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What’s the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Therapist

This article explains the significant differences between a psychologist and a therapist.


A psychologist is a professional who specializes in the treatment of mental health problems and human behavior.

Psychologists may evaluate patient behavior through psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, or experiments.

They have at least six years of university training and supervised experience. A bachelor’s degree in psychology is currently one of the most popular college degrees.

Internships can take students 1-2 years to accrue the 1,500-2,000 hours that are required by most US states. Ph.D. in Psychology programs are for those individuals who are interested in research.

A psychologist may do the following:

  • collaborate with social workers or physicians to help treat patients;
  • develop and carry out treatment plans;
  • identify and diagnose emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders;
  • work with families, couples, and individuals to help them make desired changes to behaviors;
  • develop programs that improve workplaces and schools by addressing psychological issues;
  • use their knowledge to increase understanding among groups and individuals;
  • find patterns that will help them understand and predict behavior;
  • collect information through tests, surveys, interviews, observations, and other methods;
  • conduct scientific studies to study brain function and behavior.

Many practicing psychologists work with a group of other health care providers or psychologists or manage their own private practice. Psychologists in private practice typically set their own hours and fees.

The American Psychological Association recognizes five proficiencies in professional psychology:

  • personality assessment;
  • assessment and treatment of serious mental illness;
  • sports psychology;
  • treatment of alcohol and other psychoactive substance use disorders;
  • psychopharmacology.

Therapistonline therapis costs

The term “therapist” can include a number of disciplines with different approaches. A therapist may be a counselor, family therapist, licensed social worker, and psychologist.

Some therapists focus on simply helping clients navigating a divorce, strengthening stress management skills,  improving parenting skills, mapping out a career change, while others specialize in severe emotional disturbances, like suicidal thoughts or schizophrenia.

Some of the qualities and traits that are helpful for therapists to have include:

  • writing skills;
  • speaking skills;
  • analytical skills;
  • resourcefulness;
  • communication skills;
  • patience;
  • compassion;
  • organization;
  • flexibility;
  • observational skills;
  • interpersonal skills;
  • listening skills;
  • leadership skills.

A therapist typically pursues a master’s degree or doctorate degree in social work or psychology.

The cost of therapy ranges from $40 to $200 per session. Online therapy may cost less.

Psychologist vs Therapist – What’s The Difference?what is a therapist

A psychologist is a health professional with specific training based on clinical psychological research into human behavior. A psychologist can treat patients who suffer from stress, relationship problems, depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol dependency, and an eating disorder, or he can help patients deal with a difficult time in their life.

An essential goal for psychologists is to understand and articulate the behaviors, feelings, emotions, and thoughts of their clients.

On the other hand, a therapist may be a counselor, marriage and family therapist, clinical social worker, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, and psychologist.

Basically, a therapist is a person who works to understand a client’s troubles and needs, and offers healing and comfort when they suffer.