There are many types of therapists that can help treat depression. You may have seen the abbreviations Ph.D., Psy.D., LCSW, LMFT, and LPC. Each of these titles refers to the amount and type of training the clinician has received. I will briefly explain what each abbreviation stands for and the training they receive:
- Ph.D. (Doctorate of philosophy) – A psychologist who received doctoral level training in research as well as clinical psychology. Typically, a Ph.D. must complete a dissertation to earn that degree. To practice as a psychologist in many states, this individual must be licensed.
- Psy.D. (Doctorate of psychology) – A psychologist who received doctoral level training mostly in the practice of psychology. Instead of completing a dissertation, Psy.D. programs require a significant amount of practicum hours to earn the degree. To practice as a psychologist in many states, this individual must be licensed.
- LCSW/LMFT (Licensed clinical social worker/Licensed marriage and family therapist) – An LCSW is a social worker who received a minimum of a master’s degree in the field of social work. An LMFT is a marriage and family therapist who earned a minimum of a master’s degree in the field of marriage and family therapy.
- LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) – A counselor who has earned a master’s degree and met supervision requirements.