What are the similarities and differences between them?
For some, they are highly regarded in their respective careers. For some they are completely unknown and are just known for their ability to help with your relationship with addiction. There are also many who would be considered as coaches, but only in a very vague sense.
Regardless of their profession, all mental health services are supported by the state, and if you are not receiving the appropriate level of care, you may fall into one one of these groups.
Treatment & Referrals
The mental health professionals that I have spoken to in my career have indicated, time and time again that they consider their profession to be a ‘service’.
I have heard them use the phrase when describing their work in the past. ‘Our job is to help you achieve your goals.’
A number of psychiatrists that I have spoken with have told me that they consider their work to be ‘professional counselling’, or ‘therapists’ for the general population.
The word treatment is used quite regularly when you speak to these professionals and people will say that they are simply providing treatment for a condition. For the most part these terms have been limited to when referring to those services that offer a ‘Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’ type of treatment for anxiety of some sort.
But there are several professions within the mental health field that are in some ways very similar in terms of the service that they provide.
My colleague and friend, Dr. Mary Henson, describes what I would consider to be the mental health equivalent of a ‘life coach’ to this site.
A life coach is simply someone who ‘helps with any aspects of your life to help you achieve your goals’. In this role, Dr. Henson would be helping with your relationship with alcohol, drugs, alcohol, and other addictive behaviours.
Many people refer to the type of treatment that these professionals offer as ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’, and I would certainly not go as far as to describe Dr. Henson, as being a ‘psychologist’ or ‘mental health professional’ unless I were very clear on the terminology!
I would also caution that it is important to understand that there is an overlap between the two fields that are able to be very useful. For example, both of those services are very much in place to support anyone who suffers from any kind of psychological disorder.
My colleague Dr. Henson also refers to this as ‘psychotherapy.’
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