Types of Therapists

Addiction Therapist

An addiction therapist is a specially trained counselor with the knowledge, skills, and clinical experience to assist clients in overcoming substance abuse problems.  This might take the form of individual therapy in which the therapist helps their client work through traumas related to their addiction.  It might also take place in a group setting in which addicts work together with the therapist to support one another’s recovery.

L.P.C. (Licensed Professional Counselor) • L.M.H.C. (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) • L.C.P.C. (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) • L.P.C.C. (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor of Mental Health) • L.C.M.H.C. (Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor) • L.M.H.P. (Licensed Mental Health Practitioner)

Behavioral Therapist

Behavioral therapists typically work with clients that are experiencing life difficulties as a result of a mental disorder.  For example, a behavioral therapist might engage with a young client that has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder to help them develop skills and coping strategies that help minimize the impact of their ADHD on their daily life.

ACT:  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy • CAT:  Cognitive Analytic Therapy • CBT:  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • CFT:  Compassion Focused Therapy • CMT:  Concentrative Movement Therapy • DNMS:  Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy

Child Therapist

Child therapists are highly trained counselors that have the specific skills needed to provide therapy to children 17 years of age and younger.  Child therapists address an array of issues, from mental disorders to behavioral disorders to difficulties that arise from emotional problems or anger.

C.C.T. Certified in Child Trauma • C.D.T. Certified in Disability Trauma • C.D.V. Certified in Domestic Trauma • C.E.C.R. Certified in Emergency Crisis Response

Clinical Therapist

Clinical therapists are much like behavioral therapists in that they use their training in counseling to provide clients with therapeutic interventions that help them overcome difficulties related to mental health problems.  In addition to working towards identifying the client’s primary issues, clinical therapists work closely with their clients to examine methods of improving the quality of life and treating the underlying issues that cause the client’s concern.

L.P.C. (Licensed Professional Counselor) • L.M.H.C. (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) • L.C.P.C. (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) • L.P.C.C. (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor of Mental Health) • L.C.M.H.C. (Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor) • L.M.H.P. (Licensed Mental Health Practitioner)

Cognitive Therapist

Cognitive therapy is focused on the thoughts clients have that derail healthy mental functioning.  As a result, cognitive therapists work to help their clients identify problematic thought patterns and create new, healthier cognitions that lead to greater functionality and higher satisfaction with life.  Much of a cognitive therapist’s work is done in the context of a traditional psychotherapy setting.

CT – Cognitive Therapy • CPT – Cognitive Processing Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT)

A cognitive behavioral therapist is a highly specialized counselor that uses psychotherapeutic and behavioral techniques to assist their clients in addressing a wide range of psychological problems, from depression and anxiety to substance abuse and eating disorders.  Therapists that employ this type of therapy are very focused on education, making achievable goals, and measuring the client’s progress.

CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Eating Disorder Therapist

With eating disorders so common in modern society, eating disorder therapists have an uphill battle to climb.  Therapists in this line of work not only have to be concerned about their client’s immediate mental health, but their physical health as well.  Additionally, eating disorder therapists strive to help their clients understand the underlying issues that led to the development of their eating disorder.

AED – Academy for Eating Disorders • CED-RD – Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian • CEDA – Certified Eating Disorders Associate • CEDCAT – Certified Eating Disorders Creative Arts Therapist • CEDRN – Certified Eating Disorders Registered Nurse • CEDS – Certified  Eating Disorder Specialist • CEDS/S – Certified Eating Disorder Specialist Supervisor • CEDT – Certified Eating Disorder Therapist • FAED – Fellow, Academy for Eating Disorders • FAEDA – Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorder Association •  FIAEDA – Fellow International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals • IAEDP – The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals • IFEDD – International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians • NEDA – National Eating Disorders Association • NSRED – Nocturnal Sleep Related Eating Disorder

High School Therapist

Working exclusively with teenagers, high school therapists are often tasked with helping students prepare for the next step in their lives.  That means assisting students with making plans for college, technical school, the armed forces, and so forth.

School Therapist

The primary role of a school therapist is to help guide students of all ages toward making positive strides toward their goals.  This might take the form of skill building with developmentally delayed students in elementary schools, goal setting with college-bound high schoolers, or behavioral.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists are trained in using psychotherapy and other mental health approaches to identify, diagnose, and treat mental disorders that disrupt the marriage and family environment.  Not only do these therapists work with families to help them resolve issues, but they also work with individuals in the family and with couples as well.

MMFT – Master of Marriage and Family Therapy • LMFT – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy

Nutritional Therapist

A nutritional therapist isn’t a counselor in the traditional sense.  Instead, these therapists advise their clients on dietary recommendations that will help improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  Typically, nutritional therapists work with chronically ill patients, such as those with diabetes.

BANT – British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy • CCN – Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist • CED-RD – Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian • CD-N – Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist • CDN – Certified dietitian or certified dietitian-nutritionist • CN – Certified Nutritionist • CNC – Certified Nutrition Consultant • CNS – Certified Nutrition Specialist • CSP – Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition • FAND – Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics • FDN – Functional Diagnostic Nutrition • LDN – Licensed Dietician/Nutritionist • LMNT – Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist • LN – Licensed Nutritionist • RD – Registered Dietitian • RDN – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Social Therapist

Like sociologists, social therapists are interested in how people’s behavior is influenced by the people around them.  In other words, social therapists seek to understand issues like relationships, depression, and grief within the context of different groups (i.e., age groups, ethnic groups) and work towards helping people within those groups cope with such issues.

ACSW – Licensure varies by state.  A clinical social worker may be a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers or listed in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Register of Clinical Workers • APSW – Advanced Practice Social Worker – Adult Protective Social Workers • BCD – Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, clinical social workers with a Master’s Degree, more than 5 years of experience in mental health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, who have passed an examination and met the other requirements for national certification by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABE).  Annual recertification is required • CCSW – Certified Clinical Social Worker • CSW – Certified Social Worker • CSWCM – Certified Social Work Case Manager • DCSW – Doctorate in Clinical Social Work • DSW – Doctor of Social Work or DCSW Doctor of Clinical Social Work • LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker • LCSW-C – Licensed Certified Social Worker – Clinical – Master’s in Social Work, Clinical • LCSW-R – In New York State, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, (LCSW) is a person who has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from an accredited university and has passed the state’s licensure exam.  The “R” designation is only awarded after a licensed Clinical Social Worker has had a minimum of 6 years of postgraduate professional supervision, and has met strict credentialing guidelines • LGSW – Licensed Graduate Social Worker • LICSW – Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker • LISW – Licensed Independent Social Worker • LISW-CP – Licensed Independent Social Worker – Clinical Practice • LISW-S – Licensed Independent Social Worker – Supervisor • LMSW – Licensed Master Social Worker • LMSW-ACP – Licensed Master Social Worker-Advanced Clinical Practitioner • LSCSW – Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker • LSWA – Licensed Social Work Associate – Bachelor’s in Social Work, Basic • MSSW – Master of Science in Social Work • MSW – Masters in Social Work

Social Work Therapist

Social work therapists are mostly involved in advocacy for marginalized groups of people.  For example, social work therapists might coordinate services for a developmentally disabled individual such that that person can live as independently as possible in the community.  In other words, these therapists assist their clients in finding the resources they need to live a healthy, productive lifestyle.

See above credentials for Social Therapist

Trauma Work Therapist

Trauma therapists are specially trained to help people deal with the stressors associated with specific traumas, like being abused, experiencing the death of a loved one, or living through a natural disaster.  Think of trauma therapists as the first responders of the mental health community whose job is to stabilize the client in the immediate aftermath of the trauma.

BCETS – Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress • CTRT – Certified Trauma Resolution Therapist • EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful therapeutic process that has people find relief from a wide range of emotional and personal problems, especially trauma • PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Youth Therapist

Typically, youth therapists work with children and adolescents that are experiencing difficulties in a particular realm of their life, be that at school or at home or with a specific issue, like behavioral or emotional disorder.  Using specific training geared towards working with children, these therapists employ strategies that help kids solve life’s problems such as improved mental and emotional health.