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Psychiatric Treatment Team

Who treats psychiatric disorders?

Mental health disorders are complex and require clinical care by a multidisciplinary treatment team. Team members may include the following:

  • Child and adolescent psychiatrist. These are licensed medical doctors (MD or DO) who specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders in children and teens. Their medical and psychiatric training with children and teens prepares them to treat individuals, families, or groups. These providers can prescribe medicines, if needed.

  • Psychiatrist. These are licensed medical doctors (MD or DO) who specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. Their training prepares them to treat adults and children as individuals, families, or in groups. These providers can prescribe medicines, if needed.

  • Psychologist. These are licensed mental health professional (PhD or PsyD) who specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. Training prepares clinical psychologists to treat adults and children as individuals, families, or in groups. Psychologists also conduct cognitive, academic, and personality testing.

  • Social worker. Social workers (bachelors- masters-, or doctoral-level) often work with the child and family to do case management and help the family reach the long- and short-term treatment goals, established by your child's healthcare team.

  • Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). This is a masters or doctoral-level clinical practitioner with extensive educational background and skills in different forms of psychotherapy. This includes individual, family, and group counseling. They are licensed to do several forms of psychotherapy with your child and family, as necessary.

  • Advanced practice psychiatric nurse. Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) are masters- or doctoral-level prepared psychiatric nurses, specializing in mental health nursing. These nurses may be clinical specialists (CNS) or nurse practitioners (NP). They specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders of all ages. They are educated and licensed to treat adults and some also treat children individually, as a family, and also as a group by conducting therapy or prescribing medicines, if needed, and managing the use of these medicines. 

  • Pharmacists. These are licensed health professional who have special training in preparing and dispensing prescription medicine. Pharmacists have been taught how drugs work, how to use them, and their side effects. They can monitor new prescriptions and how they may interact with medicines you are already taking. Pharmacists can help you understand your medicines.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Cunningham RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2020
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