Psychiatrists, Counselors and Therapists in Frisco, TX: What Do You Really Need?

So, you’ve taken the first step and admitted you need some help. The next step is often the hardest.  You know you have been struggling with your mental health. Maybe you just aren't dealing well with stress. You know you need a little help feeling better. But it's overwhelming to figure out who is best to help you. 

When you search for psychotherapy in Plano, Frisco, or McKinney, TX, you find so many websites! There are therapists, psychotherapists, and counselors. You see ads for psychologists, psychiatrists, and life coaches! So, what exactly are you looking for? Below I explain the differences so you can feel good about your choice. 

What is the difference between counselors and therapists?

These terms usually describe the same kind of service. In most states, one needs a license to legally provide mental health counseling. For the license, one needs at least a master's degree. Beyond this, one must log thousands of hours of supervised experience, and pass an exam.

That license is important because it tells you the person has had sufficient training. A license also offers additional protection for clients. Unlike life coaching, psychotherapy offers this protection.

When you hire someone to help you delve into your most personal experiences, you want to know it will be kept private. The government protects this with an extra layer-- privilege. With few exceptions, your licensed therapist cannot disclose information you share with them.  This allows you to more comfortably open up in therapy.

In Texas, there are three master’s level degrees to become a therapist. They are Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). While their education differs slightly, their experience is similar. They can all diagnose and treat mental health disorders.

Psychologists in Plano, TX

Psychologists are therapists, too, but only they can call themselves psychologists. They have a doctorate degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), which is longer than master's level counselors. They also complete more hours of training than master’s level clinicians. Their education focuses on theory and research. It prepares psychologists for jobs doing research and teaching or doing therapy.  

Psychiatrists in Plano, TX

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are experts in mental health. They have earned a M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degree. These doctors also complete several years of training in mental health. One major difference between psychiatrists and other mental health professionals is that they prescribe medication. Psychiatrists are also trained in psychotherapy, but most spend their time helping people figure out if they need medication. They are experts in finding which medications are best for the problem you have. Since they understand mental health well, they are a great choice if you need medication to help you feel better.

Finding the right therapist in Plano TX

So, let's bring it back to you. What do you need? You need a licensed professional who keeps your personal information secure. You also need someone who can help with your unique issues. Depending on your needs, some of these professionals may specialize in your area of need.

If you are looking for a counselor in Plano, Frisco or McKinney TX, give me a call at 469-850-2420. My name is Danesa, and I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation. I am happy to connect you with a great therapist in the area, or we can determine if we would be a good fit. My specialties include body image, food and weight issues, eating disorders, depression and anxiety.