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Professions in the Mental-Health Field

Book cover for "Garden Your Mind"

Professions in the Mental-Health Field Are Explained

  • Garden will teach you an easy and effective system of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT & REBT).

Note on Descriptions

This is a brief description of the different professionals involved in the mental health field. It is not an attempt to explain every variation. It is only an attempt to provide a general view of the main professions involved in the field of mental health. There are frequent exceptions, changes occurring over time, and some very notable exceptions.


EDUCATION: Primarily educated in medicine. Medical degree (M.D. or D.O.) or 10 or more years of college.

BIAS: Prejudice is a medical or disease model. A proponent of the unproven chemical imbalance theory of mental disorders because it is self-serving: they make their living writing prescriptions. Strong connections with the drug industry.

COUNSELING: Little formal education in counseling. If they have much training then they sought it out themselves in addition to their formal schooling.

FUNCTION: The management of psychotropics. That is, a psychiatrist is the better doctor (specialist) to see if you need mind drugs.


EDUCATION: Primarily educated in testing and evaluation. Doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) or 8-10 years of college.

BIAS: Medical or disease model is still prevalent. Prejudice is that comprehensive testing is needed. A proponent of psychological testing because they make their living making and writing evaluations. However, most psychological testing has little practical use, is rarely read or used, and provides little direction for treatment interventions.

COUNSELING: Little formal education in counseling. If they have much training, then they sought it out themselves in addition to their formal schooling.

FUNCTION: Psychological evaluations. Provide more useful evaluations than do psychiatrists.


EDUCATION: Primarily educated in counseling. Master’s Degree (M.S. or M.A.) or 6 years of college.

BIAS: Developmental model or learning theory is favored. That is, the counselor believes that problems are learned and can be unlearned. There are two basic types: (1) the paid friend or so-called relationship counselors who favor whining, blaming, and damning; (2) the educator or those who favor providing structured and specific psychological reeducation such as in REBT.

COUNSELING: Formal education may be entirely in counseling if M.S. degree is obtained. Licensure and certification rules require continuing education in counseling. Often highly trained in many counseling modalities and theories.

FUNCTION: The best trained and most experienced in counseling. Seek those with national certifications and experience. Should supervise psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, counselors, and anyone who provides counseling services.


EDUCATION: Primarily educated in the political aspects of social systems. Master’s Degree (M.S.W.) or 6 years of college.

BIAS: Political solutions are the answer. Tend to view client’s as victims of society so are depowering and often part of the problem: like to play rescuer in the drama game.

COUNSELING: Not as much formal training as counselors as too much time wasted on political issues. Fortunately, often seek additional training in counseling beyond their formal education.

FUNCTION: Best working in agency counseling, for example, child protective services, or managing a community-based program.


EDUCATION: Primarily educated in medical support. Registered Nurse (R.N.) or 2 or more years of college.

BIAS: Medical or disease model: “doctor knows best” and “drugs are the answer.”

COUNSELING: Little training. Mainly on-the-job training from others who received on-the-job training. Tend to be authoritarian and babysitters for psychiatrists. This is beginning to change for the better. For instance, some hospitals now actually promote emotional re-education programs during inpatient stays.

FUNCTION: Monitor patients for the psychiatrist for the patient’s medication compliance.


  • Choose the best answer and circle only one:
  • A, B, or C.

In the construction field, who should supervise an apprentice carpenter? Someone whose main education and experience is in:

A. wiring (a licensed electrician)

B. plumbing (a licensed plumber)

C. carpentry (a journeyman carpenter)

In the mental health field, who should supervise a new counselor? Someone whose main education and experience is in:

A. psychotropics (psychiatrist)

B. psychometrics (psychologist)

C. psychotherapy (counselor)

Quotations from Various Sources

“A fool is only a fool because he won’t see he is a fool.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“A fool remains a fool because he won’t see he is a fool.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” —James Joyce 

“But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” —Hebrews 12:8 

“By honestly acknowledging your past errors, but never damning yourself for them, you can learn to use your past for your own future benefit.” —Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, Third Edition, p. 194 

“Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.” —Proverbs 15:5 

“Failure doesn’t have anything to do with your intrinsic value as a person.” —Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, Third Edition, p. 206 

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” —Hebrews 12:6 

“If we eliminated all errors, we would also eliminate much discovery, art, insight, learning, and creativity that results from facing errors.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” —Hebrews 12:7 

“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:” —Proverbs 3:11 

“The great man is he who does not lose his child-heart.” —Mencius 

“The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.” —Julien Green 

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” —Norman Vincent Peale 

“When receiving correction, the wise seeks to learn and the fool seeks to justify with excuses.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

Quotations from Scripture on Counseling

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:” —Proverbs 1:5 

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” —Proverbs 11:14 

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” —Proverbs 12:15 

“Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counselors of peace is joy.” —Proverbs 12:20 

“Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” —Proverbs 15:22 

“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” —Proverbs 19:20 

“Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.” —Proverbs 20:18 

“Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth.” —Isaiah 16:3 

“Extol not thyself in the counsel of thine own heart; that thy soul be not torn in pieces as a bull [straying alone.]” —Ecclesiasticus 6:2 

“As timber girt and bound together in a building cannot be loosed with shaking: so the heart that is stablished by advised counsel shall fear at no time.” —Ecclesiasticus 22:16 

“Give not over thy mind to heaviness, and afflict not thyself in thine own counsel.” —Ecclesiasticus 30:21 

“A man of counsel will be considerate; but a strange and proud man is not daunted with fear, even when of himself he hath done without counsel.” —Ecclesiasticus 32:18 

“And let the counsel of thine own heart stand: for there is no man more faithful unto thee than it.” —Ecclesiasticus 37:13 

“Let reason go before every enterprize, and counsel before every action.” —Ecclesiasticus 38:33 

“Gold and silver make the foot stand sure: but counsel is esteemed above them both.” —Ecclesiasticus 40:25