In addition to counselors, who work in the lay sector, the medical field has many types of professionals who can treat depression. You may find some of these folks engaged in private practice, or they may be associated with a hospital or medical clinic. Your best resource is your family health care provider. Ask who is available in your area to help you get started tackling the symptoms of depression.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
A psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP) is a registered nurse who is trained in the practice of psychiatric and mental health nursing. The professional organization is the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are licensed by the state in which they practice. They're trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are frequently affiliated with psychiatric hospitals or may be in private practice.
A clinical psychologist is a therapist with an advanced degree from an accredited graduate program in psychology and two or more years of postgraduate supervised work experience. Most states require a doctoral degree and a state license for psychologists. Clinical psychologists are trained to make diagnoses, administer psychological testing, and provide individual and group therapy.
Previously, only medical doctors could write prescriptions, but in 2002 New Mexico granted prescription privileges to psychologists, and in 2004 Louisiana followed suit. Psychologists in the Armed Forces also have prescription privileges. Otherwise, psychologists are required to consult with a physician before prescribing. These psychologists are required to have advanced training in order to qualify for this designation.
If you are having difficulty locating a therapist, finding one just got a whole lot easier. Simply dial 1-800-Therapist. That will get you on the right track to finding someone who can help you.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses. Like other doctors, psychiatrists are qualified to prescribe medication. A psychiatrist should have a state medical license and be board-eligible or board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.