Difference between Counsellor & Psychologist

The ‘Counsellor vs Psychologist’ question is often overlooked, but there are differences between the two. These differences become particularly visible when you see the type of disorders that they treat and the levels of severity in their clients. In some cases, psychologists may be able to treat conditions that a counsellor cannot – schizophrenia for example.

Counsellors typically focus on identifying and implementing potential solutions to a client’s immediate and life’s problems. Counselling focuses on assisting clients to identify, talk about, explore and understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and to work out what action they want to take and why they have concerns or problems. Counsellor’s will usually engage a client in a ‘talk based therapy’ which may include -for example- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). While a non-psychologist Counsellor can address a wide range of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, mood swings, stress, anger, grieving, low self-esteem, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders and in some cases, eating disorders, substance dependence and/or trauma (PTSD/PTSI) – serious mental health illnesses will likely need to be treated by a Psychologist (see below).

Counsellors can also help clients to clarify values and identify options when making important personal or professional decisions, manage conflicts within relationships, develop better interpersonal and communication skills, or intentionally change unproductive thoughts and behaviours. Anyone in a state of indecision or who is distressed in any way, whether psychologically, physically, spiritually or practically is a possible candidate for counselling. Seeing a Counsellor is an excellent first step.

Note: Counsellors & Psychotherapists, services are not covered by Medicare.

Psychologists are more likely to work with individuals with very serious mental illness such as – Schizophrenia disorders, Bipolar disorders (or manic depression), Severe Anxiety, Psychotic and Delusional disorders, Paranoia, Borderline personality disorders, Autism & Developmental related disorders, Psychopathic (or sociopathic) related disorders, Delirium, Neurasthenia and gender dysphoria, for example. Psychologists often work in collaboration with Psychiatrists who are medical doctors and who are able to prescribe medications, such as antipsychotics and antidepressants. Accordingly, if your problem is very serious, such as being diagnosed you will need the support of a Psychologist and/or perhaps a Psychiatrist.

Psychiatrists have completed a medical degree and further training and study related to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists specialise in the medical treatment of mental illness and can prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists combine medication with therapy.

Medicare & Insurance Rebates – ‘Mental Health Treatment Plans’: You may be able to claim back a proportion of your fees from Medicare if your medical doctor ‘GP’ assesses you to be eligible for psychological services under a ‘Mental Health Treatment Plan’ which may reimburse a significant proportion of the fees for up to 10 sessions (in many cases 20 sessions) per calendar year. Learn more >

Should you require an further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Getting help

While it is never too late to seek out professional help, the sooner you do the better the possibility of assisting you identify and alleviate the problems affecting you.

We at CBT Counselling & Psychotherapy look forward to helping you. If you require any further information about our Counselling and Psychotherapeutic services, please phone or email us via the ‘Contact Us‘ / ‘Phone‘ buttons displayed on your screen.

Free 10min Phone Consultation

If you’ve decided it’s time to seek out a counselling, then you’ve already done the hardest part by recognising that you could use support with your mental health or an emotional issue.

Free 10min Preliminary Consultation @cbtcounselling.com.au

To help you decide if you are ready to begin therapy, we offer a free 10-minute phone consultation in which we can discuss the problems you are experiencing and how counselling and psychotherapy might benefit you.

Of course, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have, and together we can decide whether ours is the best counselling and therapy service for you. To book your free phone consultation, please click on the button below:

Free 10min Consultation