What is the difference between a psychologist and a therapist?

This is a question that may come up when you are looking for help. You have decided to come to therapy, and are now searching wide and far to track down the best facilitator of its kind. You want the person who is best for you and someone who is competent in what you want to work with.

When you are looking around, you will come across different titles and professionals with different backgrounds.

One of the reasons why professionals have different titles is because a psychologist’s title is protected. This means you can only use it if you have studied psychology at university. This means that you have completed both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Psychologists can wear many different hats, and it is far from everyone who works clinically with counselling.

A therapist has some of the same work surfaces as a clinical psychologist. You can be trained as a therapist in private schools, and this can take between two and five years. Within the therapist training, it is encouraged to have clients along the way, and they can therefore have more practical experience than more newly qualified psychologists. Their curriculum may also be different, as the psychology department works a lot with research and evidence-based studies.

In relation to how they work, there are many common areas in relation to therapy. They use much of the same methodology, so it’s all about preferences and experiences with the specific target group and interest

The last difference lies within health insurance. If you are referred by a doctor, they cannot refer you to a therapist. They can only refer you to a psychologist. There can be long waitlists times for them, so many go to the private sector instead. Here you can often be covered by health insurance if you go to an authorized psychologist.

So how do you find out which one is better for you?

Studies have been made around this question. More specifically about which method of therapy had the best long-term effect.

Long story short, it turned out that the biggest difference in long-term effect was the alliance between the subjects and their therapist/psychologist.

So how you feel about them is as important as how much experience they have.

So if you have the opportunity, check out a few different ones to start with. Get a feel for them and see if you feel comfortable with them. You can often get a short consultation before you decide who you want to work with. It is the best way to invest your time and your mental health.