Frequently Asked Questions
Please consider the following questions. If you have any other questions of concern, please feel free to contact me via email.
A psychologist of any degree holds a doctorate in psychology. With this degree, the psychologist has completed a pre-doctoral internship and at least one year of post-doctoral, supervised clinic work. In order to become licensed, an individual must pass a national written examination, as well as a state written and oral examination. One of the main criteria in order to legally advertise and practice as a psychologist consists of a license by the state in which they practice. A clinical psychologist additionally has training and expertise in various areas, including but not limited to:
1. The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of intellectual, cognitive, and/or neuropsychological disorders,
2. The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of personality and emotional disorders,
3. Expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems, ranging from emotional distress, to severe mental health disorders,
4. Trained to conduct and interpret research and provide evidence-based treatments, which have been researched and shown to be effective,
Individual psychologists may choose to focus their practice on all of the above or may choose to focus on one particular area.
Psychologists and psychiatrists have different educational backgrounds and degrees. Psychologists, PhD's, and PsyD's are trained in the developmental, social, cognitive, and biological basis of behavior and emotions. Psychiatrists hold M.D. degrees and are trained in the physiology and biology of mental illness. Psychologist's treat psychological problems using various forms of talking and behavior therapy. Psychiatrists provide medication and may provide supportive therapy.
Psychologists have doctoral degrees (5-7 years of academic training after college), at least two years of clinical experience, and a state license to provide psychological services. Psychologists must adhere to comprehensive ethical guidelines and are governed by state and federal laws. Social workers and master level therapists have a two year graduate level education, must pass a national written exam, and also must be licensed by the state.
At this time, I do not prescribe medication. Within the state of South Carolina, Ph.D. level psychologists do not have prescriptive authority. When we work together, if I feel that medication may be useful or helpful to you, I will refer you to an appropriate physician.
Everything that you choose to discuss in a therapy session is kept private. Our national and state laws and ethical guidelines require that licensed clinical psychologists follow specific rules and procedures. Confidentiality and privacy are essential in a therapeutic relationship, particularly in smaller communities. There are certain legal exceptions to confidentiality (explained in detail in my orientation packet) which mandate reporting to specific agencies.
The length of therapy will vary depending upon the nature of your problem and the duration, intensity, and frequency of any symptoms that you may experience. Typically, sessions last 50 minutes and are scheduled based on your desire and necessity. Some individuals come weekly, others bi-weekly or monthly. We will carefully consider your desires and needs in order to devise a treatment plan and schedule that is tailored to best address your particular issues.