Psychologists VS Psychotherapists

Mar 8, 2024

In the pursuit of a fulfilling and happy life, everyone can benefit from the guidance of a mental health professional. 

Having someone in your corner, offering support and expertise, can make all the difference in overcoming challenges and reaching your goals. However, not all mental health professionals are the same, and understanding the differences is crucial for finding the right fit. 

Two common professionals in this field are psychologists VS psychotherapists, each playing distinct roles in supporting individuals on their mental health journey.

Differences Between Psychologist and Psychotherapist

What is a Psychologist?

A psychologist is a mental health professional with an advanced degree in psychology, typically holding a Ph.D. or Psy.D. These experts specialise in the study of the mind and behaviour, employing a variety of research-based techniques to assess and treat psychological issues.

  • Training– Psychologists undergo extensive academic and clinical training, often involving research and practical experience.
  • Scope– Psychologists use a broad range of therapeutic interventions, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), psychoanalysis, and other evidence-based approaches.
  • Areas of Expertise– Psychologists may specialise in various areas such as clinical psychology, counselling psychology, or neuropsychology.

What is a Psychotherapist?

A psychotherapist definition, on the other hand, is a professional trained in psychotherapy, a therapeutic approach aimed at helping individuals explore and understand their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. Psychotherapists can come from diverse educational backgrounds, including psychology, counselling, social work, or psychiatry.

  • Training– Psychotherapists receive specialised training in therapeutic techniques and approaches, focusing on building a therapeutic alliance with clients.
  • Scope– Psychotherapists employ a range of therapeutic modalities such as talk therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and interpersonal therapy.
  • Areas of Expertise– Psychotherapists may specialise in various areas, including individual therapy, couples therapy, or group therapy, addressing a wide array of mental health concerns.

Understanding the fundamental difference between psychologists VS psychotherapists is vital for individuals seeking mental health support in Ottawa, ON or the surrounding areas. While psychologists bring a scientific and research-oriented perspective, psychotherapists emphasise the therapeutic relationship and the application of various counselling techniques. While both are important it is crucial to note the key differences between psychologists and psychotherapists. 

If you are in the Ottawa, ON area and seeking the expertise of a psychotherapist, consider reaching out to us. Ariella Boehm, a premier psychotherapist, is dedicated to helping individuals achieve mental well-being and personal growth. Ariella will help you to further understand the difference between psychologists and psychotherapists, and explore your feelings more thoroughly. Contact Ariella today to set up a 15-minute consultation!

Ariella Boehm

I’ve been helping people lead more intentional lives for over 20 years. I began my career as an early childhood teacher. In 2012, I made the decision to channel the empathic skills that are needed to be a connected teacher, into becoming a compassionate psychotherapist.​