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Mental Health Professions
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Introduction
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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 thirty 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 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. And lest we forget, psychiatric nurses are still around too, handling much of the hands-on work involved in inpatient hospital care. All in all there are many fields now involved in mental health treatment.

We’ve created this Mental Health Professionals topic area to help you learn about the different mental health professions we’ve touched on above. 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.

Navigation Aids:

  • Use the Related: dropdown box (located just above this article) to navigate to the specific mental health professions topic you are most interested in. Note that the dropdown box contains only those topic centers that are direct children (or parent) of this one. You may have to open one of these topic centers and view that center's children to find what you're looking for.
  • Alternatively, you may use the All Topics link above to view all the topic centers at a glance.
  • The Topic Home link (above) will return you to the main page for the topic center you are currently viewing.

 

 BASIC INFORMATION

· Introduction
· Mental Health Licensure Resources
· Psychiatry
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 BOOK REVIEWS

· A Research Agenda for DSM-V
· Conflict of Interest in the Professions
· Defining Psychopathology in the 21st Century
· Ethics of Psychiatry
· First, Do No Harm
· Gracefully Insane
· Intensive Care
· The Ethical Dimensions of the Biological and Health Sciences
· The Farm Colonies: Caring for New York City's Mentally Ill In Long Island's State Hospitals
· The Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources Online
· The Portable Ethicist for Mental Health Professionals