This question is complicated by the unique way the provider chooses to practice. In theory, psychotherapist provide a slightly different path to the same place of wellness. This can vary widely based on the provider’s experience after training and/or the needs of the client.
In short, psychotherapists differ based upon the philosophy of their training and in some cases, the education level.
For therapists, a master’s degree is the minimum education level. Degrees can be in psychology, education, counseling, or other related areas. All therapists identify patterns of thought and behavior that could be improved upon to increase an individual’s level of social functioning as well as quality of life. The therapists will use various techniques to increase the client’s awareness and understanding of these complex patterns or additional assistive resources. Some therapists seek additional training to specialize in a particular age group or diagnosis.
LCSW’s typically focus on helping people cope with issues in their everyday lives, deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems. Social workers also work in a variety of settings (schools, hospitals, government agencies), to help individuals, families, and groups restore or enhance their capacity for social functioning.
Psychologists have a doctorate degree. Psychologists take a scientific approach to study human thought and behavior, both normal and abnormal. Psychologists typically use diagnostic testing or other assessment tools to formally diagnose and treat people with mental illness.
LPC’s work to form a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to meet their goals.
LMFT’s focus on brief, solution focused interventions and treat the entire set of relationships as one unit no matter how many people are in the room.