When it comes to seeking help for mental health issues, it is important to understand the difference between a therapist and a mental health counselor. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to two distinct categories of mental health professionals. A therapist is someone who has received specialized training in a variety of techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). They are typically licensed mental health professionals who have advanced training and experience in treating mental health conditions.
A therapist can provide psychotherapy, which involves listening to patients express their feelings about their lives. On the other hand, a mental health counselor is someone who has earned a master's degree in counseling psychology. They are usually licensed as either a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LHMC) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Mental health counselors take a holistic approach to mental health and focus on obtaining measurable outcomes or objectives.
Psychologists are another type of mental health professional. They typically have doctorates in the field of mental health and have completed five to seven years of study. Psychologists can provide psychotherapy and counseling services, but they may also specialize in areas such as research or teaching. When looking for a mental health professional, it is important to consider their educational level and licenses in relation to your treatment needs.
You should also consider whether you need therapy or counseling services, as well as whether you need treatment for a diagnosed mental health condition. It is also important to note that any mental health professional can call themselves a therapist, counselor, or clinician. Ultimately, the most important thing is to find the right professional to provide the services that meet your individual needs.