Published on 27 April 2023

Difference Between Psychologist Vs Psychotherapist

Behavioral Psychology Difference Between Psychologist Vs Psychotherapist
Table of Contents

Nowadays, mental illness spreads in everyone's life. According to some reports, 26% of Americans older than 18 have a mental illness. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder. But still, many people neglect this issue because they think it will only last a few days. But fortunately, only some people show the courage to get professional guidance.

While searching for a mental health professional, they always got confused between psychology and psychotherapy, as both are related to mental health. This is true that both terms work about mental health but differently.

Psychology and psychotherapy are like two forms of the river that merge into the ocean of mental help. So, let's understand the first concept, which is psychology.

What Is Psychology?

Psychology is a form of two Greek words, i.e., 'psycho' and 'logos.' the word psycho means 'soul,' and logos means 'study.' which refers to studying the human soul. Psychology is a research-based study of human behavior and mental processes like how they act, feel, react and interact. Know more about Psychology.

As per the American psychological association, psychology is the study of mind and behavior that involves biological influence, social pressures, and environmental factors. 

Psychologists are medical professionals with doctorate degrees in psychology, where they mainly focus on medical care as talk therapy that relaxes their patient's minds. The field of psychology is assumed to be a "Hub Science" vital to the social sciences, medical science, and Education; that's why many students plan to make their career in this field.  

Importance Of Psychology

In this fast-moving world, everyone runs a race with themselves, which never ends. From school to professional life, people are running to achieve their dream. It doesn't mean you should stop ingraining a goal, but you must understand your mental state to recognize yourself while performing it. That's what a psychologist does.

Psychology helps you to understand your behavior and how it impacts your surroundings. Understanding your behavior can make you more aware of others' emotions, essential for maintaining relationships. Whether helping people overcome addiction or treating depression and anxiety, the psychologist helps people lead healthier, happier lives. 

Types Of Psychology

Many people think psychology only has one way to study human behavior, but that's false. It has an incredibly diverse field: whether you're interested in the brain, behavior, or social interactions, there's a sub-field of psychology used. There are 17 Branches Of Psychology. Below are the types of psychology that usually work according to an individual's behavior.

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is treatment-based therapy used to treat the mental stress of individuals, groups, couples, and families. It's a talk therapy where Psychotherapists help people through various techniques. They can also work as psychiatrists, behavioral therapists, psychologists, or social workers, depending on their Education, training, and area of specialization.

Psychotherapy is beneficial in helping a person change their behavioral thinking and emotional reaction patterns and get a positive outlook on things. Let's see how it's essential for a person with mental illness.

Importance Of Psychotherapy

Many assume they would do less work or think to cope with mental issues instead of treating them. But some techniques help you to cope with mental problems, which psychotherapists can only give. Even general studies show that 80% of the people who try psychotherapy have seen positive results and improvements. 

Psychotherapy helps a person to think through a different perspective toward life. Various techniques during the sessions can teach them to handle things correctly when anxious or stressed. Even some people take medications along with therapy to cope with stress as per the instruction by the professionals.

Types Of Psychotherapy

Many types of psychotherapy are used with relaxation techniques according to the individual's situation. The following are the common types of psychotherapy that a therapist use.

Different Kind Of Psychotherapists

People face many stressful events and need a therapist according to the situation. A situation is always based on a particular time, and if you want to get out of it, the following kinds of therapists will help you.

Psychotherapy: A branch of Psychology

After understanding both terms, people still assume that psychotherapy and psychology are the same. But psychology is a tree, and psychotherapy is an essential branch. In psychology, a person studies all aspects of human behavior and thinking, mentally Preparing them to understand anyone's behavior. Sometimes they can give counseling to their clients.

In psychotherapy, a person studies effective techniques they can use on their clients to make them feel better, such as music therapy, art therapy, hypnotherapy, etc.

Psychologists and psychotherapists both have the potential to make a rapport relationship with their clients, but it all depends on your mental state, which is suitable for you.

Difference Between Psychologist Vs Psychotherapist

Both psychologists and psychotherapists are mental health specialists who help people cope with emotional and mental health problems, but there are some key differences between the two.

A psychologist is a mental health expert who has completed a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology. They are trained to analyze and treat various mental health disorders using multiple therapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and humanistic therapy. Psychologists may also conduct psychological testing and assessments to help diagnose and treat mental health issues.

On the other hand, a psychotherapist is a broader term that refers to any mental health professional who provides talk therapy to individuals, couples, or groups to help them manage and overcome emotional and psychological problems. Psychotherapists may have different levels of Education and training, from a master's degree in counseling or social work to a doctoral degree in psychology. They may specialize in various types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, or dialectical behavior therapy.

Focus Areas

Psychology studies human behavior, like thinking, feeling, and behaving. The role of psychology is to apply a scientific approach to help people understand and manage their behavior. Mainly psychologists work on research, testing, etc.

In contrast, psychotherapy has a wide range of services that include different therapies. Mainly psychotherapy focuses on making patients feel stress-free by using techniques such as music therapy, art therapy, etc.


If someone wants to be a psychologist, they must have a doctorate in psychology. The two most common doctoral degrees in psychology are a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) and a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology).

Psychotherapy training is mainly done at the graduate level. That's why psychotherapists don't need a graduate Education in psychology. They only need formal Education in medicine and public policy. Apart from graduation, a psychotherapist will also need to do practical training and an internship to gain experience.


A psychologist only applies for a license to practice after completing graduation. The requirement for a psychologist to obtain a permit differs from state to state.

Whereas, in psychotherapy, many states allow psychotherapists to practice without a license but under the guidance of a licensed one.

Usually, a license for any professional requires some rules and regulations, so getting expert professional advice is advisable. So you wouldn't get in trouble while applying for it.


Psychologist usually spends their professional time in psychology-related studies where they can research various aspects of human behavior and feelings. In this study, they observe, interview, and survey their clients. Mainly they diagnose their client's stress. A psychologist may also work in private offices or employee-assistance programs.

A psychotherapist performs sessions regarding their client's mental state. This can be done with individuals, families, or groups. During the sessions, they conduct interesting therapies like music, art, drama, hypnotherapy, etc., which helps them to read the patient's mind. Psychotherapists can work in a private clinic, community-based or government-based organizations.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

In summary, psychologists have more extensive Education and training than psychotherapists and can conduct psychological testing and assessments. However, psychologists and psychotherapists can provide therapy to help people cope with emotional and mental health issues.

Psychology and psychotherapy both have paths to follow to overcome mental illness. In psychology, a professional studies their client's mind by observing them. They can also take interviews and surveys regarding their stress. In this term, they diagnose their patient's state of mind.

The experts try to make patients feel free through different psychotherapy. Different kinds of therapists exist as per the situation, like marriage, group, family, etc. Psychotherapy helps a person to think through a different perspective toward life. This positivity can also make a change in their surroundings.

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