It is very difficult to decide which type of graduate study to pursue when you want to work in the field of mental health. But surprisingly most students in psychology wish to do a graduate study that will link them to the mental health field, the choices of graduate studies may be confusing this is because there is no clear distinction between the type of work that those with different degrees do such degrees would include clinical psychologist, social workers, and counseling psychologists which by the end of the day they do similar types of jobs and work with similar types of clients in the mental health field. Here is some information that would help students to choose the best graduate program so as to work in the mental health field.
First it is important that we define some terms that will be used in the context of this article. a psychologist is someone who holds a PhD in clinical psychology
A social worker is who holds a masters degree in social work
A counselor or counseling therapist is someone who holds masters or a PhD in counseling and who focuses generally in working with general emotionally healthy people who are dealing with everyday problems that are related to work and relationships in general.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who often works with people with serious mental or emotional problems and he is the only mental health therapist who may prescribe drugs to patients.
Some of the graduate programs for mental health would include
PhD. D in clinical psychology .this takes around five to six years and when in school you are given an option to specialize in a certain field. The clinical psychologist works with a variety of client groups and this totally depends on what he or she specialized in during graduate school, these clients would include individuals with depression or anxiety, personality disorder and mental detardation. These graduates are also allowed to teach in colleges
A doctorate in psychology. Holders of this doctorate will have the same duties and client groups as the clinical psychologist but they are not allowed to teach in colleges. This is a program that runs for three to five years and also requires a one year internship it is also a very new degree and it mostly emphasizes clinical skills and not research.
Masters degree in social work. This is a professional degree program that allows its graduate to work in the mental health field. The duties of the social worker are also very similar to that of the clinical psychologist only in this case the social worker tends to work very closely with the clients the social worker visits the clients often either at home or even in their work place as opposed to the clinical psychologist who meets their clients in the office or other formal set up. The master degree in social work takes up to two years that include extensive internship.
Tips and comments
Some of the place where people who have obtained a degree to work in mental health include
- Hospitals and health settings
- Criminal justice system
- Mental health clinics
- Private practice
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