Right Mind, Right Doctor: Which Mental Health Professional Should You Go For?

Which Mental Health Professional Should You Go For

When it comes to mental illnesses, different professionals can help with different problems. There is no one all-encompassing healthcare worker that can help you with your mental health problems. Because of this, finding the right ones are an important step toward you or your loved one’s treatment.

From doctors to counselors, some professionals are better suited for certain scenarios. If you feel like you are unsure of who to pick, here are some of the healthcare professionals you can check out:

Primary Care Doctors 

Primary Care Doctors (PCD) are general practitioners that usually monitor a patient’s general welfare. They are the ones responsible for regular physical examinations, medicine prescriptions, treating minor illnesses and injuries, and managing chronic conditions.

It is very likely that you or your family already have a PCD that you go to. If that is the case, you should definitely reach out to your personal PCD first and foremost. 

PCDs are responsible for ruling out any possible temporary conditions or diseases that could affect your mental health. This is important as certain medical conditions or injuries may contribute to a shift in your general mood and emotions. When all possibilities are ruled out, PCDs can diagnose and treat minor mental illnesses/disorders. 

Even though minor conditions can be treated by your PCD, they are not always well equipped with the proper knowledge to handle more serious cases. If that is the case, they will refer you to other professionals that can handle the situation better.


Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in mental, emotional, and behavioral problems in a patient. They use medical techniques along with therapy sessions and prescriptions to help the patient with his/her condition.

Psychiatrists are more in tune with helping the patient understand the biological and physiological reasons why their condition affects them the way it does. They will often assess your physical well-being and try to fix the symptoms caused by any medical problem.

Their nature as a medical professional allows them to diagnose possible physical causes of certain illnesses and give the corresponding medicine and dosage for treatment. They are also more likely to have more connections with other doctors/professionals that can help with your situation.


Psychologists are trained in giving professional counseling for their patients. They specialize in discussing emotional and personal issues that may be stressful for a patient. Some examples include marriage counseling, stress management, sex therapy, or relaxation therapy. 

However, unlike psychiatrists, psychologists do not have any medical training. Instead, they are educated in understanding the mind of a person and the processes involved with their thinking and behavior.

They are usually not allowed to prescribe medication to their patients unless given special rights by a state authority. For cases that may need medical attention, they will most likely refer you to either a psychologist or a doctor for your condition.


Psychoanalysts are a general term used to describe mental health specialists that follow modern theories as well as the theories of Sigmund Freud in their approach to treating mental illnesses. These theories usually revolve around the idea of past trauma and unconscious behaviors/preferences as the cause of emotional troubles.

Psychoanalysts may be counselors, psychologists, or even psychiatrists, meaning some can prescribe medicine to their patients. They mainly use talk therapy to make the patient aware of his/her unconscious behavior. They believe that by being aware of your patterns and preferences to better satisfaction in life. 

Holistic Doctors

Holistic doctors specialize in complementary and alternative medicines, holistic medicine, natural medicine, and herbal treatments. Holistic doctors aim to optimize a person’s entirety, taking into consideration the mental and physical aspects of the patient.

They utilize traditional medicine, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and natural medicines to promote wellness in the mind, body, and spirit. Some alternative therapies they may use are chiropractic care, massage therapy, and acupuncture among others.

The aim of holistic doctors is to help the patient realize a balance in their mind, body, spirit, and emotions. Any imbalance in an area could lead to a negative impact on their overall health.

Which One Should I Go For?

When it comes to mental health, it’s always a good idea to seek out multiple opinions to narrow down your choices. You can always try multiple doctors and stick to the one that you believe is best for you. Or, you can go to your doctor and ask for their advice regarding your condition.

Different situations call for different needs. That’s why it is recommended to first be assessed and decide from there. 

If you do have a mental illness that affects the way you act and think, you may need a psychiatrist that could prescribe proper medicine to alleviate the symptoms of your condition.

If you are struggling with general mood and satisfaction or want to fix certain aspects of your life, you may just need counseling from a psychologist that can give you advice regarding those matters.

Psychoanalysts can help you understand yourself better when you feel lost or if you feel like you’re unconsciously doing something wrong. 

Holistic doctors can help you reach a more balanced lifestyle. A good life can get better if you can learn how to approach it in a multi-faceted manner.

Improving your mental health is a continuous task. Be sure to do your own research before committing to a certain treatment. There’s no harm in asking, so before you book that appointment, take the time to get to know your doctor.

Ask what specific cases they specialize in. Inquire about their methods, how long the usual sessions are, when they are available, how much each session costs, and whether or not their services are covered by your insurance provider. You can never be too careful when it comes to these things, after all.

Where Do I Find My Specialist?

Regardless of which professional you go for, there are many resources out there to find the one most suitable for you. Your personal doctor’s recommendation is as good as your trust in him/her. Friends and family will always be there to help you find help when you need it. 

If you feel like you need an outsider perspective, there are also online resources to find the best one for you. Don’t forget to ask your insurance provider for a recommended list if you plan on having your insurance pay for your therapy sessions.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment in South Bay, CA and don’t know where to turn, we, at Roots Through Recovery can help. Reach out today to get started. Visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave, Suite 102 Long Beach, CA 90807 or call (866) 766-8776 for immediate assistance.




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