Articles Harbor Crest Counseling

Psychiatrist, Psychologist or Social Worker: What's the Difference?

To many people the terms psychiatrist, psychologist and clinical social worker are confusing.  Often the terms are used interchangeably or incorrectly.  There are differences, though, in addition to some similarities.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who completed further training in the specialty of psychiatry.  In today's managed care environment they are used to assess difficulties a client may have, whether medication might be helpful and what medications might be considered.  If a client is prescribed medication then they would meet monthly with the psychiatrist to monitor the medication. The first visit with the psychiatrist takes about 45 minutes to an hour.  Follow up visits generally are for 15 to 20 minutes.

Many times therapy by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Psychologist is recommended in addition to medication.  While the medication helps address the symptoms counseling can be beneficial as well to explore the problem, evaluate options, make changes or to address other needs we may have.


Psychologists must complete a Doctorate degree in Psychology, and complete additional training to be licensed in New York.  Licensed Clinical Social Workers complete a Masters degree and must have completed six years of supervised clinical experience to have the ability to accept insurance in New York.

At Harbor Crest both Psychologists and Social Workers provide the same high quality of clinical services.  They have demonstrated on interview a strong knowledge of different types of treatment, have extensive experience, and each have several clinical specialties.

When clients call we match them with the clinician that seems to be the best match for the time they have available, specialty (if needed) and insurance.

Please call Randy Bleiwas at Harbor Crest  (845) 354-9200 if you have any questions or require further information.

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