Who Can Provide Psychotherapy?
from information found on About.com
Providers of psychotherapy and other mental health services may hold a number
of titles, credentials, or licensures. Job titles such as “Psychologist” and “Psychiatrist” require
the individual to meet specific state and national requirements. However, there are no governing bodies to regulate titles
such as “Psychotherapist” and “Therapist”, so anyone could claim these designations.
you are seeking a therapist for treatment, it is important to understand the credentials, licensing requirements, and certifications
of therapy providers.
psychologists have five years of graduate training in psychology.
- Psy.D. psychologists have the same training
as those with a Ph.D., but there maybe less emphasis on research and experimental methods and generally more focus on
assessment and therapy.
- Psychologists are trained and licensed to independently conduct psychological assessment and testing.
states require one to two years of supervised experience after graduation for full licensure.
- Qualifications include graduation from medical school followed
by a resident program in psychiatric care. However, some students still receive little to no training in conducting psychotherapy.
- Some psychiatrists
are board-certified, indicating they have received additional training beyond medical school and psychiatric
can prescribe medication to clients.
- Most psychiatrist today do little to no therapy or assessmet.
- Licensed professional counselors (LPC) typically have two
to three years of graduate training in counseling methods.
- Specialty areas include marriage and family counseling, school counseling,
community counseling, and substance about counseling.
- Many states require counselors to be licensed by National Board for Certified
Counselors (NBCC), which can grant the title of “National Certified Counselor.”
Social Workers, LCSW
- Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW)
have approximately two years of graduate training in therapy, as well as completion of an internship and supervised experience
in the field.
social workers may have a Master’s degree in social work as well as supervised clinical experience.
When choosing a
mental health professional, education and experience are important, but so is the therapist's style and personality. Just
because someone went to the "best" schools, does not necessarily mean that he/she will be a good therapist. You
are strongly encouraged to speak to multiple mental health providers over the phone (some even schedule free 15-minute sessions)
prior to making a decision about the "best fit" for you and your needs.