Tips for Choosing a Psychotherapist:
What Is a "Psychotherapist" Anyway?

Psychotherapists, licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists... these are all generic labels for someone in the business of counseling by practicing psychotherapy to help others with their problems.

In Colorado, anyone can legally call themselves a "psychotherapist", "counselor" or "therapist". As a matter of fact, anyone can legally practice psychotherapy in Colorado, regardless of their academic education or professional training...or the lack thereof. Colorado state law requires that all practicing psychotherapists pay a fee to either be licensed in one of the four academically trained and degreed disciplines as a:
clinical social worker
professional counselor
marriage & family therapist

Therapists without one of the above psychotherapy licenses can still legally practice in Colorado, only if they pay a fee to be a "registered psychotherapist" in a database kept by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know who is competent, ethical or effective in helping others. However, you can learn how to interview a prospective therapist and assess whether that person matches your personal needs and concerns.