Therapist vs. Psychologist: Difference and Similarities

July 12, 2021 | Louis Garrick | Online Courses

Therapist vs. Psychologist: Difference and Similarities

Are therapists and psychologists the same?

Usually, therapists and psychologists are used as a single term and people think that both have the same meaning, but it is not true. There is a vast difference between a therapist and a psychologist. The difference in qualification approaches in their practice, training, and responsibilities. Both are trained to help the patients resolve mental health issues.

Psychologist <strong>and</strong> <strong>Therapist</strong>
Psychologist and Therapist

Therapist vs. Psychologist: Education and Training:

Therapists are trained to provide treatment and rehabilitation. The word therapist is commonly used for counselors and may be used interchangeably. But there is a little difference. People without graduate training before masters may refer to themselves as “counselors.” However, a therapist has general training in the mental health field but beyond the doctorate degree. A therapist may have education in psychology. A therapist has a pre doctorate level degree, but they do not have any specialties and proper pieces of training. A therapist has a lower degree than a psychologist. To become a therapist, you do not need any PH.D. Degree or a Psy.D. Usually, Therapists use a holistic approach to discussing your whole person by allowing you to focus on your emotional state.

On the other hand, psychologists are well trained and have a wider knowledge than therapists. A psychologist studies human behavior and patterns of thoughts and emotions. Psychologists focus on how behaviors and thoughts interact with your environment. At least a doctoral-level degree is required to become a psychologist and to practice psychology. They have required proper training about human mental health. A Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) allows the psychologist to conduct research, but one must have enough research at the school level to qualify for university-level research positions. Having a PsyD means that a psychologist is well known and treatment-focused. So, a Psychologist has years of extra research and study than a therapist. 

Therapist & psychologist specialties:

A psychologist and therapist have the following specialties: –

Grief counseling:

Grief counseling is a mental health service to help people struggling through the grieving process. People grieve over big life changes, like when they lose their loved one; in this situation, grief counseling helps them through the grieving process. 

Grief Counseling
Grief Counseling

Life Coaching:

Life coaching guides you to your happiness and goals. It motivates people to go through any troubles easily in pursuit of their goals. In short, we can say that life coaching provides courage and passion. It lets the people never give up in any circumstances.

Play Therapy:

Play therapy is usually concerned with children because children do not have enough capacity to process their own emotions. Play therapy brings positive changes in children. It is a type of ethical therapy.

Play Therapy
Play Therapy


A neuropsychologist has specialties in understanding the relationship between physical behavior and the brain. Neuropsychologists treat the various types of nervous disorders, like nervous disorders, after serious injuries that lead people to memory loss, learning difficulties, and nervous system dysfunction.

Clinical Psychology:

Clinical psychology is concerned with mental and behavioral disorders. It treats complex human problems. Clinical psychology lets the psychologist use practical application of research methodologies. Sometimes clinical psychologists take an eclectic approach, according to the condition of the patient.

Clinical Psychology:
Clinical Psychology

Cognitive Psychology:

Cognitive psychology is the study of the human mind as an information processor and lets psychologists build up cognitive models of information processing. It is the study of the mind towards understanding, memory, attention, language, thinking, and consciousness.

What do therapists and psychologists treat?

A therapist focuses on and treats mental health conditions by gaining an overview of your life, the circumstances, and the problems you are struggling with. On the contrary, a psychologist treats mental health conditions by observations and surveys.

A therapist helps you to make healthy decisions and tells you about the procedure and easiest way. In comparison, a psychologist helps you to make healthy decisions by understanding your emotions and sensations. 

A therapist helps you by discussing your feelings and guides you to deal with them constructively. In comparison, psychologists research your condition, make observations, and provide you with the recommended treatments.

Sometimes, both therapists and psychologists use talk therapy to understand your situation and help you struggle through your difficulties. This type of therapy is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). 

What Do <strong>Therapist</strong>s <strong>and</strong> Psychologists Treat
What Do Therapists and Psychologists Treat