There are so many different types of therapists. When I introduce myself as a therapist, the first question I am asked is, "What type of therapy do you do?" In my case, I am a licensed mental health counselor, which means I am a therapist who provides mental health therapy to individuals and couples in Jacksonville, FL. Finding a therapy therapist is confusing and I am here to help. This article answers the most common questions my clients have asked me about therapy and shares resources to help you find the best therapist for your needs.
What is a Therapy Therapist?
A therapy therapist is someone qualified to provide mental health therapy. There are several different types of therapists who are qualified to provide such services. Some of the most common include:
• Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC): These therapists have obtained a master's degree in mental health counseling or a related field. They are licensed to provide therapy to individuals, couples, and families. Their approach typically focuses on meeting the mental health needs of each individual they work with.
• Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT): These therapists have a master's degree in marriage and family therapy or a related field. They are also licensed to provide therapy to couples, families, and individuals. Their approach tends to focus on the systems in which their client exist. For example, an MFT seeing a client with depression might focus on the health of their relationships and family systems.
• Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW): LCSWs have a master's degree in social work and have undergone additional clinical training. While they can offer therapy similar to LMHCs and LMFTs, they may emphasize connecting clients with community resources and providing broader social support.
• Licensed Clinical Psychologists (LCP): LCPs typically hold a doctoral degree in psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.). They are trained in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders. They are often more expensive than the other types of therapists mentioned above, as they have completed a higher level of education and are able to provide a wider range of assessments. These individuals may also conduct research or teach college classes.
It's worth noting that people often confuse psychiatrists with therapists. Psychiatrists are medical doctors or psychiatric nurse practitioners specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. Their primary role is prescribing medications to address chemical imbalances or specific symptoms. While some psychiatrists offer therapy services, they typically focus more on assessment and medication management. However, many psychiatrists work together with therapy therapists to ensure that their patients receive a comprehensive approach to care, combining both therapeutic and medicinal interventions when appropriate.
What can I expect from A Therapy Session?
During your first therapy session, you can expect your therapy therapist to have what is called an "informed consent discussion," this is a legal term that means your therapist is informing you that what you share is confidential, except for scenarios in which you or someone else is in danger. Once this conversation is over, your therapist should start learning more about you.
Your initial therapy session should be focused on gathering information. I like to start all my sessions by asking clients how the last 24 hours of their lives have been. It helps my clients feel present while also filling me in on their mood at the start of the session. From there, I ask clients to share anything that is at the top of their minds. If they don't have anything pressing, I start asking questions.
After a few sessions, your therapy therapist should develop something called a "treatment plan." This is just a formal term for a list of goals that you and your therapist agree to work on. Goals might include "Reduce anxiety symptoms" or "Improve boundaries in relationships." These goals help me to know what is most important to my clients. However, a treatment plan should be adjusted as needed to ensure it aligns with your life.
From there, your therapy therapist will work with you to meet your goals while also leaving room for you to discuss any new developments that you want to share. Sometimes, you may need to process a relationship conflict you didn't anticipate at the start of therapy. Sometimes, our goals change, and that is perfectly fine. Your therapist should be empathetic and flexible.
Therapy ends when you have met your goals. Your therapist will celebrate this with you when the time comes and should ensure you have any additional mental health resources you may need.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
Do Therapists Diagnose You?
It depends. Therapy therapists are qualified to diagnose mental health disorders. If a therapy therapist accepts insurance, they must give you a diagnosis. If a therapist does not accept insurance, they can choose whether or not a diagnosis would be helpful or harmful to you. If you are concerned that you may be struggling with an undiagnosed mental health disorder, discuss your concerns with your therapist, and they can provide helpful information and possibly conduct an assessment.
Do Therapists Prescribe Medication?
No, therapists do not prescribe medication. Only medical doctors, like psychiatrists or primary care physicians, can prescribe medication.
How Much Does Therapy Cost?
The cost of therapy varies greatly depending on where you live and your therapist's experience level and credentials. As a licensed mental health counselor with four years of clinical experience, I currently charge $140 per 50-minute individual therapy session and $160 per 50-minute couples session. You can learn more about my pricing for therapy here.
Do Therapists Accept Insurance?
It depends. Some therapy therapists accept insurance, while others do not. When therapists accept insurance, they are required to diagnose you, create a treatment plan that is based on this diagnosis, and submit confidential information to your insurance provider. I do not accept insurance, but I can provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement. This choice allows me to provide services that align with the needs of my clients without being forced to diagnose or limit my treatment plan.
How Can I Find A Therapy Therapist in Jacksonville?
My name is Hannah Mayderry, and I am a licensed mental health counselor providing online therapy services to individuals and couples in Jacksonville, FL. I would love to have the chance to speak with you over the phone to answer any questions you have about therapy therapists. You can schedule a free phone consultation here or use this link to message me! Even if I am not the best fit for your needs, I am always more than happy to provide you with resources to find the perfect therapy therapist near you. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to speaking with you soon!