What is a psychotherapist? What is the different between psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, etc.?

This is a very common question among people seeking therapy. All of the different titles, degrees, and licenses can be very confusing. Psychotherapists, like me, have a master’s degree in the counseling/therapy field. Psychologists hold a doctoral degree in the clinical psychology field. Psychiatrists have a medical degree and can prescribe psychoactive medications. The most common counseling titles are MFT (Marriage and Family Therapy) and LCSW (Clinical Social Work). A life coach is not a nationally regulated title and the license and education of those with this title may vary. Some psychotherapists continue our training and education and receive a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD) in psychology or MFT while still maintaining our license as a therapist.

What will the first session/s be like?

Psychotherapy, like all relationships, takes time to develop. The first few sessions are usually focused on gathering information, history, and treatment goals. I will tend to ask questions and get to know your life during these early sessions. We will also discuss if we think therapy together is a good fit and how the sessions should progress.

Do you offer free consultations?

Yes, we are happy to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss fit and goals. In some instances, it may be beneficial to set up a brief in person meeting to better assess fit.

What is your training / background?

Our therapists have spent minimum 3 years in post bachelor education, earning first their master’s degree (MS) in Marriage and Family Therapy and some are currently obtaining their Doctoral Degree (PsyD) in Marriage and Family Therapy.

In addition to their educational background, our therapists have spent two years at Lestonnac Free Clinic with well-respected supervisors working with individual clients, couples, and being a part of an integrated model with Kaiser in Orange County. We have therapists who are bilingual and have worked with victims of crime (VOC), people who have experienced trauma, and Veterans.

We have our therapists regularly attend trainings and educational seminars so they can continue learning and gaining depth of knowledge in the field.