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Experts in Our Field

We are an experienced, knowledgeable, research-based team of mental health professionals.

Experts in every area of mental health comprise our incredible team of licensed clinicians. Our treatment team collaborates to provide evidence-based interventions to help you live well. The level of experience and knowledge each team member brings to HPA/LiveWell makes us a strong, cohesive mental health professional group practice.

Therapists’ Credentials: What Do The Letters Mean?

Licensed clinicians in New York State have letters before and after their names to identify their credentials and indicate the level of education and type of licenses and certifications a therapist has.

Here is a brief outline to explain therapists’ credentials:

  • Psychologist: PhD, PsyD
    • Will have a “Dr.” before their name
    • Completed a doctoral program in psychology
    • Completed clinical field experience and dissertations
    • PsyDs are clinically-focused; PhDs are often clinically- and research-focused
    • Many PhDs offer therapy in a particular interest or area of expertise (i.e., eating disorders)
    • Do not prescribe medication
  • Social Worker: LCSW, LMSW
    • Received a masters degree in social work
    • “L” indicates the clinician is licensed by New York State, which requires the successful completion of a state board exam and 3 years of supervised clinical experience
    • Able to diagnose and provide psychotherapy using many different therapeutic approaches
    • May have more certifications in a specific area of interest
    • Cannot prescribe medication
  • Mental Health Counselor: LMHC
    • Earned a master's or doctoral degree in counseling
    • Completed the required 3000 hours of supervised clinical experience
    • Passed the national licensure exam and any required state exam
    • Works with individuals experiencing mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, stress management, family and relational issues, or trauma
    • Do not prescribe medication

    Our goal is to provide support to the overall treatment team, including clinicians outside of HPA/LiveWell, such as your primary care doctor, medical specialists, and other mental health providers, which may include:

  • Psychiatrist: MD
    • Went to medical school
    • Will have a “Dr.” before their name
    • Often focuses on medication management, working in collaboration with another type of therapist listed above who delivers the therapy
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: NPP
    • Holds an active RN license and registration (completed an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing)
    • Graduated from NP program or obtained national board certification
    • Specialized certification in psychiatry
    • Works with a collaborating physician
    • Helps patients cope with psychiatric disorders including ADHD, mood disorders, and anxiety by prescribing and managing medication

While certain letters before and after a therapist’s name may show their background and training, the most effective and successful therapeutic relationships are built over time based upon respect, understanding, and trust. These core values drive our work at HPA/LiveWell.

Expertise Beyond Our Education

Each of our therapists have studied high-level education, and our expertise goes beyond the letters after our names. Many of our clinicians have led and continue to be involved in many studies and research publications on general mental health topics and eating disorders. Our team is continually learning and growing to remain current in our treatment interventions to provide the highest level of services to help you live well.