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. More...

    • Many Doctors Reluctant to Reveal Mental Health Issues

      Wary of the stigma of a mental health diagnosis and its toll on their careers, physicians often avoid getting help for depression and other mental illnesses, according to a report published online Sept. 15 in General Hospital Psychiatry. More...

    • E-Records a Grind for Many Doctors

      And this may contribute to physician burnout, study suggests. More...

    • Number of Practicing Psychiatrists Declining

      The number of practicing psychiatrists declined from 2003 to 2013, while the number of physicians in other disciplines grew, according to a report published in the July issue of Health Affairs. More...

    • Burnout Syndrome Common in Critical Care Professionals

      Critical care health care professionals have one of the highest rates of burnout syndrome (BOS), compared to other health care professionals, according to a call-to-action statement published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. More...

    • Doctors Swamped by 'E-Medicine' Demands

      Survey found those who have to use electronic health records report more burnout, job dissatisfaction. More...

    • 1 in 3 Female Doctors Faces Sexual Harassment, Survey Finds

      And two-thirds say they experience gender bias in workplace. More...

Share This

Resources