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What is the difference between a psychotherapist, counsellor, and counselling psychologist and psychiatrist?
What is the difference between a psychotherapist, counsellor, and counselling psychologist and psychiatrist?
Mindsum Team avatar
Written by Mindsum Team
Updated over a week ago

There are numerous mental health professionals who offer assistance with a broad spectrum of mental health issues. These professionals may include counsellors and therapists, as well as psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists.


A psychotherapist is a mental health professional who helps people with emotional or mental health problems. They can come from different backgrounds and have different training paths, but typically have a Master's degree in psychotherapy. Psychotherapists work with individuals, families, groups, or couples and may specialise in certain types of clients or issues. They usually see clients once a week for regular meetings.

Counsellor or therapist

A professional counsellor, often referred to as a therapist, has completed at least three years of extensive training, incorporating both practical and theoretical elements. Through the use of psychotherapy, counsellors work to assist clients facing mental health challenges. Some counsellors may also choose to refer to themselves as psychotherapists.

Counselling psychologist

A counselling psychologist is a type of therapist who helps people with personal problems like grief, trauma, and relationship issues. They might also work with people who have serious long-term problems like abuse or domestic violence. They use their knowledge of psychology and mental health to help their clients. Some counselling psychologists choose to specialise in a specific area of psychology, like CBT or neuropsychology. They usually have a Master's degree in counselling psychology.


A psychiatrist is a medical professional who has specialised in the study of mental disorders. This involves training for five years as a doctor, two years of foundation jobs, and four years of dedicated study in psychiatry. They use a diagnostic system to identify behavioural syndromes and research the social, psychological, and physical causes in order to help their patients. Psychiatrists often work on a broad range of conditions, their diagnosis, management and prevention. Psychiatrists can work with people of any age, but they mainly deal with severe conditions that require medical intervention.

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