Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider.
During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy helps you learn how to take control of your life and respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills.
There are many types of psychotherapy, each with its own approach. The type of psychotherapy that's right for you depends on your individual situation. Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy, counseling, psychosocial therapy or, simply, therapy.
Source: The Mayo Clinic
Understanding the different types of mental health professionals can be confusing. Listed below are the in-house mental health professionals we have within the Cabell Huntington Hospital Counseling Center.
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
LPCs have a great deal of counseling-and-therapy specific training during their Master’s Degree and beyond. LPC’s can work in private practice, for hospitals, in schools, in group private practice, or for other organizations. LPC’s are able to diagnose and treat disorders related to mental health, substance use, personality problems, family life issues, and a variety of other life concerns that get in the way of a person’s optimal functioning and enjoyment of life. Many LPC’s go beyond the required training and supervision toward greater expertise to best serve their clients’ needs.
Provisionally Licensed Counselor
The title “Provisionally Licensed Counselor” applies to those counselors who have finished their Master’s Degrees and who are currently in their supervision period toward their independent licenses as an LPC. During their provisional period they receive one-on-one supervision with an Approved Licensed Professional Supervisor (ALPS) one hour for every 20 hours worked in the field. Provisionally Licensed Counselors can take further training courses beyond their Master’s Degree while working toward their independent licenses.
Licensed Psychologists hold a master’s or doctoral degree and perform a variety of psychological testing and assessments based on their training and expertise. Psychologists also provide therapy utilizing a variety of techniques.
Performs the same as a licensed psychologist but under the direction and supervision of an approved licensed psychologist.
Psychological testing and assessments provided at the CHH Counseling Center:
Psychologists are mental health clinicians who provide psychological testing and assessments, as well as therapy.
Psychiatrists are specialized medical doctors who prescribe medications to treat mental health disorders. In some cases, psychiatrists also provide therapy. The Counseling Center does not have a psychiatrist on staff, however our providers make referrals for psychiatric care as needed, and coordinate care with the prescribing physicians with our client’s written consent. On a monthly basis, we consult with Dr. David Humphreys, area psychiatrist, regarding our client’s medication concerns as well as to keep up with new developments in psychopharmacology.
Note regarding psychological testing of minors: if the client is a minor (under the age of 18), the psychologist will interview the client and the parent/guardian. For some of the psychological tests, it is strongly recommended that the testing be administered without the caregiver present in the room.
Below are the frequently asked questions regarding the treatment and testing of minors:
Q. Will I be able to talk to my child’s provider?
A. The parent/guardian is encouraged to speak with the provider.
Q. How much of the treatment process will I be involved in?
A. For younger children, parents are typically more actively involved than for older children and adolescents. Some issues discussed by the child/adolescent may be kept confidential for the sake of the therapeutic process except for circumstances in which confidentiality is excluded by West Virginia law and the provider’s code of ethics.
Q. If my child or adolescent comes for a psychological evaluation, will the results be discussed with the parent or guardian as well as with the minor?
A. The results of the assessment and recommendations will typically be discussed with both the client and the parent/guardian.
Q. What if my child’s other parent and I don’t agree on my child’s assessment or treatment?
A. In many cases, the custody agreement will determine whether one or both parents are needed to make testing and treatment decisions.
Q. My child is 16 and can drive to their appointments. Do I need to be there?
A. A legal guardian of the minor must be present for the first visit. After that, as long as the minor is 14 or above, able to conduct themselves responsibly at the Center, and does not need to be accompanied for another reason (fear, anxiety, disability, etc.), a responsible adult is not required to accompany the child to subsequent appointments unless their provider requests it.