These also distinguishes them from “life coaches” who generally only have a brief training, some schools are better since they are accredited by the International Coach Federation - my training was with the Institute for Life Coach Training which was specifically designed for psychotherapists and lasted over 6 months (in addition to my graduate school). Life coaches typically work with clients on improving their life skills, such as weight loss, career change, but they are NOT credentialed to treat mental health and emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, trauma, or PTSD, as well as relationship challenges (licensed marriage and family therapist is your best bet) so please make sure that you verify people’s credentials, training, and background before you spend precious money.
Unfortunately, many times I have clients come to me who have been to a so called “life coach” and in the end they have more issues before they started coaching program. I do have a few friends who are exception to the rule and who do not misrepresent themselves and refer their clients to a licensed clinician as appropriate.
1. A psychologist evaluates diagnoses, treats, and studies behavior and mental processes. Some psychologists, such as clinical and counseling psychologists, provide mental health care, and some psychologists, such as social or organizational psychologists conduct research and provide consultation services..
· Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts (contrast with psychiatrists, who are physician specialists).
· Industrial/organizational and community psychologists who apply psychological research, theories and techniques to "real-world" problems, questions and issues in business, industry, social benefit organizations, and government.
· Academics conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college or university;
There are many different types of psychologists, as is reflected by the 56 different divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA). Psychologists are generally described as being either "applied" or "research-oriented". Most typically, people encounter psychologists and think of the discipline as involving the work of clinical psychologists or counseling psychologists. While counseling and psychotherapy are common activities for psychologists, these applied fields are just one branch in the larger domain of psychology. Research and teaching comprise a major role among psychologists. Technological advances in the future may increase the usage of computerized testing and assessment services in order to do some of the jobs of psychologists, including recognizing mental disorders (for more see Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychologist)
A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry. A psychiatrist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who must evaluate patients to determine whether or not their symptoms are the result of a physical illness, a combination of physical and mental, or a strictly psychiatric one. As part of the clinical assessment process they may employ a mental status examination, a physical examination, brain imaging such as computerized tomography(CT/CAT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, and blood testing. Psychiatrists prescribe medicine, and may also use psychotherapy, although the vast majority do medical management and refer to a psychologist or master level psychotherapist or another specialized therapist for therapy (for more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychiatrist)
Psychotherapy is therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client, patient, family, couple, or group. Simply, Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider. The main goals is to reduce symptoms and restore well-being and this is the main difference also between coaching and therapy since life coaches are not trained to do that; they only work with clients on their skill set.
Psychotherapy may also be performed by practitioners with different qualifications, including psychiatry, psychology, social work (clinical or psychiatric), counseling psychology, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, and psychiatric nursing.
There are some distinctions between a licensed social worker, a licensed marriage and family therapist (such as myself), and a licensed mental health counselor. For me, I have always been interested in relationships and how we can heal from trauma, depression, and anxiety and for this reason I’ve decided to pursue my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Miami. I had systemized and specialized training in family systems and couples therapy. On the other hand, licensed social workers are better equipped to provide referrals and resources in the community and often also work in the hospital settings to facilitate discharge planning. While marriage and family therapists are generally not focused on diagnosing mental illnesses, but rather on the relationships, licensed mental health counselors have more in-depth training in diagnosing and treating severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. It is a good idea to find out what kind of the specialized training the clinician has before making an appointment. To verify the license, simply go to Fl Department of Health Website and http://www.floridahealth.gov/%5C/licensing-and-regulation/index.html.
(For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychotherapist).