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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings



After graduating with a Master of Arts in Counseling in 2011, I referred to myself as a “counselor.” However, I found that this term caused confusion for some people, because the follow-up question I usually received was, “What type of counselor?”


There are pastoral, school, academic, career, grief, and other types of counselors. Yet, I was merely a counselor who studied Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) when in graduate school, so I’d answer the clarifying question by saying, “An REBT counselor.”


Even that title wasn’t appropriate, because I hadn’t received formal training from the Albert Ellis Institute – the training authority for REBT. Still confusingly, my first job after graduating was under the title of “Associate Psychologist.” However, I wasn’t a psychologist.


Overall, I worked within the field of care for mental, emotional, and behavioral health (collectively “mental health”). Therefore, I was comfortable with referring to myself as a “mental health counselor.”


Then, after graduating with a Master of Science in Social Work in 2014, I refrained from calling myself a “social worker.” The reason for this was threefold. First, in Texas, a Social Worker is a designated title for one who has independent licensure, of which I didn’t retain.


Second, I was taught by social work educators that my education was designed to first create activists and secondly to establish social workers. I didn’t enter the field to become the former, so I chose not to identify with people who were professional activists.


Last, some individuals regard people in the field of social work as little more than child-snatching, bleeding-heart progressives who use various systems to force a particular will upon the citizenry of various locales. Regarding this distinction, I want no part of that.


Nevertheless, the term “counselor” was confusing and although I had a graduate degree in social work, I shunned the title. Consequently, I began referring to myself as a “therapist.” Yet, this, too, caused confusion.


There are occupational, physical, speech, life and marital, and other types of therapists in existence. Thus, when referring to myself in this vague manner, I would often encounter a follow-up query to the effect of, “What type of therapist are you?”


That’s around the time that I began collecting supervised hours toward counseling and social work licensure. My supervisor referred to himself as a “psychotherapist,” a term with which I was familiar, though hadn’t quite understood.


For context, one who practices psychotherapy is referred to as a psychotherapist. Thus, it may be useful to define psychotherapy. According to the American Psychological Association:


Any psychological service provided by a trained professional that primarily uses forms of communication and interaction to assess, diagnose, and treat dysfunctional emotional reactions, ways of thinking, and behavior patterns. Psychotherapy may be provided to individuals, couples, families, or members of a group.


There are many types of psychotherapy, but generally they fall into four major categories: psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive therapy or behavior therapy, humanistic therapy, and integrative psychotherapy.


The psychotherapist is an individual who has been professionally trained and licensed (in the United States by a state board) to treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders by psychological means. They may be a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, social worker, or psychiatric nurse.


I appreciated the term “psychotherapist” more so than “mental health counselor,” because it incorporated both fields of study for which I was seeking licensure – just as my supervisor maintained licenses in both disciplines. As well, I retained my title of “life coach,” a method I’ve practiced since the ‘90s.


Attending official REBT training in 2021, and having earned independent licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Social Worker during the same year, I currently market myself as a psychotherapist and life coach. It took almost a decade for me to have settled on these terms.


Although I infrequently hear pejorative alterations of my chosen occupational title (i.e., psycho therapist, psycho the rapist, etc.), I’ve chosen to share my personal experience regarding why I settled on referring to myself as a psychotherapist. Still, it doesn’t matter how I refer to myself or how others refer to me.


What I consider purposeful and meaningful is the work I conduct with others. As an REBT psychotherapist, I’m less concerned with helping people feel better and more focused on helping people get better. If you’d like to know more about working with a not so psycho therapist, I look forward to hearing from you.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW




APA Dictionary of Psychology. (2023, November 15). Psychotherapy. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2024, February 25). Doing the work. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, June 23). Meaningful purpose. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2023, September 3). On feelings. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2024, January 13). Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2024, March 6). Psychopathy. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Clinical psychology. Retrieved from

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Wikipedia. (n.d.). Humanistic psychology. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Integrative psychotherapy. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Mental health counselor. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Mental health nurse. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Psychiatrist. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Psychodynamics. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Social work. Retrieved from

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