Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a psychologist?

The database is a great place to start. The site features the largest selection of credentialed health service psychologists available online.  You can customize your search and create a contact list of psychologists.  Your contact list is available in the My List section of the main menu.

How do I find out if a psychologist is actively licensed and has no disciplinary actions?

The psychologists on are actively licensed in at least one state, province or territory, with the jurisdiction(s) listed in their individual profile. The National Register also monitors each psychologist in the database for disciplinary actions. We update our list frequently to ensure the psychologists listed meet our strict ethical guidelines.

You may also check with the psychology licensing board in your state. Almost all boards make licensure and disciplinary information publicly available through their web site. Go to our list of licensing boards to access websites for all state licensing boards.

How do I find out if a psychologist graduated from an approved doctoral program?

If a psychologist is listed in the database, they graduated from an approved doctoral program.  Psychologists typically hold a doctoral degree, which may be a PhD, a PsyD, or an EdD. Once you know where your psychologist completed his/her doctoral degree, you can access a comprehensive list of doctoral programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association or the Canadian Psychological Association or designated by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.

How do I find out about fees and the types of insurance a psychologist accepts?

The database displays accepted insurance for psychologists who have chosen to list this information. The best way to confirm this information and learn more is to contact the psychologist's office and ask.

Can a psychologist prescribe medication?

Appropriately trained psychologists in New Mexico, Louisiana, and Iowa have the legal authority to prescribe medication. In these states, psychologists must demonstrate that they have completed additional education, training, and supervised experience in order to prescribe certain drugs. There are also a limited number of federal government healthcare settings where appropriately trained psychologists may prescribe, but the number of prescribing psychologists is small.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a counselor or social worker?

Psychologists hold a doctoral degree in psychology and are licensed as psychologists. They are also required to complete supervised experience, generally a year of internship and a year of supervised postdoctoral experience. Other licensed health care professionals (counselors, social workers) typically hold a masters degree, and have completed less supervised experience.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Both professionals provide psychotherapy and counseling services and help patients/clients maintain and enhance their physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning. The number of years in education and training is about the same for both professions in the US (6-7 years following the undergraduate degree).

  • Training of a Psychologist: A psychologist holds a doctoral degree (PhD, PsyD, or EdD), has completed an approved internship in health service and a postdoctoral year of supervised experience at a more advanced level. The orientation of a psychologist is more often focused on the relationship between the body and the mind – a more wholistic approach with specialized expertise in psychotherapy and testing. However, all psychologists are required to be grounded in the biological bases of behavior with some psychologists completing a specialty in this area in the doctoral program and in subsequent educational opportunities.
  • Training of a Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a physician (MD) who pursued additional education and training in psychiatry after receiving a medical degree, with many of those individuals achieving board certification in neurology and psychiatry. The orientation of a psychiatrist is typically more biological, the training in psychotherapy is often minimal, and they do not receive training in psychological assessment. A psychiatrist is licensed as a physician, not as a psychologist.

Go back to the Find a Psychologist Toolkit.