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Psychiatrist Vs Psychotherapist

Updated 02-Aug-2019 - First Published 02-Aug-2019 by Debi Douglas

I'm going to address these professional titles from the perspective of mental health and behavioral health.

What Is A Psychiatrist?

A psychiatrist is trained as a physician, with the ability to prescribe psychotropic medications to treat mental health and behavioral illnesses and disorders.

What Is A Psychologist?

Clinical Psychologist?

A clinical psychologist has a Ph.D in psychology with both research and clinical skill specializations.

Counseling Psychologist?

A counseling psychologist normally deals with adjustment problems rather than severe mental disorders although they are trained to treat both and may work doing both.

What Is A Psychotherapist?

A licensed psychotherapist, a licensed therapist, and a licensed counselor have received intensive and extended training in the theory and practices of psychoanalysis to treat and counsel individuals with stressful life circumstances. These three forms of mental health therapists are all trained with an understanding of the range of mental health and behavioral health disorders.

So What's The Real Difference?

The primary difference between let's call them, Group A

  • psychiatrists and
  • psychologists

and Group B,

  • psychotherapists
  • therapists and
  • counselors

are the extent of training, length of training and the level of higher education attained.

Group A requires a doctorate level degree and Group B requires a master's level degree. Both groups have specific mandated requirements by the state of Florida's department of health.


Debi Douglas
Licensed Mental Health Counselor Florida
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