Mental Health care Providers
If you need behavioral health care, talk with your primary care manager (PCM) or family doctor. Your PCM can provide an initial assessment and may even be able to provide treatment. From there, your PCM can recommend additional treatment, if necessary, with the appropriate behavioral health provider to suit your needs.
Behavioral health includes a broad range of providers and treatments. Psychiatric nurse specialists, counselors, therapists, and social workers are also good starting points for determining the level and type of behavioral health care you need. Within each provider type, a behavioral health provider may have a certain subspecialty (for example, treatment of mood disorders or stress disorders) and may specialize in individual therapy with adults, child therapy or family therapy. You may ask the provider if he or she has such a subspecialty or area of expertise.
Certified psychiatric nurse specialists are licensed master’s-level psychiatric nurses with an added certification in behavioral health by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. They may perform psychotherapy and manage medications.
Behavioral health counselors, licensed professional counselors and pastoral counselors have earned a master’s-level degree in counseling. They can perform counseling and psychotherapy services, but cannot prescribe medication. Their licensure is limited so these providers require a written physician referral from an MD or DO prior to your initial visit. See the written referral and oversight rules for details.
Supervised mental health counselors have until January 1, 2017, to meet the new TRICARE Certified Mental Health Counselor (TCMHC) requirements. Visit our Change in Mental Health Counselor Provider Requirements page for more information on this change.
Certified marriage and family therapists have earned a master’s-level degree in counseling with an emphasis on family and marriage therapy. They may perform individual counseling, family and marriage therapy, but cannot prescribe medication.
Clinical social workers have earned a master’s-level degree in social work with additional training in psychotherapy and counseling. Licenses clinical social workers can perform psychotherapy and counseling services, but cannot prescribe medication.
Clinical psychologists have earned a doctoral-level degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology. They perform psychotherapy, psychological testing and counseling services, but usually cannot prescribe medication.
Psychiatrists are physicians who have earned a general medical degree (MD or DO) and then completed advanced residency training in psychiatry. Most psychiatrists treat people with more serious disturbances for which medication is helpful, such as major depression, bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder. The psychiatrist may perform psychotherapy and manage the medication. More commonly the psychiatrist will work in collaboration with another provider type above.How to teach a cat to do tricks How long it takes dogs to learn tricks vs cats what does it mean when you dream about snakes what does straight ally mean How long to cook meatloaf at 400 what does probably mean what does it mean to be incorporated How to read eye prescription Tips when you seam granite countertops How to shave face? 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