Q. What is a psychotherapist? What is the different between psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, etc?
A. This is a very common question among people seeking therapy. All of the different titles, degrees, and licenses can be very confusing. Psychotherapists, like me, have a master's degree in the counseling/therapy field. Psychologists hold a doctoral degree in the clinical psychology field. Psychiatrists have a medical degree and can prescribe psychoactive medications. The most common counseling titles are MFT (Marriage and Family Therapy) and LCSW (Clinical Social Work). A life coach is not a nationally regulated title and the license and education of those with this title may vary. Some psychotherapists, like myself, continue our training and education and receive a doctoral degree (PhD) in psychology while still maintaining our license as a therapist.
Q. What will the first session/s be like?
A. Psychotherapy, like all relationships, takes time to develop. The first few sessions are usually focused on gathering information, history, and treatment goals. I will tend to ask questions and get to know your life during these early sessions. We will also discuss if we think therapy together is a good fit and how the sessions should progress.
Q. Do you offer free consultations?
A. Yes, I am happy to set up a free 15 minute phone consultation to discuss fit and goals. In some instances, it may be beneficial to set up a brief in person meeting to better assess fit.
Q. What is your training/background?
A. I have spent over eight years in post bachelor education, earning first my master's degree (MA) in clinical psychology with a specialization in marriage and family therapy then my doctoral degree (PhD) in depth psychology with a specialization in psychotherapy.
In addition to my educational background, I spent two years at the prestigious Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills training with well-respected supervisors working with individual clients, couples, and running an interpersonal process group. I also was elected to be a peer supervisor to first year interns and teach trainings at the clinic. I worked at Cedars Sinai at their teen crisis hotline center, supervising and training teenagers who answer incoming crisis calls. I have been in private practice for over four years, seeing individuals, couples, and teenagers at my offices in West LA, Woodland Hills and Calabasas.
I regularly attend trainings and educational seminars to continue my learning and depth of knowledge in the field.
Ashley B. Hurdle, PhD, MFT Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #89073).