NAVIGATING THE CONFUSING INFORMATION ABOUT PROFESSIONAL DEGREES AND CREDENTIALS

Many of the practitioners in the directory will have degrees and training from the United States, United Kingdom, and/or France. Unfortunately, there is often not a direct equivalent degree between these and other countries, which can make looking for the right therapist difficult. Below is a general guide, and by no means exhaustive, to help you find the type of professional you are seeking.

DEGREES/TITLES/LICENSURE
Degrees Earned in the United States:

MD – Medical Doctor/General Practitioner

A GP or “general practitioner” is a MD with a degree in general medicine. Having a MD does not allow someone to practice medicine, as a MD is a university degree, but needs to be combined with an official registration with the national regulatory body before the person can practice medicine. In France medical doctors have to be registered with the Ordre des Médecins in order to practice medicine.

Read more: HERE

FRENCH EQUIVALENT:Médecin/Médecine Générale , Médecine de Famille, etc.

MD – Psychiatrist

A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor with a specialist degree in psychiatry, and treating mental illness. In most European countries, obtaining a specialized training in general adult psychiatry requires at least, an additional 5-6 years, or longer. Psychiatrists can order diagnostic laboratory tests, prescribe medications, evaluate and treat psychological and interpersonal problems, and give continuing care for psychiatric problems. Psychiatrists may also act as consultants to primary care physicians, or to non-physicians such as psychologists, social workers and nurses.

Read more: HERE

FRENCH EQUIVALENT: Psychiatre

PHD or PSYD – Clinical Psychology Doctorate Degree (or other area of psychology)

Psychologists spend an average of seven years in graduate education training and research before receiving a doctoral degree. They are not medical doctors. As part of their professional training, they must complete a supervised clinical internship in a hospital or organized health setting, and at least one year of post-doctoral supervised experience before they can practice independently in any health care arena. It's this combination of doctoral-level training and a clinical internship that distinguishes psychologists from many other mental health care providers.

A Clinical Psychologist from the United States can be a Psychologue in France (see below); however, a Psychologue may not have the equivalent training and experience to be called a Clinical Psychologist in the United States. If you are looking for a doctorate-level practitioner, make sure they hold a doctorate degree.

Read more:HERE

FRENCH EQUIVALENT: Psychologue, psychologue clinicien

**The right to use the title of Psychologue (psychologist) is restricted in France, and is regulated by The Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Le ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche). Psychology degree holders from other countries must prove at least three years of study in the field of psychology, and must submit a request for recognition to the Commission Des Psychologues, who will examine their credentials and training and issue a document granting the use of the title.

MA or MS – Master’s Degree (Counseling, Marriage & Family Therapy, Psychology, etc.)

Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy degrees are distinct professional disciplines with graduate and post graduate programs. Historically, counselors and marriage and family therapists have come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds including psychology, psychiatry, social work, nursing, pastoral counseling and education.

LMFT/LPC - (Licensed marriage & family therapist, professional counselor)

In most states in the US, an MA/MS level therapist must also be licensed to practice psychotherapy. To achieve this title, the therapist must have between 1000-3000 supervised clinical hours. In addition, they must pass a rigorous state exam. Each state has its own licensing board or commission that monitors the licensing and credentialing process.

Read more: HERE

MSW – Master’s of Social Work (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)

After completing a Master’s of Social Work, most individuals continue to complete the requisite training and supervised experience to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). LCSW's are often therapists or counselors in private practice, and work with clients to help them deal with issues regarding their mental and emotional health. There are a wide variety of specializations in which the Licensed Clinical Social Worker can focus, including working with mental health issues, substance abuse, public health, school social work, medical social work, relationship counseling or child therapy.

Read more: HERE

FRENCH EQUIVALENT: Psychothérapeute, Psychopracticien

*Please note the title of Psychothérapeute is now regulated in France and is rendered after a hearing before a commission. The title Psychopraticien is NOT a regulated title in France, and the practice of psychotherapy itself is not currently regulated in France.

Degrees Earned in the United Kingdom

Since 2009, the title of Psychologist has been regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Generally, the doctorate degree in Clinical or Counselling Psychology are equivalent to the doctorate degree in psychology in the United States. Prior to 2009, only a Master’s degree was required to be a psychologist in the UK, and the profession was regulated by the British Psychological Society. Thus, a CPsychol (chartered psychologist) granted before 2009 might not be a doctoral level psychologist. If you are looking for a doctorate-level practitioner, make sure they hold a doctorate degree.

D.Clin.Psy – Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
D.Psych – Doctorate in Counselling Psychology
CPsychol – Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society)

Read More: HERE

FRENCH EQUIVALENT: Psychologue, psychologue clinicien

Degrees Earned in France

DESS – Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures Specialisées (Diploma of Higher Specialist Studies)
DEA – Diplôme d'Etudes Appliquées' (Diploma in Higher Applied Studies)
MA – Psychologie (Psychologie clinique et psychopathologie; neuropsychologie, etc)
MPsy – Master of Psychology
MPhil – Master of Philosophy

FRENCH CREDENTIAL: Psychologue, Psychanalyste

**Please note that NONE of these degrees are equivalent to a US/UK doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology, nor are they equivalent to a MA/MS/MSW in Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Social Work. A practitioner holding one of these degrees could NOT be a Clinical Psychologist or licensed therapist in the US or the UK, without having completed additional coursework and/or training.