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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, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Child and adolescent psychiatrist. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are licensed doctors (M.D. or D.O.) who specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders in children and adolescents. Their medical and psychiatric training with children and adolescents prepares them to treat children and adolescents either individually, as part of and involving the family unit, and/or in a group setting. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can prescribe medications, if needed.

  • Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are licensed doctors (M.D. or D.O.) who specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. Their medical and psychiatric training prepares them to treat adults and children either individually, as part of and involving the family unit, and/or in a group setting. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications, if needed.

  • Psychologist. A licensed mental health professional (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) who specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. Training prepares clinical psychologists to treat adults and children either individually, as part of and involving the family unit, and/or in a group setting. Psychologists also conduct cognitive, academic, and personality testing.

  • Social worker (B.A., B.S.W., M.S., M.S.W.), or licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). A social worker (bachelors- or masters-level) often works with the child and family to reach the long- and short-term treatment goals, as established by your child's doctor. A social worker may perform several forms of psychotherapy with your child and family, as necessary.

  • Master level psychiatric nurse. An Advanced Practiced Registered Nurse (APRN) is a masters-level prepared psychiatric nurse, specializing in mental health nursing. They may be clinical specialists (CNS) or nurse practitioners (NP), and 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 children individually, as a family, and also as a group by conducting therapy and/or prescribing medications, if needed, and managing the use of these medications. 

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Roux, Susan L., ARNP
Date Last Reviewed: 9/8/2013
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