Questions and Answers

When to consider psychotherapy?

Have you ever felt so down in the dumps even daily tasks feel like a huge mountain to overcome? Sometimes even thinking about doing something is so stressful; you try to avoid it in any possible way possible. Or you might have a habit that you can clearly see is a problem in your life, but things you’ve tried to address it hadn’t solved the problem.

You want someone to discuss your problems with, but some things are hard to bring up with your friends and family. These are some examples of scenarios that everyone experiences at one time or another. If you are facing a similar situation, you could benefit from therapy. You do not need to face these situations alone. NPES is here to assist you with overcoming obstacles to improve your quality of life.

What is psychotherapy?

There are many misconceptions about psychotherapy (
In psychotherapy, your therapist will apply scientifically validated procedures to develop healthy, ore effective habits. The basis of psychotherapy is talking openly with your therapist in a supportive, objective, neutral and nonjudgmental environment. You will determine your goals with your therapist together, and work to change patterns that are keeping you from feeling well or preventing you from doing what you want to do.

By learning skills to use in your current situation, you learn skills to handle similar situations in the future, so you can better cope with challenges in the future.

Can you prescribe medication?

Currently at NPES we do not have a staff member that can prescribe medication.

There are so many titles for mental health its confusing! What are the differences?

In California, there are several types of licensed mental health professionals that provide psychotherapy. All licensed professionals in California require education, supervised experience, and a licensing exam.

Psychologists are trained to help people cope more effectively with life problems, using therapeutic techniques based on the best available research and their own clinical skills and experience.Psychologists take into account each person’s unique values, goals, and circumstances and work collaboratively with the client to identify the goals of treatment and to decide how progress will be defined. (California Psychological Association,
A Psychologist requires 3000 hours of supervised experience, and in California, is required to pass two licensing exams (EPPP and CPLEE). The average time to obtain degree after completing a Bachelor’s degree is 6 to 8 years (PhD); 4 to 6 years (PsyD and EdD).

Psychiatrist (MD) is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental health, including substance abuse disorders (American Psychiatric Association, Psychiatrists have limited training in psychotherapy.

A Psychiatrist requires 48 months of full-time clinical work. The average time to obtain degree after completing Bachelor’s degree is 8 years.

In California, psychiatrists are the only practitioners who can both prescribe medication and conduct psychotherapy.
Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) are relationship specialists who treat persons involved in interpersonal relationships. They are trained to assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families and groups to achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social adjustment (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists at

A Marriage and Family Therapist requires 3000 hours of supervised experience and the average time to obtain degree after completing a Bachelor’s degree 2 to 3 years (masters).
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Licensed Clinical Social Workers help people increase their capacities for problem solving and coping, and they help them obtain needed resources, facilitate interactions between individuals and between people and their environments, make organizations responsible to people, and influence social policies (National Association of Social Workers California Chapter,

A Licensed Clinical Social Worker requires 3200 hours of experience and the average time to obtain degree after completing Bachelor’s degree is 2 to 4 years (masters).

I have other questions not listed here. What can I do?

One of our goals at NPES is have you become an educated consumer to make the best decisions for you. If you have other questions, please contact us in the contact field with your question. We will do our best to answer any questions and will continue to add to this section.