The Different Types Of Mental Health Counseling Services
Many people are familiar with mental health counseling services. Still, they may not be aware of the different kinds of services or the professionals and practitioners who offer them. There are numerous types of online counseling services. Some can help with mental health challenges associated with physical illness, loss, and relationships. Others may address specific mental illnesses, offering support to individuals coping with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or addiction. In addition, online counseling can provide resources for marriage and parenting needs. Mental health counseling services can also be tailored to different demographics such as the elderly and children, for example.
Types Of Mental Health Counseling Services
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed clinical social workers may be available in hospitals or hospital-like settings. They can provide diagnoses as well as individual and group counseling. They may also help with the study, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses. Clinical social workers can be an invaluable source of information for individuals and families, helping them find additional resources and referrals so the patient can continue their progress after leaving the hospital setting. There are also licensed social workers who work in other settings outside a hospital. While they may focus less on diagnosing mental health conditions, they are often just as helpful in assisting patients through appropriate referrals and resources.
Clinical social workers can also work in the private sector and have many of the same skills as licensed professional counselors. This can sometimes be confusing for people who are seeking a licensed mental health counselor but find a clinical social worker instead. Both clinical social workers and licensed clinical counselors have completed similar education and licensure. Many clinical social workers can also accept Medicare payments, which could make them a good fit for elderly people.
Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor
A licensed chemical dependency counselor, or substance use counselor, works with clients experiencing addiction. Those living with a substance use disorder might consider receiving help from a certified alcohol and/or drug use counselor who may be trained for these types of recoveries. While most counselors are technically qualified to work with substance use issues, some may have more experience than others.
These types of counselors can work with anyone living with substance use, from teens to veterans. They can also provide services in times of severe mental health crisis. This could include leading an intervention or performing a clinical assessment to determine what level of care the individual needs (e.g., detox, inpatient/outpatient treatment).
In a session, individuals can explain their substance use history, and the counselor may help them determine the root of the problem. The session might entail identifying any triggers for substance use and determining effective coping skills for achieving and maintaining sobriety.
It is not uncommon for someone with an addiction to have another mental health illness. This is known as a dual diagnosis. According to current practice standards, individuals with a dual diagnosis should first seek treatment for their addiction and reach a level of stability before moving on to address other mental health issues. Stability and sobriety could be necessary before working on other disorders. In addition to individual work, many substance use counselors offer group therapy, which can be an essential part of recovery work.
Licensed Marriage And Family Therapist
Some individuals may find themselves in need of help with their relationships. Relationship challenges can apply not just to marriages, but to any relationship with another person. Therapy can address challenges such as divorce and infidelity. Relationship therapy can also include premarital counseling as well as communication and conflict resolution. Marital and family therapists are often available to help those experiencing problems within intimate or family relationships. They tend to focus on eliminating dysfunctional patterns within these relationships in favor of a stronger connection with your partner or family member(s).
Marriage and family therapists can also address challenges within the family or home system. Conflict between children and parents, adjusting to divorce or remarriage, and other challenges can affect the mental health of everyone involved. In these circumstances, a marriage and family therapist can serve as a mediator and create a safe space for talking about sensitive topics. In addition, they can provide suggestions and feedback for improvement.
Peer specialists, on the other hand, are unique counselors with experience in recovering from specific ailments or traumatic situations. They can provide useful advice because they have first-hand experience with specific mental health challenges. Peer specialists can also decrease the perceived stigma of mental illness while providing encouragement to their peers.
Licensed Professional Counselors
Mental health counselors – also referred to as licensed professional counselors – are perhaps the most familiar type of counselor. Their exact title may vary from state to state. These counselors are trained to assess and diagnose a vast range of mental health problems. They are qualified to treat any mental health disorder. Still, most choose one or more different specialties.
To find a suitable counselor, you may want to start by looking for a professional who specializes in the field in which you are seeking help. For example, if you want help with depression, many counselors specialize in addressing those symptoms. Finding a counselor specializing in some specific mental health issues such as sexual dysfunction or eating disorders, for instance, could be more challenging. Each counselor may provide a range of services, including assessment and diagnosis of mental illnesses, treatment, prevention programs, crisis management, and more. They can also work in various settings, including clinics, hospitals, schools, and private practice.
Additionally, online counseling options can provide resources for relationships of all types, including those in marriages or parents who wish to learn the best ways to raise their children. Clients of all ages and identities can benefit from professional counseling services and may receive tailored approaches that are suitable for their needs and age group.
Types Of Mental Health Counseling Services
Mental health professionals can be licensed for particular types of mental health therapy or services. Understanding the range of services available and how a mental health counselor can help to find more tailored care and a proper approach for your specific area of need.
Below are just a few of the mental health counseling services that may be available.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) can be located in hospitals or hospital-like settings. They may provide assistance with diagnoses, as well as offer individual and group counseling and recovery services. They can also help with the study, treatment, and prevention of mental health disorders. These specialists can be an invaluable source of information for individuals and families, connecting them with additional resources and referrals so the client can continue to progress after leaving the hospital setting.
There can also be licensed social workers who may work in another location outside a hospital, such as the non-public sector. Generally, LCSWs possess many of the same skills as licensed professional counselors, as many have completed similar education and licensure.
While certain subgroups of LCSWs may focus less on diagnosing, they can be just as helpful in assisting patients in identifying appropriate referrals and resources.
Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor
Online Sessions With A Mental Health Professional
A growing body of research shows that online therapy platforms can effectively provide a variety of mental health counseling services. According to one broad-based report on its effectiveness, researchers found that online therapy services produced overall positive results when treating symptoms of trauma, anxiety, and panic disorder. Specifically, the study noted that online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) had the most beneficial effects.
Online therapy platforms can match individuals with licensed professional therapists based on preferences, goals, and specific mental health concerns. The therapist may guide them through a treatment plan that could include counseling, interactive lesson plans, and other tools that can help them better understand their thoughts and behaviors. In addition, psychotherapy can improve symptoms from both physical health conditions and mental health challenges.
Working with an online counselor can be a useful alternative to traditional therapy when seeking help for mental health challenges. Through the BetterHelp online therapy platform, clients are matched with one of thousands of qualified mental health professionals. You are not limited to only those therapists in your particular area, so you have a better chance of finding one who is right for you and your specific concerns. Whatever mental health condition you are facing, support from a mental health provider is available. Read below for counselor reviews from those who have sought help in the past:
“I've been working with Jennifer Evans for a few months now, dealing with anxiety-related issues and addressing long-standing negative coping mechanisms. I've made amazing progress in identifying underlying issues and establishing techniques to overcome my anxiety. Jennifer uses a variety of methods and tailors therapy based on feedback. She is quick to respond, extremely caring, and always insightful. I truly believe she has been integral to the progress I’ve made in a fairly short amount of time. I highly recommend this therapist and am encouraged by how effective online therapy can be.”
“I was a little skeptical about doing online therapy. However, Arielle changed my worries into reassurance. Since I’ve done therapy with her, I feel a lot freer from my traumas that no longer serve me. Arielle genuinely cares for me and wants the best for me. I’m so happy I have her in my life now. Thank you, BetterHelp, for that.”
No matter which form of mental health treatment you choose, you can make measurable gains when guided by a licensed mental health professional. It may be challenging to admit you need help, but it could be important to know that you are not alone when it comes to your mental health. Take the first step toward better mental health today and sign up to talk to a BetterHelp therapist online.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does counseling help mental health?
Counseling can help a person see several benefits in multiple areas of their life. Specifically, it can help foster communication skills, healthy coping mechanisms, self-esteem, and relationship efficacy.
What three things can a mental health counselor treat?
Counselors can treat more than three things. They can offer support for a wide range of mental illnesses, help with stress, assist with substance use, and build self-esteem. Providers can also help clients work through psychological distress, grief, mood disorders, or complex feelings.
What is the difference between mental health counseling and counseling?
Most counseling is mental health counseling. While there are career counselors and other kinds of counselors, the term generally applies to someone who offers mental health guidance to others. Clinical mental health counselors can sometimes prescribe medications, but to do this, they need higher levels of training to better understand the risk of medication as treatment.
What are the five major goals of counseling?
Counseling can offer support for more than five goals, and you get to set your own individual goals for therapy. Many people attend counseling to nurture relationships, improve their own behaviors, enrich the self, recognize potential, and enhance decision-making skills.
Is a counseling psychologist better than a counselor?
Both psychologists and counselors have chosen careers devoted to helping others. Counselors are trained in the general field of psychology and usually have a bachelor's degree. Psychologists generally hold a Ph.D. in addition to a bachelor's degree and have training in a more specific area of psychology. The counselor’s job description may focus more on direct contact with patients while psychologists focus on using specific tools, including diagnostic tests and assessments.
Are therapists and counselors the same?
These titles are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. A counselor usually has a bachelor's degree and some training. Therapists hold licenses, have completed additional training, and may specialize in one specific area of mental health. Psychiatrists are also different from therapists and counselors because a psychiatrist can prescribe medication and drugs to treat serious conditions.
How do I become a counselor without a degree?
You can become a substance use counselor for adults in many states without a degree, but other mental health counseling careers may require a degree. Most aspiring mental health counselors pursue at least a bachelor's degree and, if possible, a master's degree.
What are the five stages of counseling?
The stages of counseling are: initial disclosure, in-depth explanation, commitment to action, counseling intervention, and evaluation or termination.
What are the core values of counseling?
Counselors may have various values, but core values often revolve around autonomy, respect, collaboration, communication, care, and trust.
What is the responsibility of the counselor?
A counselor is responsible for supporting their clients and helping them manage their emotions. Mental health counselors work to promote mental health, healthy behaviors, decision-making skills, and more.
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