We often get asked, what is the difference between a therapist and a psychologist and who should I seek for treatment? The mental health umbrella is large and encompasses many types of professionals. In this article, we will explore the different types of mental health professionals.
Therapists and counselors are terms that are often interchangeable. So what is the difference between a therapist and a psychologist? Clinically, there is not much difference between a therapist and a psychologist. Both will offer talk therapy, both can diagnose, and both can complete assessments as well as teach. In order to practice in their own practice, psychologists must have a Ph.D. while therapists must have a Masters degree.
You might be asking, what is the difference between these clinicians and a psychiatrist? A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who completed medical school and can prescribe medication, therapists and psychologists cannot. Psychiatrist nurse practitioners and general medical doctors can also prescribe medication.
What training is required to become a mental health clinician? The answer is, it varies! Below are the different mental health clinicians under the mental health umbrella and the paths that they typically follow.