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spacerDr. Susan Rosenweig, Psy. D.


Below are some questions people often have about therapy, psychologists and my practice.


What is a psychologist?  What’s the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and a Licensed Psychologist?

A psychologist holds a doctoral degree in psychology, has completed a pre-doctoral internship, and at least one year of post-doctoral supervised clinical work.  To become licensed, the individual must pass a national written examination and a state-specific (often oral) examination.  In order to call oneself a “psychologist,” a person must be licensed by the state in which they practice.  In Oregon, the state does not license specific areas of psychology, like Clinical, Neuropsychology, Counseling Psychology, or Forensic Psychology.  Most psychologists received their training in Clinical Psychology, but others may have trained in Educational Psychology, Counseling Psychology, or Industrial/Organizational Psychology.  


A Clinical Psychologist refers to specific areas of study within psychology.  Someone with that training has experience in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems, which can range from emotional distress to severe mental health disorders, to the interaction among emotions, stress, and physical health.  Clinical psychologists are also trained to conduct and interpret research, and usually provide evidence-based treatments, which have been researched and shown to be effective.


What is a Health Psychologist or a Medical Psychologist?

Health Psychology and Medical Psychology are subspecialty areas of psychology, which focus on the relationship between physical and emotional health and illness.  Until recently, health & medical psychologists mostly functioned in research settings, but today health psychologists apply what is known about the mind-body connections in their treatment plans and recommendations.  They may work in private practice or in medical clinics and hospitals, often working closely with other medical specialists.


What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychologists and psychiatrists have different educational backgrounds and degrees.  Psychologists hold PhDs or PsyDs and are trained in developmental, social, cognitive, and biological bases of behavior and emotions.  Psychiatrists, on the other hand, hold MD degrees, and are trained in physiology of mental illness.  Psychologists treat psychological problems using various forms of talk and behavior therapy; psychiatrists prescribe medication and may provide supportive therapy.  Psychologists with additional training in psychopharmacology may be able to prescribe medications.  Some psychiatrists may be trained to provide talk therapy.


Can I get my medications through this office?

Not at this time.  Psychologists with additional training may become eligible to prescribe medications in Oregon in the near future.


How are psychologists different from other people doing therapy or counseling,, like social workers, counselors or life coaches?

Psychologists have doctoral degrees (4-7 years after college), at least 2 years of clinical experience, and a state license to provide psychological services.  Psychologists adhere to comprehensive ethical guidelines & are governed by state & federal laws.


Social Workers & Master’s level therapist:  Both of these professions have a 2-year graduate-level education.  To be licensed, they must pass a national written exam. 


2476 NW Northrup Street
Suite 2B
Portland, OR 97210
Tel. 503-206-8337
Fax 503-206-8032