Why should I see a licensed therapist? Isn’t that what a psychiatrist is for?
This is a common question many people have. As opposed to psychiatrists who are medical doctors and predominantly trained in diagnosing mental illness and prescribing medications, psychologists and psychotherapists are trained in psychotherapy, which is a person who treats mental health issues by psychological rather than medical (medication) means. It is also common for some people to see a therapist and a psychiatrist at the same time, for talk therapy sessions with their therapist and to be assessed and prescribed mental health medication, if needed, from their psychiatrist.
What do all the letters mean?
In the state of NC there are several licensing boards for therapists:
– LCMHC, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
– MFT, Marriage and Family Therapist
– LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
-LCAS, Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist
There is not much difference between the different licenses, as the training, in general, is focused on the theory and practice of providing psychotherapy to all people– children, adults, couples, and entire families.