Jenny Stadler Licensed Psychologist

101 Southwestern Blvd., Suite 109
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
P: 832-236-3550 · E-mail

Sugar Land
Psychology Clinical Psychologist
mental health

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist or other kinds of therapists?
How do I choose a psychotherapist?
How long will psychotherapy take?
Does psychotherapy work?

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist or other kinds of therapists?

Psychologists (PhD) must have a doctorate in psychology and must be licensed by the state in which they practice. They are trained in the practice of psychotherapy or counseling, which can involve a variety of different types of approaches. Psychologists are also specialists in the scientific evaluation of clinical data and may administer and analyze tests that measure intellectual and academic functioning and personality. They cannot prescribe medications. Dr. Jenny Stadler has a PhD in clinical psychology and received her doctorate in 1994 from the University of Houston. For more information on Dr. Stadler’s background click here.

Psychiatrists (MD) are medical doctors who have chosen psychiatry as a specialty. They have completed a residency in psychiatry, and are specialists in the prescription of psychotropic medications. They are licensed by the state and are the only mental health specialists who can prescribe medications. Some psychiatrists have extensive experience in psychotherapy, and some do not. If you or your family member is working with a psychiatrist you may also see a psychologist or other therapist at the same time. Please inform each party so that they may collaborate to the extent needed to optimize your services.

Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) have a master's level advanced degree and must be licensed by the state. They are trained in both psychotherapy and social interventions aimed at helping the individual cope with problems in his or her environment, or dealing with government or social agencies. They cannot do psychological testing, nor prescribe medications.

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) have a master’s degree in counseling or a related field and must be licensed by the state to provide psychotherapy. They cannot do psychological testing, nor prescribe medications.

To assure that your therapist is appropriately trained and qualified, you should always ask your provider about their credentials.

How do I choose a psychotherapist?

Choosing a psychotherapist is a very personal decision. There are two steps that are recommended:

1) Look to your resources

  • Ask within your social network – family, friends, religious leader, physician. If someone you know has had a good experience with a psychotherapist then that is a good place to start. This psychotherapist may not specialize in an area that matches your needs, but they should be able to refer you to someone who does.
  • Call your state psychological association or licensing board, or check their websites. You will find members listed, and thus can check credentials.
    • Texas Board of Examiners of Psychologists – 512-305-7700, website: – lists all licensed psychologists and licensed professional counselors in the state.
    • The Texas Psychological Association  - 888-372-3435, website: – lists only members of this association. A psychologist can be licensed and not be a member of this association
  • Look in the phone book for the listing of a local mental health association or community mental health center and check these sources for possible referrals.
  • Your health insurance company may have a website with the providers on their particular plan listed. Credentials and areas of specialty may also be listed.

Ideally, you will end up with more than one possibility. Call and request the opportunity, either by phone or in person, to ask the therapist some questions.

2) Once you have found a provider, ask questions:

Psychologists and clients work together. The right match is important. Choose a psychotherapist with whom you feel comfortable and at ease.

Questions To Ask...

  • Are you a licensed psychologist? How many years have you been practicing psychology?
  • I have been feeling (anxious, tense, depressed, etc.), and I'm having problems (with my job, my marriage, eating, sleeping, etc.). What experience do you have helping people with these types of problems?
  • What are your areas of expertise--for example, working with children and families?
  • What kinds of treatments do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my kind of problem or issue?
  • What are your fees? (Fees are usually based on a 45- minute to 50-minute session.) Do you have a sliding-scale fee policy?
  • What types of insurance do you accept? Will you accept direct billing to or payment from my insurance company? Are you affiliated with any managed care organizations? Do you accept Medicare or Medicaid insurance?

How long will psychotherapy take?

Studies show that the majority of people in psychotherapy report improvements after 4-24 visits. The length of time in treatment is determined by a number of factors. The therapist should present you with an estimate of the length of treatment after the initial assessment period (usually 1-3 sessions). If not, feel free to ask.

Give it time to work. Once you’ve chosen a therapist, it is important that to give the relationship some time to develop before you decide to stop. Give honest feedback to your therapist and allow the give and take of dialogue to occur. It is not only OK, but it is advisable to set goals for treatment with your therapist and to regularly assess progress towards those goals. If, for some reason, you are dissatisfied or wish to stop treatment, inform your therapist.

Does psychotherapy work?

There have been many studies demonstrating the effectiveness of psychotherapy. Below are some links, if you would like to see summaries. Overall, here is what has been found:

In most cases, psychotherapy is as effective as medication for the same disorder. In some cases psychotherapy is more effective, or treatment effects last longer once treatment has been completed. In some cases, psychotherapy and medication is more effective than either one alone. Psychologists do not prescribe medication, but there are cases where it will be recommended, and the psychologist may refer to a psychiatrist or physician.

Benefits of psychotherapy increase when the person receiving the therapy has their choice of therapist, and when treatment length is determined by therapist and patient, not by an outside agency or limitation (such as limits imposed by a managed care organization). Some studies recommend very specific types of psychotherapies for specific disorders. Others find that a large variety of psychotherapeutic approaches have similar degrees of effectiveness for the same disorder.

The efficacy of psychotherapy, APA Practice Directorate (September, 1994) Contains brief summaries of a large number of studies.

The effectiveness of psychotherapy: The Consumer Reports Study, Seligman (1995) Review of the Consumer Reports landmark study and comparison to more traditional methods of studying treatment effectiveness.