Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Social Worker, Psychiatrist—What’s the difference between us?

Posted on: Wednesday, July 25th, 2012  In: Blog

I am a licensed clinical Social Worker and I practice psychotherapy counseling. This means that people come to see me to sort through and discuss problems, stressors, issues, relationship problems, addiction/dependence issues, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and much more.

A psychologist (they have Ph.D. after their names and are called Dr. although they have not been to medical school) does the same thing as a clinical social worker, but can also do psychological testing.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (having completed medical school) who has chosen a specialty in Psychiatry. Most people go to a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications for illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. Many psychiatrists do what is called “medication management”, some of them also practice psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy and therapy are interchangeable words and have the same meaning—the process by which one explores their particular issues.

Counseling is another way to explore and examine yourself and many use the word interchangeably with therapy or psychotherapy although some consider counseling to be a less in-depth and less introspective process, dealing more with present or current issues, whereas psychotherapy can tend to explore issues of the past and childhood issues also known as family of origin issues, as they relate to the present struggles of today.

Basically, psychologists and licensed Social workers do much the same work: Psychotherapy. Take your time to look at different folk’s websites, talk to them, ask questions and get a feel for what feels right to you.   

If you would like to talk with me further about have a consultation, please either contact me or call my Washington, DC office at 202-333-1787. 


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