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Degrees and Licenses

Licensed Therapists: Degrees & Licenses Explained

stock image of two women holding handsLicensed therapists in Denver and nearby are mental health practitioners who offer therapy services for the purpose of improving an individual’s (or a couple’s or family’s) mental health or to treat serious psychological problems or illnesses. Licensed therapists include professional counselors (with a master’s degree either in arts or sciences), psychologists (with a doctoral degree either in psychology, education, or philosophy), and clinical social workers. All of these licensed therapists can deal with the same therapy illnesses, disorders, conditions and issues.

Licensed therapists in mental health are trained to improve the mental health of individuals, couples, and families. Because therapy and mental health cover a wide range of elements, the scope of practice may vary between professionals.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is a licensed therapist who – like a Licensed Professional Counselor – also has special knowledge of various therapy interventions for various disorders and psychological conditions.

Licensed Professional Counselor

A Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) is a licensed therapist who provides counseling interventions and therapy to identify and help cognitive, mental and emotional issues, including personal growth, adjustment to disability, crisis intervention, and therapy for a variety of human ills. An LPC helps patients adequately deal with life situations, reduce stress, experience growth, change behavior and make decisions and may provide cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), EMDR, and other modes of therapy.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) specializes in providing marriage therapy, couples counseling and family therapy to help people achieve more adequate, satisfying, and productive relationships. This type of licensed therapist also may provide relationship and pre-marriage counseling.

National Certified Counselor

A National Certified Counselor (NCC) is a licensed therapist who has met predetermined standards in their training, experience and performance on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). An NCC holds a state license to practice mental health counseling.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is a licensed therapist who like a psychiatrist can prescribe medications for various mental health problems and disorders.

Certified Addiction Counselor

A Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) typically is a licensed therapist who specializes in therapy for alcohol and substance abuse. A CAC’s skills include assessment, treatment planning, individual and group counseling, case management, crisis intervention and client education.


A Psychologist is a licensed therapist who has the professional training and clinical skills to help people learn to cope more effectively with life issues and mental health problems. After years of graduate school and supervised training, they are licensed to use a variety of techniques based on the best available research and to consider the patient’s unique values, characteristics, goals and circumstances. Psychologists are trained to administer and interpret a number of tests and assessments that can help diagnose a condition or tell more about the way a person thinks, feels and behaves.


A Psychiatrist is a physician (either an MD or DO) who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental, addictive and emotional disorders, most often with medication.