Understanding the Difference
Therapists, Counselors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists
Therapist vs Counselor
The terms "therapist" and "counselor" are often used interchangeably with little distinction. Counselor is often used as an umbrella term for both licensed clinicians with advanced degrees and those offering other forms of counseling. Some states protect the term "therapist" to mean they must have a license to operate and other states this term can include life coaches and others with minimal training and or experience.
All of the therapists and counselors at Norcon Family Counseling are qualified, trained practitioners who have graduated with a masters (MA or MS) degree in a counseling or social work. They have specific training based on clinical research into human behavior. They must adhere to high standards regarding ethics and confidentiality as provided by the Missouri state board. When we use the term "therapist" or "counselor", we are referring to Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselors (PLPC), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), or Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT). All of these practitioners are licensed to work in the state of Missouri and have had many hours of direct therapy experience before being able to practice at our office.
Psychologists have similar roles as therapists and counselors, however, as PHD level practitioners, they have the added ability to perform in-depth evaluations and testing to help provide a specific diagnosis for issues. Currently, Norcon Family Counseling DOES NOT have PHD level psychologists and DOES NOT offer testing.
Psychiatrists are PHD level practitioners who are also a medical doctor and are licensed to prescribe medication for mental health issues. A psychiatrist visit is normally short (15 min or less) with the sole purpose being getting a prescription. Norcon Family Counseling DOES NOT offer any psychiatric services at this time. If you are needing medicine, you will need to find a psychiatrist. There are times when medicine is needed, but we recommend a more holistic approach when possible. We also encourage clients who see a psychiatrist for their medicine to also consider doing counseling therapy in conjunction with their medicine to be able to work on some of underlying issues they may be experiencing.