Therapist vs Psychologist: Difference and Comparison

Mental Health is often an overlooked term throughout the world. Emotional trauma, unstable mentality, psychological conditions, etc., are sometimes not identified as they are not physically visible, but it is essential to acknowledge the signs of it and get help. While there are several types of professionals for it, therapists and psychologists are two of the most common.

Key Takeaways

  1. Therapists help clients manage emotional and mental health issues, while psychologists diagnose and treat mental disorders.
  2. Psychologists hold a doctoral degree in psychology, while therapists may possess various educational backgrounds and certifications.
  3. Both professionals can provide psychotherapy, but only psychologists can administer and interpret psychological tests.

Therapist vs Psychologist

A therapist is a broad term that refers to a mental health professional who provides counseling services to individuals, couples, families, or groups. A psychologist is a mental health professional who has completed a doctoral degree in psychology and is licensed to practice psychology.

Therapist vs Psychologist

A therapist is a trained professional in psychotherapy who helps people treat and rehabilitate through emotional difficulties as a result of traumatic experiences, addictions, etc. Therapy is a broad field of study, and there are several types of designated professionals, such as counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, etc.

A psychologist is a professional who practices human psychology by experimenting, observing, executing, and noticing how individual patients relate to one another and their surroundings. Psychologists are also a type of therapist. They have protected titles, and accreditation is requisite for licensing from the country’s specified institution.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTherapistPsychologist
SpecializationTrained in Psychotherapy.Trained in Psychology.
ApproachTherapists follow a CBT approach.Psychologists follow seven major approaches.
LicensingSome therapists are not regulated by any licensing board.Accreditation is a requisite for licensing.
TypesBehavioral, Addiction, Child, Cognitive, etc.Psychodynamic, Humanistic, Biological, etc.
PurposeHelp people with emotional difficulties.Diagnosing psychological illnesses.

What is a Therapist?

A Therapist is a professional expert who is highly trained in providing treatment and rehabilitation to people with emotional difficulties as a result of traumatic experiences, addictions, behavioral conditions, etc. Therapy is a broad field and includes a wide range of designated professionals, including psychotherapists, psychologists, counselors, etc.

A Therapist is directly not a defined occupational title, but there are types of therapists. The term therapist defines this range of professionals altogether. Since the occupations are divided into various categories, some of these professionals are regulated by licensing boards, whereas some of them are not.

Being a broader field, several therapists are referred depending on the patient. For example, a professional counselor helps the patient to cope with emotional difficulties, a psychiatrist prescribes medication to patients with mental illnesses, and psychologists are experts in understanding how the mind works.

Most therapists follow a CBT approach to treating patients. CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT is based on the foundation that thoughts, emotions, and actions are interconnected with each other. The sole purpose of the CBT approach is to replace demotivational, self-harming, or self-defeating thoughts with more encouraging, lively, and motivational ideas. CBT is widely considered the gold standard of psychotherapy.

therapist

What is a Psychologist?

A psychologist is a professional who practices human psychology by experimenting, observing, executing, and noticing how individual patients relate to one another and their surroundings. Psychologists are also a type of therapist. In the long term, psychologists help patients improve their decision-making, managing extensive stress and real-life behavioral traits based on understanding past experiences and illnesses to predict future mental health.

To become a psychologist, an individual has first to complete a bachelor’s degree with honors in psychology, followed by a master’s degree in the specified field. For some psychological studies, a doctorate or a Ph.D. is also necessary. After completing the required studies, students are licensed and trained with real-time patients before they can pursue psychology as a professional career. Psychologists have protected titles, and accreditation is requisite for licensing from the country’s specified institution.

There are namely 7 major perspectives in modern psychology that sum up the human mind. These perspectives include psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, biological, cross-cultural, evolutionary, and humanistic. The perspective of diagnosis depends on the patient’s symptoms. In most cases, the treatment is continued for a long time to understand the cause in depth. Furthermore, medications are also referred to side-by-side.

psychologist

Main Differences Between Therapist and Psychologist

  1. Therapists are part of a much broader field as compared to psychologists.
  2. Therapists are trained in psychotherapy, whereas psychologists are trained in both psychotherapy and human psychology.
  3. Some types of therapists do not require licensing, whereas all psychologists require an accredited license.
  4. Therapeutic treatments are short-term and long-term, whereas psychological treatments are long-term.
  5. Some therapeutic treatments, such as counseling, do not require medications, whereas psychological treatments require medications.
Difference Between Therapist and Psychologist
References
  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/493591
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1998-06424-000
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