Often professionals will list their names, followed by the degrees, licenses or titles they have earned. If you are unfamiliar with the abbreviations or the titles, the information is not much use to you.

Even this is only partial information. Degrees from different universities reflect different curricula and different standards, and there are even variations within programs in a single university.

Titles listed as "type of work" do not themselves reflect any specific training or license. Rather, they describe what the person does.

A degree reflects the formal training that a person has had. Ideally, this will be clinically relevant. A license is granted by the Commonwealth to indicate that the person's training and experience are adequate, and may be necessary in order for your health insurance to provide partial payment for treatment. However, having a degree and a license are not proof of ability, and some people with neither can be very helpful. You can also ask friends and other professionals for recommendations and opinions about the therapists listed here. When you call, feel free to ask whether the person's background and training are relevant to treating your issues. At a first appointment, you can decide whether the person seems sympathetic and able to understand you.

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