Mental Health Counselor – Tips on Finding the Right Provider

It’s not easy to find mental health counselor that you can trust. This is especially true if you don’t know the counselor that fits your specific needs.

To help you get started, here are some tips as you search for the best provider.

Know the type of provider that you need

Mental health providers provide treatment right after diagnosing a patient with a mental health condition. Some of them have taken/completed master’s degree while others have undergone advanced training. Either you go for the former or the latter, you must choose the one who is licensed to provide you with mental health services.

A mental health counselor can be a psychiatrist. He/she is a licensed medical doctor who specializes in mental health. He/she can handle mental health cases of child, adolescent and geriatric. Even addiction psychiatry can be provided by this type of doctor.

Another person you can go to is a psychologist. He/she isn’t a medical doctor. But he/she is trained to handle thoughts and emotions, as well as behaviors of his/her patients. A psychologist holds a Ph.D, a Psy. D., or a Ed.D. But a psychologist can’t prescribe medicine, unless he/she is also a medical doctor.

A psychiatric-mental health nurse can also be considered a mental health counselor. He/she is a registered nurse. The only difference from that of a regular nurse is that he/she underwent rigorous training in mental health issues. He/she can diagnose, treat and assess mental illnesses. As regards to prescribing medicines, he/she must be an advanced practice nurse.

Try considering some factors

Although it’s okay to go to a provider who can treat a range of mental health conditions, it’s best to seek mental health counseling from a person who is trained to treat or diagnose your specific condition.

This means that if you have an eating disorder, the mental health counselor that you need is a psychologist. Marital problems can be consulted with a licensed marriage counselor. And so on and so forth.

If your condition is complicated, then you have to consider getting counseling from the person who is an expert in the field and who underwent training for your condition.

Find out if you need medication

As previously mentioned, some of those counselors cannot prescribe medicine. But just because you have mental health disorder doesn’t mean you need medicine. However, if you do need medicine, you should consider consulting with a mental health counselor who is licensed to prescribe the right medicine for you.

Get to know your insurance

Not all insurance providers will cover fees of mental health counselor. If your insurance can cover it, you should look into its list of specific providers that are covered.

As soon as you know that your condition can be covered by your insurance provider, it is a must that you get to know the policy, your benefits, as well as your limits.

Whether the consultation fees and medicines are covered by your insurance policy or not, you need to make sure that the mental health counselor you choose is trained and licensed to practice in this field. You must pick a counselor that you can establish a good relationship. In this way, you can easily maximize your treatment.


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