There are several different types of trained mental health professionals. Each kind of provider has a different title and level of expertise. These providers offer psychotherapy aka talk therapy, a method for helping you explore your feelings and behaviors and learning to cope.
This resource compiled by Optum Rx and Wespath Benefits
- Have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree
- Are licensed by the state they practice in
- Are trained to diagnose and evaluate a person’s mental health through testing and talking to the patient and to treat them accordingly
COUNSELORS, CLINICIANS AND THERAPISTS
- Have a master’s degree
- May be licensed in their state as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LCADAC)
- Provide psychotherapy (talk therapy) aimed at helping improve your symptoms so you feel better
CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS
- Includes Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers (LICSW), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and Academy of Certified Social Worker (ACSW)
- Trained to assess a person’s mental health and provide psychotherapy using various therapeutic techniques
- Have completed medical school with additional training in psychiatry
- Because they are licensed physicians, they can prescribe medication
- Can also provide talk therapy
- If your psychologist, counselor, clinician or therapist suspects you need this specialized expertise, they might refer you to a psychiatrist.