A PhD in mental health counseling is necessary to work as a psychiatrist. Someone with a doctorate in mental health counseling may be permitted to practice as a professional psychiatrist if they hold other Doctor of Medicine credentials. This occupation involves offering services to improve a patient’s emotional well being and to treat psychiatric illnesses. Holders of PhD (doctorate) degrees can also work as clinical social workers or clinical psychologists. Although their scope of practice may vary slightly, all deal with the same disorders, illnesses, issues, and conditions. Psychiatrists diagnose and treat emotional problems suffered by individuals, families, and couples. They have to counsel patients with a view to improving personal relationships as well as treating psychological disorders. Therefore, the scope of their practices often overlaps.
Mental Health Counseling Training and Education
To qualify, an aspirant psychiatrist first has to pursue a Bachelors degree which is followed by four years at medical school. After this, to obtain a PhD in mental health counseling, the graduate has to attend an internship program for a year. Thereafter, three years must be spent at a hospital while training as a psychiatrist. When this has been successfully completed, a trainee psychiatrist must take a state licensing board examination in order to receive a license to practice. The exam is a stringent test on psychiatric sub-specialties, the clinical science of psychiatry, and the biological sciences. It contains written and oral components.
Careers in Mental Health Counseling
During the course of their work, psychiatrists also use diagnostic and laboratory testing to shed light on the physical and mental state of patients. Apart from psychotherapy and medication, shock treatment is frequently used. Treatment modules are different for each individual patient. The most common disorders are psychosis, substance abuse, depression, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, and developmental disabilities.
Patients are referred to a psychiatrist by other health care practitioners. A mental health professional (MHP) often liaises with the patient’s medical doctor to plan a treatment program. The MHP’s role is to provide psychotherapy and psychiatric medication. The significant difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that psychiatrists are permitted to prescribe drugs. Psychologists are only allowed to provide verbal therapy.
Let’s focus more closely on the career of a psychiatrist. Their work is often stressful as they treat patients who are very emotionally unstable. Some patients have psychological disorders that result in dangerous behaviors which can harm themselves as well as those around them.
Psychiatrists work in private practices or mental health institutions. It can take a while to build a successful private practice so most new graduates begin their careers by working for an established practice. Those with PhDs who do not wish to treat patients can take on lecturing jobs at universities and colleges, or become deans of psychiatric faculties. Alternatively, they can become administrators or researchers.
The working environment of a practicing psychiatrist with a PhD in mental health counseling should be peaceful and quiet so that patients feel comfortable and at ease. Those who are self-employed often have irregular working hours because of emergency situations.
Programs in Mental Health Counseling
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, human services, ministry, and more.
- The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
- Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
- Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology
- Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- And more...
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
- Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
- Ph.D. in General Psychology - Performance Psychology
- Ph.D. in General Psychology - Integrating Technology, Learning, and Psychology
- M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
- And more...
- Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
- As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
- Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
- General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
- eLearners.com Helps You Find the Right College within Minutes.
- Get Matched to the Perfect Psychology Degree Programs From Top Colleges Here.
- Learn at Your Own Pace and Get Qualified to Pursue a Career You Will Love.
- Answer a Few Questions and You Are One Step Closer to Enroll in a Top College!
- Offers online & on-campus Master’s in Medical Family Therapy programs with an optional certification in Medical Family Therapy
- Students participate in a clinical internship with 500 client contact hours and 100 hours of supervision prior to completing the program
- Topics covered include Couples Therapy, Addictive Disorders, Systematic Diagnosis & Assessment, & more
- Eligible students can enroll in clinical training program after completing their coursework