How to Address a Psychologist
How to Address a Psychotherapist

How to Address a Therapist?

I want to invite a local therapist to an event we are sponsoring.  What to I write on the envelope inviting him to attend?

—-—-—-—-—-– Henry ChinHow to Address a Psychologist    How to Address a Therapist

Dear H.C.:
To address your guest correctly in writing you need to know (1) what is his/her academic preparation?  What are his/her degrees and professional certifications etc.?  And (2) does he/she use Dr. (Name) -or- Mr. (Name)? 

There are psychotherapists with many academic preparations. For example could be an M.D. psychiatrist, a doctor of psychology, or hold a master’s degree in psychology, counseling or social work.  All might be generally grouped under the umbrella of psychotherapist.  Only those with a doctorate are addressed as Dr. (Name).  The rest are addressed as Mr./Ms. (Name)

____Official envelope:
________(Full Name), (Post nominals for degrees and certifications)

____Salutation if he uses Dr.:
________Dear Dr. (Surname)

____Salutation if he uses Mr./Ms..:
________Mr./Ms. (Surname)

– Robert Hickey How to Address a Psychologist    How to Address a Therapist

Is a Ph.D. Psychologist a “Dr.” ?

My husband is a Ph.D. psychologist in private practice. He goes by Dr. (Name).  Our son is getting married and we will be listed on the wedding invitation. The bride is asking what title to use – Dr. and Mrs. or Mr. and Mrs.?

My husband prefers Dr.(Name)  but I’m not sure if this is correct for an invitation. Seems like a gray area for Ph.D.s in counselling & healthcare. Thanks for input!
—-—-—-—-—-– Boxwell How to Address a Psychologist    How to Address a Therapist

Dear Boxwell:
If your husband holds a doctorate and prefers ‘Dr. (Name)’, then use Dr. and Mrs. (Full Name) on the invitation.

It’s true that not all the Ph.D.s in healthcare use ‘Dr. (Name)’.  In hospitals – administrators, therapists, pharmacists, even nurses with Ph.D.s are not addressed as ‘Dr. (Name)’. The logic as explained to me is that –for a patient the hospital can be a sea of white uniforms. By only addressing the physicians as Dr. (Name) it helps them better know  who is their physician, and who is not.

In my observation – Ph.D. psychologists in private practice all use Dr. (Name)  socially and professionally.

– Robert Hickey How to Address a Psychologist    How to Address a Therapist

Not Finding Your Question Answered?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  After checking the list and reading the posts, if you don’t see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – always changing the names and specifics.

— Robert Hickey

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