Mental Health Specialistsenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_04_2.jpgCounselors, therapists, clinical social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists are all experts in mental health. But there can be differences. Learn more.counselors, therapists, clinical social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health, behavioral health, depression, addiction, grief, therapy, talk therapy, depressed, counseling, counselor, therapist, psychologists, mental health, social workers. MSW, nurses, psychiatrists, therapy, mental health professionals, talk therapy, depression, behavioral, moods, depressed, take my child to a therapist, shrink, psychiatric nurse practitioners, 03/11/201903/21/201903/21/2019Erin Carroll, MS, LPCMH03/11/20197e283203-489b-4556-b090-4e5fe0f4d5fdhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mental-health-specialists.html/<h3>What Are the Kinds of Mental Health Experts?</h3> <p>Counselors, therapists, clinical social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists are all experts in mental health. But they have different levels of education and some offer different mental health services.</p> <p>When looking for mental health care, you may also hear the term "behavioral health." It refers to everything you'd think of as mental health, such as help for struggles around conditions like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/understanding-depression.html/">depression</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anxiety-disorders.html/">anxiety</a>, and challenges like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/death.html/">grief</a> and addiction.</p> <h3>What Kind of Mental Health Expert Is Best for My Child?</h3> <p>The first step to getting help for your child is finding the specialist with the training and experience that fits your needs. But with so many options to choose from, this simple task can feel complicated.</p> <p>Start with your <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/talk-doctor.html/">family doctor</a>. They're called "primary" care providers for a reason. Unless it's an emergency, go to your child's pediatrician or your family doctor first for mental and physical concerns.</p> <p>Some mental health issues have a physical cause. When they don't, your family doctor or pediatrician can help you find the right mental health specialist.</p> <p>Here's who your doctor may recommend:</p> <h3>Therapists and Counselors</h3> <p>For the most part, these two words mean the same thing. They're both experts who use talk therapy techniques to help their clients. That includes resolving problem beliefs, changing behaviors, improving emotional outlook, and more.</p> <p>When they treat children, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/finding-therapist.html/">therapists</a> and counselors can work with the whole family or the child alone. They use a variety of ways to help kids express themselves, like drawing, playing, and talking. Older kids and teens may be ready for activities that help them learn needed skills.</p> <p>Sometimes, it can help parents to see a therapist by themselves to get their own support.</p> <p>Most states require licensed therapists and counselors to have a master's degree. So in addition to a 4-year degree, they have education in their specific field.</p> <p>One way to learn more about a therapist or clinical counselor is to look at the letters that come after their name. These are abbreviations of a license or accreditation that refer to a provider's&nbsp; education and training. Different types of counselors and therapists include a:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Licensed professional counselor (LPC):</strong> Someone who is trained to treat mental health, behavioral, and emotional disorders.</li> <li><strong>Licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT):</strong> Someone who treats a wide range of mental health disorders. They also help families and couples work through their own challenges.</li> <li><strong>Licensed clinical alcohol &amp; drug abuse counselor (LCADAC):</strong> Someone who specializes in working with families struggling with <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/drugs-information.html/">drug</a> and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/alcohol.html/">alcohol</a> abuse.</li> </ul> <p>Ask if your child's mental health counselor or therapist is certified and find out about their education and experience with children.</p> <h3>Clinical Social Workers</h3> <p>Social workers can help people live healthier, more productive lives. Clinical social workers focus on diagnosing and treating mental health issues.</p> <p>Like therapists and counselors, clinical social workers can help work families through challenging experiences like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/help-child-divorce.html/">divorce</a>. They can also treat mental health conditions like depression.</p> <p>Clinical social workers work in many places, including with family doctors, at hospitals, and at nonprofit organizations.</p> <p>They have at least a master's degree. Here are a couple of the types of clinical social workers:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW):</strong> They can help clients work through a wide variety of mental and emotional challenges. They're required to meet education and experience requirements, though these vary by state.</li> <li><strong>Academy of certified social worker (ACSW):</strong> these are clinical social workers with a master's degree and 2 years of organizational experience. These social workers are credentialed by the Academy of Certified Social Workers.</li> </ul> <h3>Nurses</h3> <p>Nurses with advanced education provide a wide range of mental health services, including therapy and sometimes medication management. They have typically earned a master's or doctoral degree, like a PhD or doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). They're called <strong>mental health nurse practitioners</strong> or <strong>psychiatric nurse practitioners</strong>.</p> <h3>Psychologists and Psychiatrists</h3> <p>These titles sound similar, but they have an important difference.</p> <h4>Psychologists</h4> <p>Like a counselor or therapist, psychologists can make a mental health diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. They have doctoral degrees (like a PhD or PsyD), but are not medical doctors and can't prescribe medicine.</p> <h4>Psychiatrists</h4> <p>A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MD) who can do everything a psychologist can, plus prescribe medicine.</p> <p>For kids and teens who benefit from talk therapy alone, either a psychologist or a psychiatrist is a great choice. Those who need medication should see a psychiatrist. It's often also helpful to get talk therapy along with medicines.</p>Especialistas en salud mental Cuando busque a un profesional de la salud mental, es posible que también oiga la expresión de "salud conductual". Esta expresión se refiere a todos los aspectos relacionados con la salud mental, como ayuda para abordar afecciones como la depresión la ansiedad, y a retos como el duelo y las adicciones. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/mental-health-specialists-esp.html/72f32fc5-5885-4b8a-b536-895196a35615
About Serious StressSerious stress can come from dealing with a personal crisis, a disaster, a health crisis, or a mental health condition that feels out of control. Here's what to do when stress gets really serious.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/serious-stress.html/78a0c5cb-4520-4ed9-a48a-dcef9d173b06
Anxiety DisordersAnxiety is a natural part of life, and most of us experience it from time to time. But for some people, anxiety can be extreme.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/anxiety.html/d048acee-87d1-4b88-ba46-0d62747ec768
Dealing With AddictionFind out what you can do if you think you or a friend has a drug or alcohol addiction - from recognizing the warning signs to suggestions to help you stay clean.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/addictions.html/1bb39666-6df9-4f2a-b2ab-62dc486fd6f3
Dealing With Difficult EmotionsNegative emotions are impossible to avoid and everyone feels them from time to time. They may be difficult, but they don't have to be stressful. Find out how to deal with stressful feelings.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/stressful-feelings.html/67cde0df-0678-4194-8b9e-5dd0df3742c9
Dealing With DivorceIf you're dealing with your parents' divorce, it may seem hard, but it is possible to cope and have a good family life in spite of the changes divorce can bring.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/divorce.html/f52a8f2a-85bc-4817-bf83-2fb6fc2d387d
DepressionDepression is very common. For more information about depression and feeling better, check out this article.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/depression.html/313901c9-c72a-4f03-831b-94ab61da2856
Fears and PhobiasFear is a normal human reaction that protects us by signaling danger and preparing us to deal with it. Get the facts about fears and phobias and what causes them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/phobias.html/30d316c9-a38a-492f-95f8-d33304e0856f
Finding Low-Cost Mental Health CareIf you need mental health care but don't think you can afford it, you're not alone. Get tips on finding low-cost or free mental health care in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/mhealth-care.html/1d8bc05d-7696-4dda-910b-0d06f3855508
Going to a TherapistWhat's it like to go to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist? Find out in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/going-to-therapist.html/98f4f29c-08f9-42ae-84d2-a492759ee506
School CounselorsSchool counselors can give you all sorts of tips and support on solving problems and making good decisions. But how do you meet with a counselor and what is it like? Find out here.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/school-counselors.html/5bda8647-47da-4249-bd91-9123ca104336
Taking Your Child to a TherapistMany children and teens have problems that affect how they feel, act, or learn. Going to therapy helps them cope better, feel better, and do better.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/finding-therapist.html/36c31f3c-0467-4e71-8c7e-c6274c9f2c8f
Tips for Divorcing ParentsNo guide can guarantee a way to steer kids unscathed through a divorce. Every situation - and every family - is different. But these commonsense guidelines might make the adjustment a bit easier.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/divorce.html/54599e6e-2c55-4836-880b-6714c25f1c73
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthkh:clinicalDesignation-generalPediatricskh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthBehaviorhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emotions/behavior/ec417296-5115-48f8-9e98-400241ef0269Health Care Resources and Informationhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/system/resources/36d462ac-0a47-470e-a464-14d87e9a39b6Emotionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emotions/feelings/b0520316-31b1-481c-9869-510ceb0094d1