When you are choosing a therapist to treat your anxiety disorder, you will notice that mental health care providers go by a variety of different titles.
A clinical psychologist has earned a PhD in the practice of psychology and is a licensed mental health professional. Since they are not medical doctors, psychologists do not prescribe medication Psychologists are trained in assessing, diagnosing, and treating psychological disorders.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors with experience in both psychotherapy and pharmacology, giving them an advanced knowledge of medications and the authority to prescribe them as necessary.
Psychotherapist and psychoanalyst are terms used to describe mental health care providers who practice either psychotherapy generally or psychoanalysis specifically. A psychotherapist or psychoanalyst might also be a psychiatrist or psychologist, or hold other certifications in the practice of mental health care.
A psychiatric nurse is a licensed registered nurse (RN) who has earned advanced degrees in psychiatric/mental health nursing and is trained to assess patient needs, to diagnose, and to develop a plan of care.
A licensed clinical social worker is a licensed mental health professional and social worker who can provide therapy but cannot order medical tests or prescribe medication.
Mental health counsellors have often received advanced degrees in social work or fields related to psychology or counselling. These mental health providers may specialize in a particular area of counselling or provide more general help and guidance.
Your choice of therapist will depend on your unique situation and needs, as well as which types of care are available to you in your area. Be sure to ask whether a therapist specializes or is trained in the treatment of the anxiety disorder you are dealing with.