These terms are often used interchangeably when people are looking for help, and indeed, there are some overlaps in the type and breadth of mental illness treatments you can expect. But they are not the same. Here are some of the differences.
A counselor generally takes a short-term, focused approach to helping a client find a solution to a specific problem. For example, they can help you improve your relationships or handle stress.
Psychotherapy and Therapy
A psychotherapist or therapist uses counseling as a treatment option, their focus is on helping you get to the root cause of your emotional, behavioral and mental health problems. A therapist takes an in-depth approach to help you bring about meaningful change in your life. She can equip you with the tools you need to face the challenges that lie ahead.
These mental health professionals are trained in the treatment of a wide variety of mental health issues. They also have a deep understanding of clinical research, and practitioners must be educated to at least a master’s degree. In Missouri, you must be licensed to practice as a therapist or psychotherapist.
Psychiatrists are doctors who have either a doctor of medicine (MD), or a doctor of osteopathy (DO) degree, and who specialize in the treatment of mental illness and mental health issues. They can offer patients both talk therapy and prescription medication. They must be licensed by the state to practice.