Who Can Diagnose Bipolar Disorder?

by Teresa MC
(Abilene, TX )

Who can Diagnose Bipolar or other problems like Bipolar?


Ben's Answer:

Any licensed psychotherapist or a medical doctor with experience in psychiatry/mental health.
Licensed psychotherapists vary a bit from state to state.

Generally, you will find:


  • MFT's - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists

  • LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Workers

  • PhD or PsyD - Psychologist or Doctor of Psychology

  • Psychiatrists - Medical Doctor's with specific expertise, training and experience in mental health

  • In some states, there is another category of license called LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor).

  • And a variety of other alternative health practitioners may be able to diagnose - such as:

  • LAc - Licensed Acupuncturist

  • OMD - Doctor of Oriental Medicine

  • ND - Doctor of Naturopathy (they can also prescribe medicine like an MD)

  • DO - Osteopathic doctors (same status as a Medical Doctor, but a little more "hands on" in terms of healing techniques).

    None of the above licenses would be reliable in giving an accurate diagnosis, unless they have actual experience and training in Bipolar Disorder. Just being licensed doesn't necessarily mean that you have that experience - although Psychiatrists would be the one exception.

    Any of them with adequate experience could be just as good as any other when it comes to diagnosing Bipolar Disorder.

    Best Wishes,
    Ben Schwarcz, MFT
    Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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