Choosing a mental health professional can be a very daunting task. There seem to be so many of them! First, lets answer the question: Should I choose a counselor, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist? First, you may want to learn more about the different types of professionals A counselor of LPC (licensed professional counselor) or also a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker) have spent two years getting a master’s degree and have had at least 3, 000 hours of supervised practice. An LPC-I (intern) has graduated but has not finished their 3,000 hours yet. They may be a wonderful counselor who you may be able to see at a lower rate.
A psychologist has had more training and gone to four years of extra school to receive their Ph. D. They have also completed supervised hours in their post-doctoral training. Psychiatrists are medical doctors and are the only ones on this list that can prescribe medications because they have completed medical school. Some psychiatrists do talk therapy as well but are few and far between, in my experience. In my next post we will look at other factors to look at before choosing therapy.