How to determine which provider type is best suited to meet my needs:
It can be confusing trying to sort out all the initials after some professionals names, to understand what they all mean, and to know which type of provider to go to. All providers within MHNet’s network are licensed by their state to provide services and have been credentialed, which means MHNet has verified their license, education and history. To explain the different provider types briefly:
· Psychiatrists are trained Medical Doctors or Doctors of Osteopathy (MD or DO) who are uniquely qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of emotional distress and mental illness. Their education has given them a full working knowledge of the many causes for patients’ feelings and symptoms. They know which tests or evaluations are needed to make a complete, accurate diagnosis. Psychiatrists can recommend or prescribe treatment. They have a broad knowledge of medications, which are used to treat emotional distress and mental illness. Although trained in psychotherapy, many psychiatrists limit their practice to prescribing and monitoring medications. After the initial evaluation, medication management visits are typically 15 minutes.
· Psychologists (PhD or PsyD) are trained at the doctoral level of education (but have not gone to medical school.) They are specialists in psychological testing or assessment and are also trained in psychotherapy and research of treatment effectiveness.
· Psychotherapists are trained at a Master’s degree level in a variety of different fields (such as psychology, social work or education). They are qualified individuals who have been trained to help people deal more effectively with the problems/stress they are experiencing. Therapists work to alleviate and prevent emotional problems and mental illness. Therapy usually deals with more serious or long-term problems through somewhat extended one-on-one work. Problem areas might include: emotional difficulties such as anxiety or depression; problematic behaviors such as addictions, phobias or compulsions; relationship problems with family, spouse, children, etc.
Any of these individuals (psychiatrists, psychologists or psychotherapists) can do an excellent job in working with individuals to help them resolve their psychological issues. Many of these professionals may also have an area of specialty, such as Depression, Eating Disorders or Adolescent Issues. Feel free to contact MHNet and ask questions. We will be happy to help determine the type of professional best suited for your situation.