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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Difference between a lcsw and psychiatrist ,i have ocd and

Customer Question

difference between a lcsw and psychiatrist ,i have ocd and social anxiety disorder,now my general practice doctor says i may be bipolar and i need to see a psychiatrist and they set me up with a lcsw,what should i do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in mental health evaluations and medications. Although they can treat you through psychotherapy, it is usually better to see a Master's Level therapist for your talk therapy.

A therapist is a person who has a Master's degree. The initials you see after a therapist's name are the following:

LSW- a licensed social worker. They are trained in family and social therapy.

MSW- the same as above without the special license

MA- a Master's in Psychology. They are usually trained in theories of psychology.

M.Ed- a Master's in Counseling. They are trained in counseling methods and community counseling.

An LSW is fine to see for therapy. Keep in mind that finding a therapist is much like finding a doctor, you may need to try a few before you find one that you feel comfortable working with. If you should need another therapist, here is a link to help you find one:

Also, you can supplement your therapy with self help at home through books and reliable on line resources. Here are some to help you:

Welcome to the Jungle: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bipolar but Were Too Freaked Out to Ask by Hilary Smith

The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, Second Edition: What You and Your Family Need to Know by David Jay Miklowitz

The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Bruce M., Ph.D. Hyman and Cherry Pedrick

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques by Gill***** *****

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this has helped,


TherapistMarryAnn and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you so much!!!
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

You are welcome! I am glad I could help.