Psychiatry & Psychology--General/PsyD, PHD, LMFT, or CSW


Can you please explain the difference between a PsyD, PHD, LMFT, and a CSW. Besides the schooling (I know that both LMFT and CSW only have masters, while PsyD and PHD or Doctoral) , whats the difference between them, can they all, test, diagnosing and treat? Can they all practice the same origination? And when should you see one over the other? 


ANSWER: the difference between a PsyD, PHD - almost exactly the same, except for maybe 3-4 different courses. PhD programs were mostly based on the Boulder (CO) model of scientist-practitioner (the ones that graduated psychologists eligible for licensure), or academics/researchers. PsyD programs began in the 80's, and focus less on statistics/research and more on clinical services. focus is on general psychology and personality

LMFT - focus is on family therapy, on a view of psychopathology in terms of interpersonal relationships - that is, if you change the system, you can change on the individual

CSW - grew out of the work already being done by social workers, who help connect people to community services. Thus, a view of psychopathology in terms of one's relationship with the community, and increasing social supports. More and more focusing on general psychology, I think, tho

can they all, test, diagnosing and treat? --- somewhat depends on state laws. Mostly licensing laws protect the 'name' - e.g., only psychologists can use the term 'psychological'

Can they all practice the same origination? --- don't understand this question

And when should you see one over the other? ---- mostly determined by the therapist's training and experience

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: First, thanks for the fast reply. My main concern is, is that there seems to be a lot more CSW and LMFT now a days then PHD and PsyD, and I know that LMFT and CSW only have Masters so I feel like they won't give the best treatment or be the most knowledge, and from your description it sounds as if LMFTs are more like life coach with truing and focusing on moving ahead then what maybe the true issue. And that CSWs seem more like what they are social services, to aid people then to really treat them, and usually have a case load of individuals, and the don't get to try to know you.  

I just want to know if I can find the best treatment out there, and evenkowing I know tv/movies aren't real, I'm looking for the Robin Williams "Good Will Hunting" or "Ordinary People" classic kind of therapy. Where I can learn more about myself and my behaviors, for a better change.

Josh, the profession of psychotherapy is part factual knowledge and part rhetoric/salesmanship. What I mean is all professions that attempt to change the behavior of others share similarities. There IS one key difference between doctorate and masters level training - with the additional education, psychologists learn more about rare or severe problems. Most people can handle the 'run of the mill' kinds of problems, ones that don't require special expertise. One of the key differences between ordinary and exceptional professionals is the ability to recognize and handle exceptions. It's difficult for therapists to improve our skills, because we don't get much feedback regarding our effectiveness. However, it takes a minimum of 5 years to become an expert in something, so I would look for someone at least 4 years post licensure. Also, it's partly how well the 'fit' is between therapist and patient. Finally, the patient has huge influence over how much they get out of it, by how hard they work. I would suggest reading 'the fifty minute hour' and 'if you meed the bhudda on the road, kill him!'

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.


any related to psychology, especially related to forensic psychology


15 years as a licensed psychologist, 15 years in private practice. My practice began primarily doing individual and group psychotherapy, is now devoted to assessments, but I occasionally do take on clients in therapy.

American Psychological Association

B.A. psychology, B.A., music, Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978 MCS, computer science, University of Dayton, 1984 MA, psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1991 Psy.D., psychology, Miami Inst. of Psychology, 1993 post doctoral training in Neuropsychology, Fielding Institute, 1995-1997

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