Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

How to Address a Therapist

Holds a doctorate and uses ‘Dr. (Surname)”

—-Official | Envelope or address block on an letter or email:
—-—-(Full Name), (Post nominal for doctorate held)
—-—-(Address)

—-—-—-Which could look like:
—-—-—-—-James Whitlow, Ph.D.
—-—-—-—-1234 Main Street
—-—-—-—-Anytown, State, 67890

—-Social | Envelope or address block on an letter or email:
—-—-Dr. (Full Name)
—-—-(Address)

—-Salutation for either: Dr. (Surname)

—-Conversation for either: Dr. (Surname)

Does not hold a doctorate and uses ‘Mr./Ms./etc. (Surname)”

—-Official / Envelope or address block on an letter or email:
—-—-(Full Name), (Post nominal for doctorate held)
—-—-(Address)

—-—-—-Which could look like:
—-—-—-—-Pamela Harnish, MSW
—-—-—-—-1234 Main Street
—-—-—-—-Anytown, State, 67890

—-Social / Envelope or address block on an letter or email:
—-—-Mr./Ms. (Full Name)
—-—-(Address)

—-Salutation for either: Dr. (Surname)

—-Conversation for either: Dr. (Surname)     How to Address a Therapist

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

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

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#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)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or 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, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"