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  • Credentials

    Therapists’ Credentials: What Do The Letters Mean?

    Dr. Wright received her Psy.D and M.A. from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2008. Dr. Wright is a New York State licensed psychologist; As a scientist-practitioner of psychology, Dr. Wright has over 26 years of research-based experience beyond the letters after her name.

    Licensed clinicians in New York State have letters before and after their names to identify their credentials and indicate the level of education and type of licenses and certifications a therapist has. This can often be confusing.

    Here is a brief outline to explain therapists’ credentials:

    Psychologist: PhD, PsyD

    • Will have a “Dr.” before their name
    • Completed a doctoral program in psychology
    • Completed clinical field experience and dissertations
    • PsyDs are clinically-focused; PhDs are often more research vs. clinically focused
    • May offer therapy in a particular interest or area of expertise (i.e., eating disorders)
    • Do not prescribe medication

    Social Worker: LCSW, LMSW

    • Received a masters degree in social work
    • “L” indicates the clinician is licensed by New York State, which requires the successful completion of a state board exam and 3 years of supervised clinical experience
    • ‘Able to diagnose and provide psychotherapy using many different therapeutic approaches
    • May have more certifications in a specific area of interest
    • Do not prescribe medication

    Mental Health Counselor: LMHC

    • Earned a master’s degree in counseling
    • Completed the required 3000 hours of supervised clinical experience
    • Passed the national licensure exam and any required state exam
    • Works with individuals experiencing mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, stress management, family and relational issues, or trauma
    • Do not prescribe medication

    My goal is to provide support for your overall treatment that may include other clinicians outside of my office, such as your primary care doctor, medical specialists, and other mental health providers, which may include:

    Psychiatrist: MD

    • Went to medical school
    • Will have a “Dr.” before their name
    • Often focuses on medication management, working in collaboration with another type of therapist listed above who delivers the therapy

    Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: NPP

    • Holds an active RN license and registration (completed an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing)
    • Graduated from NP program or obtained national board certification
    • Specialized certification in psychiatry
    • Works with a collaborating physician
    • Helps patients cope with psychiatric disorders including ADHD, mood disorders, and anxiety by prescribing and managing medication