Posted by DrPFox
What do psychologists do? How are psychologists different from other mental health professionals? How do I find a psychologist in Northeast PA?
Psychologists provide a range of mental health services. They are trained to provide psychotherapy, counseling, and assessment services to infants, children, adolescents, adults, couples, families, and groups. Psychologists are highly trained professionals who spend between 4 and 7 years earning a graduate degree, usually a doctorate in psychology or a related area. Psychologists often have particular areas of expertise with specific populations. In Pennsylvania, psychologists must be licensed to provide mental health services.
Psychologists are different from other mental health professionals. People often confuse psychologists with psychiatrists. Psychologists provide psychotherapy and usually have a doctorate, like a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. They have acquired thousands of hours of clinical experience. In Pennsylvania, they cannot prescribe medication. In contrast, psychiatrists have a medical degree, indicated by the letters, M.D. after their name and also have specialty training in mental health issues. Today, psychiatrists more often prescribe medication rather than provide psychotherapy.
Counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers have earned a master's degree. They will have acquired hundreds to thousands of hours in clinical experience. These mental health professionals tend to focus on adjustment to life issues, though some will get supervised experience in specialized areas and may serve people with more serious mental health issues. In Pennsylvania, master's level professionals are licensed as Social Workers (LSW), Clincial Social Workers (LCSW), Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), or Professional Counselors (LPC).
Finding a psychologist in NEPA is easy! Begin by asking your family doctor for a recommendation. Ask friends or family who have been in therapy. If you intend to use your health insurance, check with the plan representative for a list of approved providers. You can also search for psychologists in NEPA by using an online site like Psychology Today's The Therapy Directory or the Psychologist Locator services at the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association. Finally, be sure you're getting services from a Pennsylvania licensed psychologist.
State Board of Psychology - Consumer Information ~ by Pennsylvania Department of State
State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors - Consumer Information ~ by Pennsylvania Department of State
Types of Mental Health Professionals ~ by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. ~ Psych Central
What Psychologists Should and Should Not Do When Providing Services ~ by Assocation of State and Provincial Psychology Boards