What is the Difference Between a Counselor and a Psychologist?

Counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and social workers are all professionals who specialize in the treatment of emotional or psychological problems.  The difference is in the type of education that each professional receives and the focus of training along the path to obtaining qualifications.  For example, licensed professional counselors have either a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling or a related field which included an internship and coursework in human behavior and development, effective counseling strategies, ethical practice, and other core knowledge areas.  Clinical psychologists usually have a doctoral level of training, while psychiatrists are medically trained doctors who specialize in the branch of medicine that focuses on mental health issues.  Even more important than the type of professional you decide to see, however, is the level of comfort you feel with the professional you choose.  

All professionals who treat emotional or psychological problems adhere to a strict code of ethics that protects client confidentiality, prohibits discrimination and requires understanding of and respect for diverse cultural backgrounds.