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List of credentials in psychology

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This list is of professional and academic credentials in the field of psychology and allied fields (psychotherapy, counseling and social work). Academic degrees, such as doctorate are available in these fields, but only those specifically for psychological subjects are included.


M.A. or M.S. or M.Sc. in Counseling Psychology or Clinical Psychology 
A master's degree in child development and family relationships.
M.Sc. The Master of Science in Counseling
Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy
Licentiate in Psychology or Psychologist: professional title used in EU and Latin American countries and equivalent of PsyD of the US
Doctor of Psychology. A Doctor of Philosophy degree requires the student to create relevant and helpful research. The PsyD student does not have to do as much research, focusing more on clinicals.
Doctor of Philosophy. A Doctor of Philosophy degree in psychology prepares the student to conduct independent research and to provide professional services (consultation, assessment, diagnosis). However, in order to actually practice psychology and use the title "psychologist", individuals must meet their state requirements and obtain a license to practice psychology.

Professional licenses

Main article: Professional licensing

Professional licenses for masters level mental health providers are issued by U.S. state to graduate degree holders and license them to practice psychotherapy, also known as counseling.

Mental health providers must usually hold a license or in some cases a national certification before receiving reimbursement from insurance companies, although insurance companies as well as Medicaid and Medicare heavily favor clinical social workers and discriminate against equally qualified masters level clinicians such as LMHC's and LMFT's, who are not allowed to bill Medicaid/Medicare for the same psychotherapeutic services.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Master Social Worker
Academy of Certified Social Workers
Licensed Independent Social Worker
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Masters Social Work - Advanced Clinical Practitioner
Clinical Social Worker

These professional licenses are issued by U.S. state or national certification boards (or in the case of the ACSW, a professional organization, the National Association of Social Workers) to graduate degree holders and license them to practice social work and, usually, nonmedical psychotherapy. Such professionals also hold a graduate degree, often an MSW. Mental health providers must usually hold such a certification before receiving reimbursement from insurance companies.

Licensed Marital and Family Therapist
Marriage, Family and Child Counselor

This license is specifically for family and child counseling and issued by U.S. state boards to graduate degree holders.

Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (the LPC is a prerequisite for this license)
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Chemical Dependency Licensure
Drug and Alcohol Counselor

U.S. state licensing boards grant these licenses to practitioners holding a graduate degree with applicable clinical experience.

Other credentials


Registered nurses who hold master's degree in psychatric-mental health nursing.

Board Certified Diplomate. An endorsement by a certifying board that a high level of competence is displayed in a professional subject matter. These can be held by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers or counselors.


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