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Counsellor or Psychologist?

You are distressed and would like some assistance. Do you go to a psychologist or a counsellor?

What’s the difference? They each work in different ways and it is important to understand the


Psychologists have at least 4 years of university training in the science of behaviour and

development and may also have a Master’s degree. A psychologist is able to diagnose conditions

such as post natal depression or bi-polar through the use of diagnostic tests and other methods.

Their approach is analytical.

Counsellors undertake a one year degree focused on active listening and reflection back to the

client. This training involves many hours of simulation and feedback from the instructor and group.

A counsellor may employ a variety of techniques to assist a client to discover their own method of

coping. Their approach is more personal and practical.

The initial training that someone has done may be less important than their experience. Factors to

consider are:

• Are they registered with a professional body?

• Do they undertake regular training?

• Do they undertake regular clinical supervision?

• Have they engaged in therapy themselves?

• Do they have a varied work background?


Ultimately, you will decide who you feel most comfortable with. Taking the steps to undertake

some form of therapy can result in a much more positive health outcomes overall.


“A skilled listener can help people tap into their own wisdom.”  Richard Rohr