The Different Types Of Therapists In Washington D.C.
Deciding to seek therapy is a major milestone toward better mental health, but finding the right therapist is often one of the biggest challenges for new clients. If you’ve already started searching for a therapist, you’re probably well aware that there are several types of therapists—and even more types of psychotherapy and counseling.
Online therapy directories can help you start researching different types of therapists, but research is usually the last thing on your mind when navigating mental health challenges. So, where’s the right place to start?
Instead of guessing or spending hours scrolling through local specialists, understanding the different types of therapists in Washington D.C. can help you make the best choice for your mental health. Whether you’re starting therapy for the first time or searching for a new therapist in Washington D.C., here’s how to choose the right fit for you.
Types of Therapists in Washington D.C.
Before scheduling your first appointment, it’s essential to understand the differences between types of mental health professionals.
If you’re experiencing a specific concern, you might be searching for a licensed therapist with specialty training and years of experience treating your mental health issue. On the other hand, working with a family or couples therapist might be the best option for you if you’re navigating family conflicts or relationship issues.
Ready to start your search? Here are the different types of mental health professionals that offer mental health services in Washington D.C.
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They can prescribe medication to clients, diagnose mental health conditions, and sometimes provide psychotherapy. Some psychiatrists complete advanced training to treat children or adolescents, substance use disorders, or geriatric issues.
- Psychologists are similar to psychiatrists, but they don’t prescribe medication. In many cases, psychologists collaborate with psychiatrists to create a comprehensive treatment plan for clients. Psychologists have a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD). They can diagnose mental health conditions, provide psychotherapy, and perform psychological evaluations.
- Licensed professional counselors (LPCs) hold a master’s degree in counseling, along with advanced training and state certification. They help clients improve their mental health using therapeutic approaches.
- Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), also referred to as clinical social workers or social workers, hold a master’s degree in social work. Like counselors, social workers can perform mental health evaluations and offer psychotherapy. While many clinical social workers work in community-related fields, some social workers work in private practices.
- Licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) work with family members and couples to resolve family conflicts and communication issues. In general, LMFTs focus on how clients’ families affect their mental health by bringing a family-centered perspective to treatment.
How to Choose the Right Psychotherapist
Now that you know the different types of practitioners, how can you choose the right fit? Start by asking yourself what you want to get out of psychotherapy. Remember: There’s no right or wrong answer. Your answer might be as straighforward as “I want to improve my mental health,” or you might have more specific goals, like “I want to learn new skills to cope with self-esteem issues.
Once you’ve created a shortlist of potential therapists that treat your specific issue, schedule initial consultations. These calls can help you find the best therapist in terms of availability, the cost of therapy, and therapeutic approaches. At the same time, they can help you identify what therapist you feel the most comfortable with.
An insider’s tip: The type of education a licensed mental health provdier has is less important than you finding the therapist who you feel you can trust, and be open and vulnerable with.
If you’re experiencing intense symptoms, scheduling initial consultations can feel incredibly draining. Fortunately, teletherapy services like The Therapy Group of DC offer confidential, personalized access to compassionate therapists in D.C. so you can become the best version of yourself.
Compassionate, Data-Driven Therapy in Washington D.C.
To take the next step in your mental health journey, reach out to a therapist through The Therapy Group of DC.
We know that finding a good fit can be incredibly time-consuming, and we work with every client to find the right therapist for your specific needs. One of our experienced, licensed therapists will help you build resilience, overcome life’s challenges, and heal.