What is a psychologist?
A licensed psychologist is an advanced mental health professional with a doctorate degree in psychology, that is why they are called a "Doctor." They have the highest degree obtainable in the field of psychology and have completed the licensing requirements at the doctoral level. This includes passing both the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology and the Jurisprudence Examination, as well as completing one year of post-doctoral supervision.
Years of Training
Doctor of Psychology/Philosophy
(Licensed Addiction Counselors; LAC)
(Licensed Clinical Social Workers; LCSW)
(Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists; LMFT)
(Licensed Professional Counselors; LPC)
(Licensed Social Workers; LSW)
Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC)
(High school diploma plus CAC training)
Unlicensed Psychotherapist (formerly Registered Psychotherapist)
(no training required)
(Note: People often confuse psychologists with psychiatrists. A psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor and can prescribe medication.)
Why choose a psychologist?
What makes a psychologist unique? In addition to having more in-depth graduate training than other mental health professionals, psychologists receive unique training as well. Psychologists are trained not only in therapy, but also in important areas related to therapy that make treatment successful, such as:
Diagnostics: accurately diagnosing symptoms so that the appropriate treatment is selected
Psychological Assessment / Testing: Using scientific tests to assess and measure symptoms. This can help with:
-Differentiating complex symptoms when a diagnosis isn't clear
-Determining recommendations for treatment
-Identify one's personal strengths and areas for growth
-Determining progress in therapy/symptoms changes over time
-Finding career paths that are a good fit with one's interests, strengths, and personality
Research: Psychologists are trained as researchers and scholars who conduct and use the latest scientific research to inform the field.