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Types of Mental Health Practitioners

        Health | Coping

Types of Mental Health Practitioners (<i>cont'd</i>)

Licensed social workers fill a niche in mental health counseling by not only offering therapy to help those with mental illness, but also aiding patients with community care. The wide range of agencies with which social workers work make them one of the best mental health providers who fully understands and utilizes the community resources available.

Thus, there are many different types of mental health professionals available to deal with a wide variety of mental disorders and. From mild to debilitating, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists are all trained to deal with different components of the mental health spectrum.

Doctoral Degrees

M.D.—Medical Doctor: Degree awarded psychiatrists and other doctors such as internists, cardiologists, etc.

D.O.—Doctor of Osteopathy: Degree with same residency training as M.D., but emphasis on natural and alternative therapies.

Ph.D.—Doctor of Philosophy: Degree awarded psychologists. Also a traditional academic doctorate which enables the degree holder to teach at a college or university. Ph.D.'s are also awarded in social work and nursing.

Psy.D.—Doctor of Psychology: Degree awarded to psychologists. Emphasis on practice rather than research.

D.S.W.—Doctor of Social Work: Degree awarded social workers. Advanced degree held by educators in social work.

Ed.D.—Doctor of Education: Degree conferred by Schools of Education with emphasis on teaching in the respective field.

D.Sc.—Doctor of Science: Degree similar to the Ph.D. but more emphasis on practical, real-world experience rather than research. More common in Canada than the U.S. and in public health programs.

Master's Degrees

M.S.W.—Master of Social Work: Traditional degree for social workers, same level as Licensed Clinical Social Worker.