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What types of mental health professionals are there?

Minisode 4 | May 3, 2022

What types of mental health professionals are there?

In our fourth minisode in a series about accessing and normalizing therapy, we discuss the different types of mental health providers.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no and setting boundaries so you can become the authentic and empowered you that this world needs.

Reminder: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:


In season 2 of That’s a Hard No, we’re making it a priority to dig deeper into the process of finding and utilizing the mental health support you may need. We’re taking some time to discuss with our “in-house expert,” Sarah Saunders, what to expect from therapy and all of its intricacies.  

What types of mental health professionals are there?
  • Psychiatrists – Have a PhD level education, primarily deal with the physical brain and prescribe medication (Some do provide talk therapy in addition to medication, however that is not considered their specialty)
    • Extremely common to utilize a psychiatrist for medication paired with another type of provider for therapy
  • Psychologists – Have a PhD level education, trained to evaluate a person’s mental health by using concrete clinical interviews and psychological testing and evaluation
    • Generally, diagnose someone and then refer them to a provider to best serve their needs
    • Can provide specialized treatment specific to diagnosis
  • Counselors/Therapists – Have masters level education, use talk-based therapy and evidence-based training
    • Goal is to help patients overcome life stressors and obstacles interfering with daily life
    • A wide array of specializations and backgrounds
  • Social Workers – Have a masters level education and also use talk-based therapy and evidence-based training
    • Wrap around services – Manage coordination of care with families and provides advocacy
  • Marriage & Family Therapists – Have a masters level education and extensive background in dealing with couples doing marriage counseling and working with families.
    • Depth processing and a systemic perspective to overcome dysfunction
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