Types of Therapists & Mental Health Providers

“Therapist” is broadly used for professionals trained in helping patients overcome psychological and emotional issues. Regardless of their official title or qualifications, mental health professionals are all trained in some form of psychotherapy. It's important to choose a therapist whose approach you feel comfortable with, and whose specialties meet your needs. Here is a list of some of these provider types, and explanations of each. More coming soon!

List of types of therapy

  • Couples counselor

  • Sex therapist

  • Life coach

  • Dietitian or nutritionist

  • Career counselor

  • Marriage and Family Therapist


Short explanations of therapist types

  • Psychiatrist: A medical doctor with an MD; can prescribe medication; some also offer weekly talk therapy and if they do, they can be the most expensive of the practitioners.

  • Nurse Practitioner: A nurse who can prescribe medication under the supervision of a medical doctor; some also provide weekly therapy and if they do, they can also be expensive. 

  • Psychologist: Has a PhD or PsyD; trained in clinical therapy; experts at delivering many types of talk therapy; cannot prescribe medication. 

  • Social worker: Has a Masters degree in social work and additional training in therapy; can tend to offer more affordable care; cannot prescribe medication.

  • Counselor / Marriage and Family Therapist: Has a Masters degree in psychology, counseling, or a related field; can tend to offer more affordable care; cannot prescribe medication.