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What Is It? American terminologies can be confusing when it comes to the field of psychotherapy. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who specializes in mental illnesses. The psychiatrist is legally able to prescribe medications. A psychologist has a Ph.D. degree in psychology and may be in the professional practice of psychotherapy. People with degrees such as masters in social work (MSW) also go into practice as “therapists” or “psychotherapists”. In most communities, referral agencies exist to help you choose the right therapist based on your emotional and financial needs. If you use an agency, try to find one that is impartial and not-for-profit.

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