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Psychologists

Psychologists hold a doctoral degree in clinical psychology or another specialty such as counseling or education. They are trained to evaluate a person’s mental health using clinical interviews, psychological evaluations, and testing. They can make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy. Some may have training in specific forms of therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and other behavioral therapy interventions.

Counselors, Clinicians, & Therapists

These master's-level healthcare professionals are trained to evaluate a person’s mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. They operate under a variety of job titles—including counselor, clinician, therapist, or something else—based on the treatment setting. 

Clinical Social Workers

Clinical social workers are trained to evaluate a person’s mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. They are also trained in case management and advocacy services. Examples of licensure and credentials a clinical social worker may hold could include LICSW, LCSW, or ACSW.

Psychiatrists

Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who have completed psychiatric training. They can diagnose mental health conditions, prescribe and monitor medications and provide therapy. Some have completed additional training in child and adolescent mental health, substance use disorders, or geriatric psychiatry.

Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioners

Psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners can provide assessment, diagnosis, and therapy for mental health conditions or substance use disorders. In some states, they are also qualified to prescribe and monitor medications.

Primary Care Physicians

Primary care physicians and pediatricians are licensed medical doctors that can prescribe medication, but you might consider visiting someone who specializes in mental health care. Primary care and mental health professionals should work together to determine an individual’s best treatment plan.

Family Nurse Practitioners

Family nurse practitioners (FNP) are Master's or Doctor's level individuals that can provide general medical services like those of a primary care physician, based on each state’s laws. Like primary care physicians, they can prescribe medication, but you might consider visiting someone who specializes in mental health care.

Other Types of Mental Health Professionals

Certified Peer Specialists

These specialists have lived experience with a mental health condition or substance use disorder. They are often trained, certified, and prepared to assist with recovery by helping a person set goals and develop strengths. They provide support, mentoring, and guidance.

Social Workers

Social workers (B.A. or B.S.) provide case management, inpatient discharge planning services, placement services, and other services to support healthy living.

Pastoral Counselors

Pastoral counselors are clergy members with training in clinical pastoral education. They are trained to diagnose and provide counseling. Pastoral counselors can have equivalents to a doctorate in counseling.

Find a mental health or substance use disorder treatment professional in the LaSalle County Resource Guide.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Health

Types of Mental Health Professionals

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