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  • Rebecca Davidar

What's the difference between a Counsellor, a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist?

I've heard people using these three terms interchangeably. Read further to understand the clear differences between the three.

- Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor specialized in psychiatry. Psychiatry studies the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, emotional disturbance, and abnormal behaviour. A psychiatrist will also prescribe and monitor medication for the treatment and regulation of symptoms.


- Psychologist: Psychologists are not trained medically, but have a degree in psychology. However, they are not licensed to prescribe medication. They specialize in several different fields like sports, forensics, organizational etc. A clinical psychologist can offer psychological assessments and cognitive behavioural psychotherapy.


- Counsellor/ Psychotherapist: Both these terms are usually used interchangeably. Counselling tends to be more issue-specific and short-term, whereas psychotherapy is more in-depth and open-ended, and focuses more on the individual rather than specific issues.


Here at Begin Again, I'm a Counselling Psychologists with a specialisation in Marriage and Family Therapy. If you are still confused and would like to see if counselling is for you, try the 15 minutes free consultation.

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