Have you ever wondered about all of the types of counseling or therapy providers out there? All of the issues in this title can be treated by several different kinds of licensed professionals. The key word to look for is “Licensed,” because it means a certain level of accountability to a governing body and a minimum Master’s level of education. Here’s an overview of some of the types of licensed therapists out there:
Master’s Level Therapists include:
Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
Licensed Clinical Counselors (LCC)
Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC)
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
These are just some of the types throughout the United States, and there are Interns in each profession as well who are licensed and supervised in practice. There are also Supervisor levels for each license, which indicates more experience and training.
Counseling or therapy (the words are used interchangeably) is also conducted by Doctoral level (PhD or PsyD) therapists called Psychologists. Psychologists are licensed to do levels of testing that a Master’s level therapist cannot.
Mental Health Providers who can legally prescribe medication are generally a Psychiatrist or a PMHNP (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner). Psychiatrists have an MD level degree, as they are medical doctors who have completed additional training in psychiatry. Most psychiatrists don’t do “talk” therapy, preferring to focus on medication and prescribing instead. The same is generally true for PMHNP providers. Of course, the medical profession itself can prescribe but they don’t do talk therapy.
The most important factor for you is how comfortable you feel with the licensed provider you have chosen. Personalities between client and therapist must mesh for the therapy to be effective. If there’s something your therapist can do differently, ask! Communication is key.
If you have any questions about any of this information, don’t hesit