Although psychologists, psychiatrist and therapists have different individual roles, they all work towards the same goal; improving the quality of lives of individuals. Being aware of the different types of mental health professionals that are available offers guidance for what services are best suited for you.
A therapist is a person with an advanced degree in psychology (MSc) that cannot prescribe medication or perform psychological testing, however offers supportive counseling. Therapists are usually involved in school psychology as well as marriage and family therapy. They can also refer an individual to a psychologist for additional testing.
A psychologist is a professional who has a doctoral degree in counseling. They perform assessment and psychological testing in order to differentiate different types of psychiatric conditions. After the right diagnosis, they provide psychotherapy by direct contact with patients. Psychologists can also often refer patients to psychiatrists if they feel medication could potentially help the patient improve.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors that are specialized in psychiatric conditions and prescribe appropriate medications and treatments. They are responsible for managing the dosage of medication, symptoms and the progression of treatment of patients. Although it is not in the job description for a psychiatrist to provide psychotherapy, many provide brief psychotherapy during consultations and at the beginning of the patient’s journey.
A coach is a trained professional who guides individuals to connect with their own values and strengths helping them to get from where they are NOW to where they want to be. Certified and Accredited Coaches are trained to support their clients with the right tools helping them to unlock their full potential so they can be the best version of themselves. The coaching relationship between a Coach and their client is focused on the present while building a vision for the future by identifying goals and creating an action plan to achieve goals