A psychology therapist is a mental health professional who may be known as a counselor, psychologist, or psychotherapist. In the United States, therapists are usually required to at least have a master's degree in order to practice, but this can vary largely from location to location. In some states, therapists may be allowed to practice with only a bachelor's degree as long as they operate under the direct supervision of a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed therapist. For individuals who are not comfortable with the idea of seeing someone who only holds a bachelor's degree, it is recommended that they research any therapist they are considering for treatment.
Any professional who is known as a psychology therapist may prefer a number of different approaches to use with patients in their daily practice. In some cases, experienced therapists may be able to adapt their treatment approaches to suit the specific needs of individual clients. It should be noted, however, that all therapists do not subscribe to this particular method. If patients are looking for a certain type of treatment approach, it is usually advisable to interview potential therapists before making a final selection for treatment, so that someone who offers the right kind of therapy options can be selected.
In many employment situations, a psychology therapist may choose to specialize in particular areas or modes of therapy. In some cases, however, a therapist's area of focus may be determined by his or her employer. Some of the areas of specialization include art therapy, hypnotherapy, and marriage and family counseling. Some areas of specialization do require therapists to obtain additional training or certifications in order to be licensed to treat patients.
Sometimes a psychology therapist might also be a school counselor. In many states throughout the U.S., these kinds of professionals do not need to have a doctoral degree, but they generally do need to possess a master's degree. Many states, as well as some individual school systems, also require school counselors to be licensed to practice psychology in that state.
Mental health counselors are another type of psychology therapist, and they usually have a large number of training hours in their chosen discipline in addition to having a master's degree. These counselors may also be licensed nurses and possess a license from the state in which they work. Professionals within this field usually counsel married couples, families, and individuals with a variety of different problems. They may also conduct group therapy sessions in addition to individual sessions.