Psychotherapy, or personal counseling with a psychotherapist, is an intentional interpersonal relationship used by trained psychotherapists to aid a client or patient in problems of living. It aims to increase the individual’s sense of their own well-being. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change that are designed to improve the mental health of a client or patient, or to improve group relationships (such as in a family). Psychotherapy may also be performed by practitioners with a number of different qualifications, including clinical psychology, clinical social work, counseling psychology, mental health counseling, clinical or psychiatric social work, marriage and family therapy, play therapy.


  • A Psychologist is an individual who has completed a doctoral level degree (about 5 years of graduate school resulting in the Ph.D., or Psy.D. degrees)
  • Psychologists will have a doctoral degree from an academic or professional college and generally cannot prescribe medication.
  • The term Psychologist is legally protected and only licensed individuals can use the term.
  • Psychology is a very diverse discipline; some Psychologists are scientist-researchers, some are therapists and some become administrators. Those that specialize in therapy are called Clinical Psychologists.
  • Psychologists are extensively trained therapists. They have received training in the diagnosis treatment and research of human behavior. They are also skilled in testing and other problems in mental functioning.


  • This is a doctoral level degree generally requiring extended graduate level university training (4-6 years after completing regular college B.A./B.S. programs).
  • Clinical Psychologists will often have this degree, although the Ph.D. can be issued in many different fields and is not limited to psychology (e.g., a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, an Ed.D. in Education).
  • Ph.D. means, “Doctor of Philosophy”.


  • This is a doctoral level degree generally requiring extended graduate level university training (typically 5 years after completing regular college B.A./B.S. programs).
  • Psy.D. means “Doctor of Psychology”.
  • Some Clinical Psychologists have this degree.

Clinical Social Worker – L.C.S.W.

  • A Clinical Social Worker (L.C.S.W) is a licensed mental health professional in the State of Indiana.
  • A Clinical Social Worker has at least a master’s degree, although a growing number have a doctorate such as the Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) or D.S.W (Doctor of Social Work).
  • Clinical social work is different from generalist social work, as Clinical Social Workers have advanced training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychological and addictive disorders.
  • Clinical Social Workers are employed as psychotherapists in hospitals, community mental health settings, private practice, and group practice.
  • Clinical Social Workers may have training in one or more therapeutic modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, systems theory, and may also be trained as psychoanalysts.
  • Clinical Social Workers do not prescribe medication or admit patients into the hospital; these services require a medical provider.

Marriage and Family Therapist – L.M.F.T.

  • A Marriage and Family Therapist is a licensed mental health professional in the State of Indiana.
  • A Marriage and Family Therapist typically has had 2-3 years of graduate training plus 2 years of clinical work experience and has completed a state-certified licensing examination.
  • Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples and family systems. They evaluate and treat mental and emotional disorders, other health and behavioral problems, and address a wide array of relationship issues within the context of the family system. Marriage and Family Therapists broaden the traditional emphasis on the individual to attend to the nature and role of individuals in primary relationship networks such as marriage and the family. MFTs take a holistic perspective to health care; they are concerned with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families. A family’s pattern of behavior influences the individual and therefore may need to be a part of the treatment plan. In marriage and family therapy, the unit of treatment isn’t just the person – even if only a single person is interviewed – it is the set of relationships in which the person is embedded. Marriage and family therapists treat a wide range of serious clinical problems including: depression, marital problems, anxiety, individual psychological problems, and child-parent problems.

Mental Health Counselor . L.M.H.C.

  • Therapists have graduate training (Master’s, Doctoral, or Post-doctoral)
  • They assess, diagnose, and treat mental and emotional conditions and addictions.
  • Treatment methods include individual, marital, couple, family and group counseling and psychotherapy.
  • Therapist are educated and trained to consider the situation in which their clients live and work. They also pay attention to the ways in which cultural influences affect individuals and families.
  • Therapist cannot prescribe medicines or admit people to a hospital.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselor

  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselors are credentialed at different levels in each state.
  • The level of credential is based on education levels, work experience in providing direct treatment and supervisory experience.
  • The Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselor is state licensed and/or certified to provide direct services.
  • A Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselor is an addiction-focused professional who helps individuals and families with health and recovery.
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction Counselors perform many activities including: screening, assessment and diagnosis of drug and alcohol issues, management of an individual treatment plan, individual, family, group counseling, education and prevention strategies.

Pastoral Counselor

  • A Pastoral Counselor is a mental health professional with training in both mental health and theology.
  • He/she typically holds a masters or doctoral degree in Pastoral Counseling, Counseling, Psychology, Social Work or Marriage and Family Therapy. Pastoral Counselors may also have a masters or doctorate degree in theology or divinity.
  • Pastoral Counselors are licensed and/or certified per state requirements according to their mental health training.