Chilliwack Psychologist and Counselling Clinic for Mental Health

There are several types of mental health disorders. Some persons often fail to seek help for some mental disorders because they see them as ordinary due to how common they are. A typical example is anxiety and depression.

However, while some mental disorders are more common than others, all mental disorders have to be taken with the same level of seriousness, and medical attention must be gotten as soon as possible.

If before now, you’ve never needed to see or contact a professional in this field, then chances are you don’t know a thing about finding one. You might have a hard time finding one that will suit your needs or that of your loved one (if it’s your loved one that needs this service).

We know how it feels to navigate unknown territories. Hence, in this article, we will talk about everything you need to know when it comes to choosing a mental health professional.

Considering The Type You Need

Professionals in this field diagnose and treat mental health disorders. The majority of them have their master’s degree and some may have other advanced training, credentials, and education.

There are also different types of professionals in this field. Below are some common ones:

  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Physician assistant
  • Licensed Professional counselor
  • Psychiatric-mental health nurse

Let’s take a brief look at each of them.


Psychologists are trained in the field of psychology which is the study of behaviors, emotions, and thoughts.

Typically, psychologists:

  • Diagnose and then treat some mental conditions, provide psychological counseling (could either be group or one-on-one counseling)
  • Work with other professionals who are allowed to prescribe medication (when needed)

They are however not meant to prescribe medication. They are only allowed to work in this capacity if they’ve been licensed to. Visit to learn more about psychologists.


Psychiatrists are physicians (either a doctor of osteopathic medicine or a doctor of medicine) that specialize in mental health. Doctors like this may choose to specialize in several areas like addiction psychiatry, geriatric, or child and adolescent.

Typically, psychiatrists:

  • Diagnose and then treat mental conditions
  • Prescribe medication
  • Offer psychological counseling (physiotherapy)

Physician Assistants

Certified physician assistants are usually primary health care providers or work with physicians. If their specialization is psychiatry, they can:

  • Prescribe medication
  • Provide counsel on treatment and diagnoses.
  • Diagnose and then treat mental conditions

Licensed Professional counselors

The training required for someone to get the licensed professional counselor title usually varies from one state to the other. However, generally, the majority of licensed professional counselors have a master’s degree.

These professionals:

  • Offer counseling and diagnosis for several types of concerns
  • Work with other professionals that are allowed to prescribe medications when the need arises. This is because they aren’t licensed to do this.

Psychiatric-mental health nurses

Professionals under this category are usually registered nurses that are trained to handle mental health conditions. Under this category, we have Psychiatric-mental health advanced practice registered nurses. These nurses must have a Psychiatric-mental health nursing master’s degree.

These nurses can:

  • Prescribe medications if the state they are practicing allows it and they are advanced practice nurses
  • Diagnose and then treat mental conditions. This is usually based on their experience, training, and education

The services that can be offered by this kind of nurse are often based on the nurse’s experience, state law, training, and education. You can read this article to learn more about the services they offer as well as the roles they fill.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mental Health Professional

When choosing among these different mental health professions, you need to consider the following factors. This will help you choose a professional that will suit your needs.

1. Your Insurance

You need to consider your insurance coverage. Sometimes, health insurance policies may cover only specific professionals or certain types of professionals. You need to be sure if your insurance can cover the particular type of professional you are considering. If it does, look further to see if the particular clinic or professional you are considering is covered by your insurance. Also, find out the limit of your insurance benefits.

2. Counseling, Medication, or Both

As we have seen so far, some professionals in this field aren’t allowed to prescribe medication. Hence, your decision may be based on how severe your symptoms are and your concerns.

You may have to see two professionals rather than one. For instance, you might need a psychologist for counseling. But because they can’t prescribe medications, you might also need a psychiatrist for your medication prescription.

3. Your Condition/Concern

These professionals often treat several types of conditions and disorders. However, to ensure your needs are properly addressed, a professional that specializes in the area of your need may be a better choice.

For instance, let’s say you have one of the various types of eating disorders, in this case, you’d likely benefit better if you see a professional that specialized in eating disorders.

Things To Look Out for When Choosing a Mental Health Professional

  • Education, licensing, and training
  • Experience
  • Specialization
  • Treatment philosophy and approaches
  • Fees, duration of sessions, office hours


There are several types of professionals in the mental health field. Finding the right professional for your needs is crucial to the success of the treatment. This is why you need to consider several things including your condition, insurance coverage, and if you need counseling or medication or even both. You also need to ensure that the provider is experienced, licensed, and properly educated to work in that capacity.