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Types of Mental Health Professionals

The word "therapist" is often used to describe anyone who does therapy, but there are many types of therapists, professional licenses and education levels that differentiate mental health practitioners. Below we list some of the common types of therapists and the differences between them.



  • Psychiatrists (M.D.)- Psychiatrists are the only mental health professional who can prescribe medication. Typically they will use a combination of talk therapy and prescription medication with their clients. 

  • Clinical or Counseling Psychologists (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D.)- Psychologists have a postgraduate degree that requires an average of seven years of education. They have special training in human behavior, diagnosis and treatment.

  • Clinical Social Workers (M.S.W.)- Clinical social workers have a master's degree in social work which includes training in individual and group counseling and how to use community resources to best help their clients.

  • Limited Licensed Psychologists (L.L.P) - Limited licensed psychologists have a master's degree level of education in counseling psychology. They work under the oversite of a licensed psychologist.

  • Marriage and Family Therapists- Marriage and family therapists have a master's degree level education with special training in issues relating to marriage and family dynamics.


In the state of Michigan, professional licenses are governed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). You may verify the license of a health professional in the state of Michigan. If you have any questions about the educational and professional backgrounds of any of the practitioners at Jenison Psychological Services please give us at call at (616) 457-0016 or check out our therapist's profiles.

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