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Information on the Mental Health Professions

  1. Social Worker (MSW, LMSW, LCSW. PhD.):  Social workers have either a bachelor's degree (B.A., B.S., or B.S.W.), a master's degree (M.A., M.S., M.S.W., or M.S.S.W), or doctoral degree (D.S.W. or Ph.D.). In most states, social workers take an examination to be licensed to practice social work (L.M.S.W.,L.C.S.W. or L.I.C.S.W.), and the type of license depends on their level of education and practice experience. Social workers provide various services including assessment and treatment of psychiatric illnesses, case management, hospital discharge planning, and psychotherapy

    National Association of Social Workers (NASW):
    Be a Social Worker:
    New York State Office of Professions (Licensing Requirements):


  1. Psychologist (MA, PhD, Psy.D):  some psychologists have a master's degree (M.A. or M.S.) in psychology while others have a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.) in clinical, educational, counseling, or research psychology. Most states licensed psychologists practice psychology. They can provide psychological testing, evaluations, treat emotional and behavioral problems and mental disorders, and provide psychotherapy

    American Psychological Association (APA):
    American Counseling Association (ACA):
    New York State Office of Professions (Licensing Requirements): 
  1. Psychiatrist:  a psychiatrist is a physician with a doctor of medicine (M.D.) degree or osteopathic (D.O.) degree, with at least four more years of specialized study and training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are licensed as physicians to practice medicine by individual states. "Board certified" psychiatrists have passed the national examination administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Psychiatrists provide medical and psychiatric evaluations, treat psychiatric disorders, provide psychotherapy, and prescribe and monitor medications

    American Psychiatric Association: 


  1. Psychiatric Nurse:  Psychiatric/mental health nurses may have various degrees ranging from associate's to bachelor's (B.S.N.) to master's (M.S.N. or A.P.R.N) to doctoral (D.N.Sc., Ph.D.). Depending on their level of education and licensing, they provide a broad range of psychiatric and medical services, including the assessment and treatment of psychiatric illnesses, case management, and psychotherapy. In some states, some psychiatric nurses may prescribe and monitor medication.

    American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA): 
  1. Mental Health Counselor (MHC, LMHC):  Mental health counseling is a distinct profession with national standards for education, training and clinical practice. Mental health counselors are highly-skilled professionals who provide flexible, consumer-oriented therapy. They combine traditional psychotherapy with a practical, problem-solving approach that creates a dynamic and efficient path for change and problem resolution.

    American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA): 
    New York State Office of Professions (Licensing Requirements):  


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