There are many difference credentials and training for therapists. Below are the distinctions of the various titles:.
A Clinical Psychologist has received a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree and is state-licensed to practice psychology, including clinical procedures such as psychotherapy and diagnostic assessment. Clinical Psychologists have completed a one-year internship and generally a one-year postdoctoral fellowship, in addition to obtaining various other yearlong clinical experiences (externships) during training.
A Psychiatrist has a medical degree (usually an M.D.) and has completed a four year Psychiatric Residency in a hospital setting. Some psychiatrists do specialized fellowships after completion of their residencies. Psychiatrists are state licensed as Medical Doctors; as such they may prescribe medications. Psychologists in New York State, where they are not licensed to prescribe medications, often partner, as do I, with one or more psychiatrists for medication referrals.
New York State licenses a wide array of other mental health professionals to practice psychotherapy and other procedures. Clinical Social Workers must have a Master’s Degree in Social Work and obtained a state license to practice Clinical Social Work. Licensed Mental Health Counselors must have a Masters in a mental health field and receive a state license to practice counseling. You may consult the website of the New York State Education Department’s office of the professions for more detailed descriptions of the various licensed mental health professions. http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/psych/psychbroch.htm