Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COUNSELOR, A PSYCHOLOGIST, AND A PSYCHIATRIST?
A: A person who provides psychotherapy services can be any of these professionals. The main difference between these types of people is their training and educational background.
A clinical psychologist is a professional who has earned a PhD or a PsyD in clinical psychology. They have several more years of training in clinical psychology services than either a master’s level therapist or a psychiatrist. They must first attain a master’s level education before they start their doctoral program. Psychologists must also attend a residency/internship program after attaining their doctorate in psychology. After this they must complete a minimum of another year of post-doctorate psychology work before applying for licensure. In most states, psychologists do not prescribe medication, but are trained to work with individuals who have mild to severe psychological issues. Some psychologists do not work as therapists, but instead teach at universities or conduct psychological research. The training program of PhD clinical psychologists has more of a research focus than the newer PsyD degree. The PsyD degree is specialized toward therapeutic services.
Counselors are generally Master's-level psychotherapists who are focused on providing therapy to individuals, couples, or families. Counselors do not prescribe medications. Many counselors focus on common life issues, including stress and anxiety, mild to moderate depression, relationship conflicts, and work or career development. Although counseling graduate programs include a great deal of psychology, the emphasis is more on working with "problems of normal living" rather than severe mental illnesses.
A psychiatrist is a doctor who has attended medical school and done a residency in psychiatry. Therefore, their training in psychology tends to consist of only one to two years. In many states, psychiatrists and other medical doctors are the only professionals who can prescribe psychiatric medications. Many psychiatrists focus on severe issues such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Most psychiatrists focus on the medication of psychiatric illnesses and not the therapeutic changes involved in counseling.
What You Need to Know
Before Choosing a Therapist
to Well Being
Clinical Psychology Services
Dr. Jeffrey Boscoe-Huffman and Dr. Scott Boscoe-Huffman, work with clients to increase inner reflection, pragmatism, judgment skills, communication skills and interpersonal interactions. In turn impulsive behavior and negative thinking decrease. This positive approach to psychological stressors has proven highly successful. Together we can help you find a better path.
The Boscoe-Huffman Wellness Center assists clients in attaining wellness and balance in their lives through Cognitive-Behavioral change, Psychodynamic Therapy, and Holistic Treatment.