What are all the different initials after therapist’s names:
(M.D., Ph.D., MFT, LCSW., LPCC)?

Psychiatrists (M.D.) are medical doctors and are the only ones who can prescribe medication. After completing their residency training, most psychiatrists take a voluntary examination given by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to become a “board certified” psychiatrist. To check on complaints and licensure www.mbc.ca.gov/Breeze/License_Verification.aspx

Psychologists (Ph.D.) have a doctorate in psychology, have completed an internship and are licensed by the state to practice. Psychologists are trained and licensed to administer psychological testing while Master’s level degree holders are not. Visit www.psychboard.ca.gov to check on license status of psychologists.

Marriage, Family Therapists (MFT or LMFT) have completed a Master’s degree in psychology or counseling psychology. They have completed an internship and are licensed by the state to treat clients. To check license status: www.breeze.ca.gov

Licensed Clinical Social Workers (L.C.S.W.) have generally completed a two-year Master’s degree in social work. These counselors also have supervised clinical training and are licensed in their state. In California check www.breeze.ca.gov 

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor have completed a Master’s degree in counseling psychology. They have completed an internship and are licensed by the state to treat clients. To check license status: www.breeze.ca.gov

Psych-Assistants: Have earned their Ph.D or Psy.D, are registered with the licensing board and are under supervision of a licensed person earning their hours towards licensure. They should state clearly who is supervising them and that they are not licensed yet. Their registration can be checked with the same board as the licensed psychologist.

Intern is the termed used for someone who has completed their required degree, is registered with the licensing board and is working under the supervision of a licensed person, earning their hours towards licensure as a LCSW, LMFT, or LPCC. They should state clearly who is supervising them and that they are not licensed yet. Their registration can be checked with the same licensing board as the licensed LCSW, LMFT or LPCC.

You might find multiple degrees or initials after people’s names. There is the license that someone works under, M.D., Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social worker, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and then there is the level of education they have completed. B.A., M.A., Psy.D and Ph.D.