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Choosing from the Different Types of Therapists

For many individuals looking into therapy, they have no idea where to look, or what type of therapist is geared toward their need and desire. In order to achieve a desired result, it is important to understand that there is a difference in professional therapists, what they offer and how they are best educated to help their patients. Consider the following breakdown to briefly understand who each therapist is, and what it is they do.


Psychologists

A psychologist is a professional title granted by law, and based on a specific, accredited education in the study of the mind and human behaviors. Professional psychologists are generally found in three categories: Teachers, government officials and applied professionals who work to identify problems and treat them, most often in mental health facilities. For most professional psychologists, counseling and psychotherapy are not the sole focus of their work, yet, part of the whole.

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Psychiatrists

The most distinguishing characteristic of a psychiatrist is that of a medical degree. A psychiatrist is a physician specializing in mental health, therapy and possessing the ability to prescribe mental health medication. Many psychiatrists specialize in a certain field of study upon completing their medical and residential studies. Upon completing one education, many psychiatrists pursue the education of a related subfield.

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Counselors

A counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) is a mental health professional and type of therapist whose career focus is generally extended to individuals, couples and families who are in need of talk therapy. These therapy sessions also include periods of talking through analysis and potential solutions. Counselors offer just what their professional title suggests. The individual hoping to work toward solutions to problems in their life, a qualified counselor is considered the best place to begin the process.

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Professional Counselors – What they Do

Get a closer look at what a professional counselor does and how they help.

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Psychoanalysts

Psychoanalysts serve as a type of therapist who now provides the gray area in the world of professional therapy. It is no longer required by law that an individual possess a specific achievement, degree or licensing to refer to themselves as a psychoanalytical professional. On the other hand, some of the most prestigious medical schools offer specialization in the field, NYU, for example. Ultimately, psychoanalysis is the process most associated with Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung, offering a free environment to patients in order to go deep into the subconscious, and discover the root of behaviors, desires, habits and the effects of an immediate environment. Again, while there are schools offering detailed study in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, it is a not a profession protected or governed by law.

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Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs)

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are a similar type of therapist to a LPC in that they offer a variety of dynamics to psychotherapy, including talk, analysis and solutions. MFTs focus on the dynamics of marriage between both parties, and the larger dynamic of family relationships. Oftentimes, sessions with a Marriage and Family Therapist will consist of a gathering inclusive to all parties involved - both married partners, or the entire family. During other sessions, the therapist may choose to have one-on-one session time with each individual, working toward better communication skills or an open environment within the family dynamic.

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Rehabilitation Counselors

Rehabilitation counselors help people deal with the intense emotional and social effects that come from dealing with a disability. They help you overcome your issues by working you through your troubles.

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Clinical Social Workers

Clinical social workers deal with a number of issues. Some social workers may work for the state government while others work primarily as therapists, similar to counselors.

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