The descriptor "mental health therapist" includes a variety of professionals that conduct therapy as part of their daily responsibilities, such as clinical psychologists, marriage and family therapists, school therapists, social workers, and general therapists. Therapy includes the use of psychological methods - such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis - to help patients overcome behavioral and psychological obstacles and problems. Techniques used by mental health therapist include cognitive-behavioral therapy, word association, and a wide variety of psychological tests, among many others. A mental health therapist can work in their own practice or for a particular company or organization. As part of a company, the therapist may focus on employees' problems and how they affect productivity and job performance.
Depending on the type of therapy performed, different educational requirements and credentials are necessary. Academic qualifications range from master’s degrees for social workers and marriage and family therapists to doctoral degrees for clinical psychologists. A therapist must be able to listen to an individual, help diagnose or identify issues, and use a variety of techniques to help the patient work through those issues.
Mental Health Therapist Tasks
- Monitor for and intervene in crisis situations.
- Document and report on interactions, concerns, treatment, and attendance.
- Interact with clients, provide therapy, and suggest specific services.
- Write progress notes and coordinate with other care providers.