4 Types of Mental Health Support

There are several different types of trained mental health professionals. Each kind of provider has a different title and level of expertise. These providers offer psychotherapy aka talk therapy, a method for helping you explore your feelings and behaviors and learning to cope.

This resource compiled by Optum Rx and Wespath Benefits


  • Have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree
  • Are licensed by the state they practice in
  • Are trained to diagnose and evaluate a person’s mental health through testing and talking to the patient and to treat them accordingly


  • Have a master’s degree
  • May be licensed in their state as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LCADAC)
  • Provide psychotherapy (talk therapy) aimed at helping improve your symptoms so you feel better


  • Includes Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSW), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and Academy of Certified Social Worker (ACSW)
  • Trained to assess a person’s mental health and provide psychotherapy using various therapeutic techniques


  • Have completed medical school with additional training in psychiatry
  • Because they are licensed physicians, they can prescribe medication
  • Can also provide talk therapy
  • If your psychologist, counselor, clinician or therapist suspects you need this specialized expertise, they might refer you to a psychiatrist.