Providers and Services: An Overview

Providers and Services Overview PhotoHave you ever wondered what an internist does, or what the difference is between a psychologist and a psychiatrist? Are you looking for a clinical trial or support group? Here you will learn about the different kinds of providers and services that can help you manage your condition. To find a specific provider or service in North Carolina, use our Providers & Services directories.

Behavioral Health Providers

Psychologists have graduate-level training in psychology and either a Ph.D, or Psy.D (Doctor of Psychology). North Carolina allows limited practice with a Master of Psychology degree. The North Carolina Psychological Association maintains this directory of psychologists. You can search by gender, ages served, insurance accepted, languages spoken and more. Choose “Anxiety” from the “Issue” dropdown.

A psychiatrist specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Psychiatrists are uniquely qualified to understand the complex interrelation between mental and physical health since their training includes four years of medical school and at least three additional years in a psychiatric residency. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications. The North Carolina Psychiatric Association directory includes psychiatrists who have chosen to submit information about their practices. The North Carolina Medical Board directory lists psychiatrists licensed to practice in North Carolina.

Psychiatric nurse practitioners do many of the same things a psychiatrist does, including diagnosing mental illness and prescribing medication. They act as a therapist, helping patients with conditions that respond well to counseling. They teach patients’ families about the patient’s condition, and how to react in certain situations. Use the American Association of Nurse Practitioners directory to find a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Choose “Psychiatric” as the Overall Focus and be sure to accept the AANP’s Terms of Use before you hit “search”.

Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) can diagnose mental illnesses and be involved in direct therapy with patients in private practice or they might be part of a team conducting research for a university, hospital, or private organization. They sometimes work as case managers helping people solve problems and connecting them to various resources. Most LCSW programs require thousands of hours of direct clinical experience. In North Carolina, LCSWs must be licensed by the state. Use the HelpPRO Advanced Search to find a LCSW. Choose “Anxiety/Panic Disorders” from the “Specializes in this concern” dropdown and “Social Worker, Licensed Clinical” under the “Holds this credential, certification, or has completed training in” dropdown. This directory provides a good deal of information about individual LCSWs but does not include license status. To review a LCSW’s license, use the License Lookup from the North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board. Choose “Licensed Clinical Social Worker” from the “Certification” dropdown.

Licensed professional counselors (LPCs) have master’s degrees and are trained to work with individuals, families, and groups in treating mental, behavioral, and emotional problems and disorders, including anxiety. In North Carolina, LPCs must be licensed by the state. To find a LPC near you, use this directory from the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina. Choose “Anxiety” under the Primary Specialty or Area of Expertise dropdown. This directory provides a good deal of information about individual LPCs but does not include license status. To review a counselor’s license, use the License Verification Search Form from the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors.

Complementary & Alternative Therapies

Complementary and Alternative Therapies, sometimes called Complementary and Integrative Medicine, are treatments that are not part of standard medicine, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, or dietary supplements. It is a term used for a wide variety of health care practices that may be used along with, or instead of, mainstream medical treatment. [An example of such therapy is using acupuncture or meditation to relieve anxiety.] For more information on the use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies related to Anxiety Disorders, please visit the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

If you are thinking of using any herbal supplement as a treatment for anxiety, talk to your doctor first, especially if you take other medications. Interaction between some herbal supplements and certain medications can cause serious side effects. The Mayo Clinic discusses this and different herbal remedies that have been studied to treat anxiety.

Medical Health Providers

A family physician is a general practitioner with additional specialty training and expertise in dealing with patients of all ages. Family physicians may provide both preventive care (routine checkups), as well as diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. A family physician is often your first step in navigating the mental health system. They may make diagnoses, prescribe medication, or refer a patient to a mental health provider. Family physicians will coordinate your care with other subspecialists when needed. Use the American Board of Family Medicine to find a family physician.

Internal medicine specialists, also known as internists, focus on treating adult and adolescent medical disorders and provide long-term, comprehensive care. Internists are trained to treat the whole body, not just the internal organs, and they see patients for a variety of conditions and complaints. Internists often provide preventive medicine and patient education services. Use the American Board of Medical Specialties Certification Matters service to find a board certified internist near you. You must register first. Choose North Carolina as the state and “Internal Medicine” as the specialty.

Nurse practitioners can provide care to patients throughout their lives, from premature newborns to seniors. They evaluate patients, order and interpret medical tests, manage treatment plans, and prescribing medications. To locate a nurse practitioner in your area, search The American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Physician Assistants perform health checks, assist in surgeries, diagnose and treat illnesses, and order and interpret medical tests. To find a physician assistant in your area, search the North Carolina Medical Board directory.

Support Groups And Clinical Trials

Support groups allow people to come together to share their stories, experiences, and lives. Talking with others who share your challenges can help you see that there are others who may be dealing with similar situations and who may have helpful advice from their perspective as a patient.

For information about support groups and education opportunities near you, consult the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) North Carolina chapter.

Clinical trials are research studies that examine whether a medical treatment or device is safe and effective for human beings. Many of the drugs and therapies available today are the result of clinical trials. To learn more, and to decide whether participating in a clinical trial is right for you, visit, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Last updated November 4, 2021 at 2:36 am