There are several types of counselors and therapists available. Most offer the same skills of counseling, but they have their specialties due to their particular training. They each also have their own preferences of treatment modalities they use with their clients. Some examples of modalities of treatment are cognitive-behavioral, gestalt, person-centered, psychodynamic, somatic experiencing, and the list goes on.
Note that each state may have a variety of licensing for these therapists. These licenses are based on the licensure in the State of Indiana and states that we have become aware of that there are similar licensure names for a similar therapist role.
Professionals that Provide Counseling
Licensed Addiction Counselors (LAC)
Licensed Addiction Counselors specialize in counseling those struggling with addictions. While Indiana offers Licensed Addiction Counselors, some geographical areas offer Certified Addiction Counselors. Check with your state/providence as to what type of addiction counselor you should look for. Addiction counselors may or may not have a degree as designated by their geographical location.
Licensed Clinical Psychologists (HSPP)
Clinical Psychologists have a doctoral degree, and may have a specialized focus such as testing and/or counseling. They work in both outpatient and inpatient settings. While psychologists do have a doctoral degree, they do not prescribe medication. They are trained in the interaction of the mind and behavior. Psychologists have a doctoral degree in psychology or counseling, not in medicine.
Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
Licensed Clinical Social Workers are trained to address the comprehensive needs of their clients while assisting them in identifying the resources available to them. They offer counseling in an outpatient setting, while inpatient or other settings, they may work with needs assistance or advocacy and/or counseling. The minimum educational requirements are a Master’s degree.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists are trained in providing counseling that addresses the dynamics and processing of family issues such as parenting, marriage and other related issues. They specialize in this area, and have training that other counseling professionals may not have experience in. The minimum educational requirements are a Master’s degree.
Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC)
Licensed Mental Health Counselors are trained in providing more of a broad spectrum of counseling. They aren’t trained in one particular area, unless they picked a specialty when going through their training (which many do have a special interest area). The minimum educational requirements are a Master’s degree. In some states, these therapists are called Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).
Professionals that Prescribe Psychiatric Medications
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners (NP)
Nurse Practitioners are RNs who have an advanced Masters degree in nursing, and work under a physician’s supervision. They are trained in being able to assess your needs for psychiatric medication. They may be found working independently, in a psychiatrist’s office, or in a treatment center such as a small private practice or a community mental health center.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They are trained in the physiology and intrinsic processes of the mind and body, specializing in mental health issues. They may or may not provide counseling, depending upon the psychiatrist. Many provide only medication management, and refer counseling to other professionals in the field. They do prescribe psychiatric medications.