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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?


The professional groups licensed to provide mental health treatment in Illinois are clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical professional counselors (LCPC), and clinical social workers (LCSW). We recommend that you verify the professional credentials of any mental health professional before you make an appointment.

Clinical Psychologists - A Licensed Clinical Psychologist has earned a doctoral degree in psychology and has practiced psychology on a full-time basis for at least one year under the supervision of a clinical psychologist. Clinical psychologists usually specialize in psychotherapy and psychological testing. No other field is specialized or trained in psychological testing. Some states have granted psychologists prescription privileges, but Illinois is not yet one of those states.

Psychiatrists - Psychiatrists are licensed as physicians. After completing medical school, most psychiatrists complete a residency in psychiatry, involving approximately three years of supervised training. Training for psychiatrists generally focuses on the biological aspects of mental health, and they are licensed to prescribe medication to patients. Psychiatrists typically tend to have limited training in psychotherapy and are not trained to administer, score or interpret psychological testing.

Professional Counselors and Social Workers - These mental health professionals have a master's degree in psychology, counseling or social work. They also are required to have supervised training prior to licensure, and the majority of their practices usually consist of providing psychotherapy.

Is the information I discuss confidential?

Yes. Your information will not be released to any person or organization without your written permission. All patient names and information remain confidential. However, there are exceptions to confidentiality with any mental health professional. If a child or senior citizen is in need of protection or if someone is in immediate physical danger, psychologists are required to take action to prevent this from happening, even if it requires breaking confidentiality. More simply put, if a patient is deemed a danger to themselves or others, or if a child/senior is being abused or neglected in any way, psychologists must act to protect all parties.

How do I go about making an appointment?

Just call the Glenwood Psychological Testing Center at (815) 968-5342 and tell the receptionist you want to make an initial appointment with Dr. Cushing. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays, with some Saturday appointments available. Dr. Cushing also has a 24-hour live answering service who will contact Dr. Cushing if the office is closed and you need to speak with someone right away. If it is not an emergency, just tell the answering service you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cushing, and our receptionist will call you back as soon as she returns to the office.

What appointment times are available?

Appointments are available Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and some Friday morning appointments are available when necessary. Dr. Cushing does his best to accommodate his patients when scheduling and often leaves a few times open in the middle of the day for emergencies and/or requests for same day or next day appointments.

I am bringing my child in to see you. What should I tell him/her about seeing a psychologist?

If your child is young, keep it simple. You may want to say that he/she will be seeing a "talking doctor" who will help them and the family figure out a problem. Some young children worry about getting a "shot" when they see a doctor, so it is important to tell them that this will not happen.

How long is a session? And how long and how often do people see psychologists?

Those are difficult questions to answer without knowing more about the specific issue(s) involved. However, in the beginning, most people meet for 45-50 minute sessions once per week. Some people then cut back to every other week, every month, or just a few times a year. Others find that they feel more in control of their problems after a few sessions and decide that is sufficient for now—with the understanding that they are always free to book future sessions as needed.

What is a psychological evaluation?

A psychological evaluation often includes clinical interviewing (obtaining background information and mental status examination), record review, and the use of psychological testing to gain objective data regarding a person's level of functioning. Dr. Kyle Cushing offers psychological assessments that evaluate intellectual (IQ), academic, behavioral, developmental, and social functioning. For example, if a child is not doing well in school, they may suffer from a clinical condition that interferes with the learning process. Such conditions include learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, developmental delays, and/or emotional problems such as depression or anxiety. A psychological evaluation is a more comprehensive and definitive way of ruling out such conditions and leads to more accurate diagnoses than interviews alone.

If you have any questions that were not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Cushing by phone or email. Feel free to email questions to: