Counseling refers to resolving specific problems involving life circumstances and relationships.  psychotherapy refers to  facilitating changes in characteristic patterns of thinking, behavior, or dealing with emotions.



Some people identify their own needs, others seek help from a psychologist because they have been referred by people or agencies for a specific purpose, such as court-ordered or physician-recommended evaluations.



Psychological evaluations are conducted for a specific purpose. To measure cognitive or neuropsychological functioning, as well as personality characteristics and psychological functioning.

I am a psychologist, licensed to practice in the state of South Dakota.  I have maintained a private practice in Rapid City, South Dakota since 1983.  I work with people with a wide variety of problems.  I see primarily adults and adolescents, although I occasionally see children.  One of my primary interests is in marriage counseling.  I have a desire to enable people to maintain and enrich their marriages, an increasingly difficult challenge in the culture and times in which we live. 

Licensed Psychologist

Psychotherapy & Psychological Testing

I believe that all counselors have a set of values which influences the nature of their work and the direction in which they guide people.  My Christian beliefs are a major factor in my approach to counseling.

In addition to providing individual and marriage counseling, I provide psychological evaluations for a variety of purposes. 




What to look for:

Types of Care

Choosing a Counselor:

In choosing a counselor, several things are important.  These include the extent of education and training, the counselor’s clinical experience, and the areas in which they typically work.  It is important to choose a person who is familiar with the kind of problems you are dealing with.  A potential counselor should be willing to answer any questions you may have about these areas on the telephone, to assist in your search for an appropriate person.   It is also important to choose someone who you are comfortable with and who you feel has the capacity to understand you.  This may be difficult to assess until you have had one or more counseling sessions.  You should feel free to raise any questions that come to mind regarding the nature of the counseling process.  Finally, it is important to assess after several sessions whether you are deriving some benefit from counseling.   While the duration of counseling and rate of improvement varies considerably from person to person, it is usually reasonable to expect to feel some sense of confidence in the process after two or three sessions.



Healthcare Professionals:

There are a wide variety of mental health professionals providing counseling services today:

  • counselors
  •  chemical dependency counselors
  •  social workers
  •  psychiatrists
  • psychologists



They vary in the nature and length of formal education and clinical training, as well as requirements for licensure.  Typically, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) and  Clinical Social Workers (MSW) have masters degrees in counseling or social work.  Chemical Dependency Counselors (CDC) must have experience and certification in the field of chemical dependency.  Psychiatrists (MD) have completed medical school and a residency in psychiatry.  They are licensed to prescribe medication, and usually provide minimal personal counseling.  Clinical  psychologists have a doctoral degree in psychology (PhD or PsyD).  The educational, clinical, and licensure requirements for psychologists are described in more detail under the section, Psychologist?.


Dr. Greg Swenson PhD
Copyright 1997-2003 
All rights reserved.
Revised: May 03, 2009.