You may be considering talking with someone about what is going on in your life and may not know what is best. A psychologist or therapist? Or other support? People seek mental health services for various reasons such as having out-of-control thoughts or emotions, when you’re dealing with life’s challenges, or if you’re caught up in addiction.
Regardless of your reasons, it’s vital to find the right resources and support to get the help you need.
There are many different specialties and types of education that a mental health services professional might have. And thankfully there are also free, downloadable virtual app solutions that can help alleviate stress and provide easy-to-use, immediate help!
So, whether you need a psychologist or therapist–knowing how they differ, what various degrees and certifications mean, and how to not only find the right counselor but to gain some quick help and relief, is essential to finding a happier and healthier new you.
What is a Psychologist?
A psychologist is a professional who is formally trained in mental health and human behavior or the field of psychology They can work in a variety of clinical settings. Psychologists can encompass many different levels: doctorate (PsyD or Ph.D.), master’s, or bachelors degree.
A psychologist can also obtain an advanced degree for licensing. It is required to work independently or to offer patient care in schools, counseling, and clinical settings.
A psychologist’s objective is to teach more effective ways of navigating the many complexities of mental health concerns like loneliness and depression.
A psychologist has to attend many formal years of undergraduate and graduate degree training courses to become licensed by the state where they practice. They have a vast number of different techniques that they can use according to a patient’s unique values, goals, circumstances, and personality characteristics.
A practicing psychologist can assist with many different conditions. They can:
- Implement a vast number of tools to treat various types of mental health problems.
- Handle simple emotional issues like the crisis that stems from a breakup.
- Address clinical conditions like anxiety, depression, and personality disorders.
- Assist with a variety of mental health problems.
- Offer different evidence-based treatments to improve the lives of the patients they serve.
- Provide talk therapy or psychotherapy.
- Offer common types of therapy such as cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, or a combination of several therapies employed together.
What is a Therapist?
Someone who is a practicing therapist may or may not be a psychologist. A therapist–sometimes referred to as a psychotherapist–is a mental health professional who has a therapist’s license. Their goal is to improve the emotional and cognitive skills of the patients they serve. However, a therapist is not necessarily a psychologist. And they do not necessarily need to have the same credentials.
They can work in a variety of different capacities such as a social worker, marriage and family counselor, and psychologist.
A therapist approaches mental health conditions and crises with a behavioral therapy approach. And in some states, the term therapist can include other occupations like a life coach and other professionals who might not have the same requirements, licensure, and degrees that are required to be a practicing psychologist.
Psychologist or Therapist? What’s the Best Choice?
A psychologist or therapist describes any professional who is trained and most often has obtained a license, to offer a variety of mental health rehabilitation and treatments to various individuals. But what’s the best choice. First, let’s revisit the choices:
- A Psychologist has a doctoral degree, either a PsyD, EdD, or a Ph.D., and has one of the highest levels of psychological training of all mental health professionals. As a result, they spend an average of seven years or more, both obtaining their education and receiving hands-on training.
While attending graduate school, psychologist majors must also have at least one full year of a supervised internship. And only after completing the requirements, they can obtain a license, specific to the state where they intend to practice. Once they have a license, they have to attend continuing education courses according to licensing and regulation standards.
- A Therapist generally has at least a bachelor’s degree and can serve in psychoanalysis, social work, life coaching, marriage counseling, and other subspecialties.
A therapist’s goal is to provide guidance and support to help their patients. And to help find a better way to navigate life circumstances. They offer the support necessary to develop a healthier set of behaviors. And to develop the competencies to get through the complexities of life.
A psychologist or a therapist can both diagnose and treat mental health conditions and disorders. They often work in combination with a psychiatrist who can prescribe medications. They are also qualified to work in a clinical or academic setting. While a psychologist is highly educated, a therapist can help with general life dilemmas.
In-person appointments with either option can prove helpful, but there are other options. A mental health therapy virtual app that is available 24X7 offering tools and resources can help dive deeper into any mental health concerns you may be experiencing before an in-person appointment.
Which Mental Health Services are Right for you?
If you are struggling with a mental health concern, it’s vital to find the right professional. So, asking the question, ”psychologist or therapist?” is common.
For acute and crisis situations, often, finding a therapist is enough to discover more productive and healthier ways to deal with stress. And also, to get past the hurdles that life can throw at you.
On the other hand, if you are struggling with a chronic condition that is affecting your quality of life, and one for which you can’t seem to get past, then a psychologist might be a better option. It might, therefore, be necessary for you to find mental health services for diagnosing and developing a comprehensive treatment plan.
But many times, treatment can’t wait. You may need immediate help and advice from professionals. In that case, a readily accessible and easy-to-use virtual app solution may be the answer to getting quick relief while waiting for an in-person appointment.
Finding the Appropriate Mental Therapy Support
The key is to understand where along the chronic versus acute spectrum you fall. And it’s important to accept the help that you need. If your mental health status is having a profound impact on your health and well-being, it might be necessary to have a clinical assessment. That way, you can ensure that there isn’t more than just an acute crisis looming.
Once evaluated, finding a therapist to match your needs is essential. If you need someone to talk with who can guide you in the right direction, and help to get you past the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that you are struggling with, ChatOwl might be a great place to start.
But sometimes an in-person visit with a psychologist or therapist can’t wait, and you need immediate mental health services support.