Can a Counsellor Diagnose You with a Mental Illness?

When it comes to mental health, therapists are licensed to evaluate, diagnose and treat mental health issues. They are better equipped to diagnose emotional or behavioral disorders than a doctor, since their education and training is focused on mental health. Psychologists have earned a doctorate in clinical psychology or in a specialty area of mental health, such as education or counseling. They can assess your mental health through tests, evaluations, and interviews and diagnose mental illness.

They may also offer therapy to address it properly. Some psychologists are also trained in therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. However, they do not have the capacity to prescribe any medication. Finding a diagnosis can be a relief for some clients because it externalizes the symptoms of mental illness rather than an innate defect in themselves. It also gives some people hope that, after recognizing their diagnosis, they can finally move on to treating the disease properly.

However, in some cases, people who have been diagnosed with mental illness may feel that they have been labeled, that they have been trapped in that illness, and that a cure is not possible. Mental health counselors are trained to provide individual and group counseling sessions. They can diagnose mental health problems but cannot prescribe medications. People can access mental health counseling through health insurance, government plans, or low-cost programs. A psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions.

They can use a variety of therapeutic techniques to help a person manage anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. Family nurses and mental health professionals must work together to determine the best treatment plan for each person. Health professionals who can also prescribe medications once the diagnosis has been completed are licensed as medical providers and mental health professionals. Professional mental health counselors can work in a variety of settings such as health centers, hospitals, schools, prisons or workplaces. Clinical social workers are trained to assess a person's mental health and use therapeutic techniques based on specific training programs. If you have a mental health condition, you usually have an alteration in your thinking, feeling or behavior that reflects a problem with your mental functions.

Mental health professionals who can prescribe medications include psychiatrists and nurses who specialize in psychiatry. Your primary care doctor will work with your mental health provider to determine the best treatment plan for your mental and physical health. However, seeking help early can reduce the impact that mental health conditions can have on a person's health, career and relationships. Masters-level health professionals, therapists and counselors are trained to assess your mental health and use appropriate techniques to help you reduce and control your symptoms and learn more positive ways to live a healthy life. The following descriptions provide an overview of what you should look for and what credentials to expect from a mental health professional.

Jeanette Kunzler
Jeanette Kunzler

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