Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Counsellors

When a situation or an event arises that calls for external support and aid, your decision on who you wish to consult can be critical. Before you could decide whom to call, you need to have your purpose clear and know exactly why you are seeking a certain person’s help.

When it comes to mental and emotional support, it can also be classified according to the specific need. Most people find it confusing when they want to seek help that is related to psychological health.  Some might wonder if they should go to a psychologist, while some may randomly decide to see a counsellor. There are others who may think a psychiatrist would be the best person to resolve their issues. Before making appointments, it is advisable that you know the different roles of each of these professionals.


Identifying your mental and/or emotional condition and thereby providing required support and advice are typical roles of a psychologist. But these may also be common to other medical professionals in a similar field. Psychologists would engage in in-depth studies and analysis of each case they handle and continuously look out for various possibilities of handling and coping with many different conditions and illnesses. They spend enough time communicating with their patients and trying to grasp every little piece of information and clue that could be useful in deciding and facilitating appropriate treatment processes.


Counsellors have the key responsibility of providing support, guidance, and advice. They are often sought once a certain problem has already been identified, and so they carry out part or whole of the treatment process. Once a psychologist or a psychiatrist has made a diagnosis of a certain condition or an illness, they would next refer the patient to a counsellor (if required) who engages in various types of therapy. Therapy aids in bringing out the feelings, emotions, and thoughts of the patient. Anxiety counselling and depression counselling are some of the strategies commonly used on patients affected by high levels of stress, depression, and severe conditions like schizophrenia. This type of therapy makes a person able to find ways to calm down, relax, and divert their mind from anything disturbing to something more pleasant.


A psychiatrist’s role is very much similar to that of a psychologist. They identify conditions and illnesses and take steps to implement the most appropriate mode of treatment. However, the significant difference would be that a psychiatrist involves medical therapy or providing medication. Having made a diagnosis, a psychiatrist would know whether the patient would need to start on oral medications, see a counsellor for therapeutic support, or require them both. They often play less of a talking role, which is why they would refer you to a separate professional specially meant for that.

Dealing with matters related to your mind and heart isn’t simple. That is why you would want to take some time to research, look around, and obtain the right kind of assistance from the right people.