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What is the difference between a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a therapist and a counsellor?

A psychologist has studied for a minimum of seven years to acquire their first degree of Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and subsequently a Doctorate in a form of applied Psychology. Psychologists have training in a range of different therapeutic approaches and also in research and evaluation of treatment outcomes. This allows them to take a scientific and informed approach to the treatment of mental disorders and emotional difficulties. Therapists and counsellors have variable training and are often only able to deliver one therapy model as opposed to multiple approaches.

A psychiatrist is a medically qualified doctor who has specialism in the field of psychiatry. This means that a psychiatrist can rule out the physical cause for your difficulties and also order tests and prescribe medication. This is something that only medical doctors can do. Some psychiatrists have also undergone specialist training in psychotherapy which places them in a unique position to be able to understand both the body and the mind, and work flexibly between the prescription of medication and talking therapy.