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According to the California Psychological Association “psychologists are trained to help people cope more effectively with life problems, using therapeutic techniques based on the best available research and their own clinical skills and experience. Psychologists take into account each person's unique values, goals and circumstances and work collaboratively with the client to identify the goals of treatment and to decide how progress will be defined. Psychologists spend an average of 7.2 years, in addition to their undergraduate college degree, in education and training (include extensive training in research). Many psychologists use psychological testing to evaluate and treat a full range of emotional and psychological challenges. In California, a mental health professional cannot be called a psychologist unless they are licensed as a psychologist.”
According the American Psychiatric Association, “A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Psychiatrists are qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological disturbance. A psychiatrist has completed medical school (is an M.D. or D. O.) and an additional four or more years of residency training in psychiatry. Because they are physicians, psychiatrists can order or perform a full range of medical laboratory and psychological tests which, combined with interviews/discussions with patients, help provide a picture of a patient's physical and mental state. Psychiatrists use a variety of treatments, including psychotherapy, medication, and other treatments. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with special training in psychiatry who is able to conduct psychotherapy and prescribe medications and other medical treatments.”
Marriage and Family Therapists are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners licensed by the State of California. All Marriage and Family Therapists hold either Masters or Doctoral degrees, within the fields of counseling and psychology, from state board accredited universities and are required to complete a minimum of 3000 hours of supervised counseling experience before becoming eligible for licensure. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are core mental health practitioners and relationship specialists trained to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals, couples, families, and groups to achieve more fulfilling and productive personal, marital, familial, and social relationships. A Marriage and Family Therapist does not offer solutions or take sides. Instead, an MFT will assist you in working out solutions according to your own personal values and lifestyle. Seeking professional support is a sign of courage and a willingness to deal with life's many changes.
According to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, “[Clinical Social Workers] have a special knowledge of social resources, human capabilities, and the part that unconscious motivation plays in determining behavior, and is directed at helping people to achieve more adequate, satisfying, and productive social adjustments. Social workers are qualified to provide psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature with individuals, families, or groups to assist the person or persons to achieve a better psychosocial adaptation, to acquire greater human realization of psychosocial potential and adaptation, to modify internal and external conditions which affect individuals, groups, or communities in respect to behavior, emotions, and thinking, in respect to their intrapersonal and interpersonal processes.” All LCSW’s hold either Masters or Doctoral Degrees within the field of social work, from state board accredited universities and are required to complete a minimum of 3200 hours of supervised social work experience before becoming eligible for licensure.
According to the American Counseling Association, “The practice of professional counseling includes, but is not limited to, the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, including addictions; psychoeducational techniques aimed at the prevention of such disorders; consultation to individuals, couples, families, groups, and organizations; and research into more effective therapeutic treatment modalities. Counselors’ training in the provision of counseling and therapy includes the etiology of mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and the provision of the established, research-based “talk therapies” of cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and psychodynamic therapy. Counselors’ education and training is oriented toward the adoption of a truly client-centered, approach to therapy.” All LPCC’s hold either master or doctoral degrees in the field of counseling or psychotherapy, have completed a minimum of 3000 hours of supervised work experience and have passed a licensing exam.
According to the Association of Educational Therapists (www.aetonline.org), “An educational therapist is a professional who combines educational and therapeutic approaches for evaluation, remediation, case management, and communication/advocacy on behalf of children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities or learning problems. All Professional members of the Association of Educational Therapists (AET) have met rigorous professional requirements in the academic areas of elementary and/or secondary education, child development, educational assessment, learning theory, learning disabilities, and principles of educational therapy. All members have a B.A. degree and are required to hold a Masters Degree or equivalent in post-BA course work. They have completed at least 1500 supervised direct service hours, and are required to complete 40 clock hours of Continuing Education every two years. To become a Board Certified Educational Therapist (BCET)®, a member must meet the following additional requirements: Masters Degree (required); one year membership in AET at the Professional level; 1000 hours of professional practice; formal written Case Study evaluated and passed by the AET Certification Board; a written examination that demonstrates professional expertise in educational therapy.”
A speech-language pathologist, sometimes referred to as a speech therapist, evaluates, diagnoses and treats speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. According to http://www.speechandhearing.ca.gov/, “Licensed speech-language pathologists possess a master's degree or equivalent in speech-language pathology from an educational institution approved by the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board. In addition to possessing a master’s degree, licensed speech therapists must have completed 300 hours of supervised clinical practice in three different clinical settings, completed either thirty-six (36) weeks of full-time supervised experience or seventy-two (72) weeks of part-time supervised experience and have taken and passed the National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology with a minimum score of 600.”
Occupational Therapists work with people experiencing different medical conditions or disabilities to develop, improve, or restore functional daily living skills. California licensed speech–language pathologists possess an accredited master’s degree in speech–language pathology and have completed both supervised clinical practice with individuals representative of a wide spectrum of ages and communication disorders and no less than 36 weeks of satisfactorily completed supervised professional full–time experience or 72 weeks of professional part–time experience obtained under the supervision of a licensed speech–language pathologist. Licensed speech therapists have also passed a California board examination. – Adapted from The California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board http://www.slpab.ca.gov
According to the Physical Therapy Board of California (http://www.ptbc.ca.gov), “A physical therapist is a licensed health care professional who evaluates a patient's physical status, establishes a plan of care and goals, then administers treatments to promote optimal health. Physical therapists seek to relieve pain, improve the body's movement and function, maintain cardiopulmonary function, and limit disabilities resulting from injury or disease. A California licensed physical therapist has completed an accredited four-to-six-year college program. The educational requirements in physical therapy, including studies in biology, basic medical sciences, and clinical experience as required in a US accredited program. Studies focus on the evaluation and treatment of the heart, lungs, muscles, bones, and the nervous system. In addition, California physical therapists have passed the national physical therapy examination and an examination on the laws and regulations governing the practice of physical therapy in California.”