Distinguishing Between a Psychologist & a Counselor

Psychologist and Counselor are professionals who assist individuals in alleviating or reducing their mental health issues. Just like going to a doctor for physical ailments, individuals struggling with emotional, stress, or mental health problems may seek help from these specialists. Psychologists and counselors attend specific schools to receive training on understanding human thought and behavior, as well as helping people cope better with life. People may consult a psychologist or counselor for various reasons, but the ultimate goal is to feel better. It’s essential to understand the differences between a psychologist and a counselor to make an informed decision about seeking help for emotional problems.


A psychologist is an individual who has completed a 4-year degree in psychology and specialized in clinical psychology for an additional three years to obtain a master’s degree. They must also undergo two years of supervised training. After completing these requirements, they become eligible to register as a clinical psychologist. Psychologists focus on the behavioral aspects of mental health issues instead of the biomechanical perspective. They tend to inquire about a patient’s past and current behavior, emotions, and challenges to determine the root cause of the problem. Psychologists have a deeper understanding and awareness of the behavioral causes of mental health issues and create personalized treatment sessions for their patients. However, psychologists are not authorized to prescribe medication.


To practice as a counselor, one does not necessarily need a degree or specialization. However, to gain respect from patients and improve their skills, aspiring counselors should undergo 2-3 years of study in the field and complete supervised training. Unlike psychologists, counselors encourage patients to direct their treatment sessions. Counselors listen and reflect on the patient’s thoughts and challenges, often prompting them to examine their statements. By creating a supportive environment, counselors enable patients to understand their problems and the underlying causes, allowing them to overcome their issues independently.

Key Takeaways

  • Psychologists have completed a degree in psychology and specialized in clinical psychology, while counselors may not necessarily have a degree or specialization.
  • Psychologists focus on the behavioral aspects of mental health issues, while counselors encourage patients to direct their treatment sessions.
  • Both psychologists and counselors aim to help individuals overcome mental health problems, but they adopt different approaches in their treatment methods.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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