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What is a Licensed Psychologist?

Psychologists are highly trained doctoral-level professionals with expertise in the areas of human behavior, mental health assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and behavior change. Psychologists are trained to apply scientifically validated procedures to help people better understand and change their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 

Psychologists are differentiated from most other mental health professionals by their rigorous doctoral-level academics, extensive supervised clinical training, and demanding licensure requirements. After college, psychologists spend an average of 7 years in graduate school studying and practicing the science of psychology before receiving a doctoral degree. A significant part of their training includes supervised clinical experiences that culminates in a doctoral internship/residency in a hospital or other mental health treatment setting. After receiving their doctoral degree they must complete a 1 year post-doctoral supervised work experience and pass national and state licensing exams before they can practice independently in any health care arena. 

Anyone claiming to be a Licensed Psychologist must be licensed by the state or jurisdiction in which they practice. Licensure laws are intended to protect the public by limiting licensure to those persons qualified to practice psychology as defined by state law. In Georgia, renewal of this license depends upon the demonstration of continued competence and requires continuing education to stay abreast of advances in the field.  

I’m used to handling things on my own. How do I know if I'm the type of person who might benefit from therapy?

The science on whether or not it is best to suffer in silence or talk to someone and get needed support is clear. The most effective people are those who know when they need help and are brave enough to reach out and ask for it. No one is immune from the challenges of life, and in our work together I’ll help you identify your strengths, develop new insights about yourself, and implement new skills to help you become the person you want to be. 

What’s the difference between talking to you or my best friend or family?

If you go see a therapist and it feels like talking to your best friend or family, then you need to find a new therapist. As psychologist, I am trained to help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to yourself without judgment or expectations, and help you learn to accept and have confidence in yourself. Also, counseling is confidential so nobody has to know what your struggling with unless you decide to share it with them. 

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?

Medication can be effective but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with counseling. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs.

How long will it take?

Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?

I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.