Just to clarify...
- A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. This is the person you would go to to get your prescription medication.
- A psychologist has a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D.) in psychology. In the sense that most people think of psychologists, this is the person you would talk to in therapy; however, he or she does not prescribe mediation (except in a select few states). Psychologists hold a wide variety of other jobs though, including research positions, teaching positions, and working in hospital settings.
- A licensed mental health counselor has a master’s degree (M.A., M.S.) in psychology, counseling, or a related field. Many of these individuals provide counseling and psychotherapy. However, holding a master’s degree in psychology does not make one a psychologist.
- A clinical social worker has at least a master’s degree (M.S.W.) in social work. They also can provide therapy, but also work in case management, advocacy, and hospital discharge planning.
- Further, there is a difference between counseling, which is typically provided by someone with a degree in counseling or social work, and psychotherapy, which is typically provided by someone with a degree in psychology, although the terms are commonly used interchangeably.