We often use the terms “psychiatrist “and “therapist” interchangeably even though they differ from one another in more than one way. Sure, both a psychiatrist/therapist strive to achieve the same thing: to improve other people’s lives but that’s not all that’s there is to it.

We bring you a simple checklist to help you understand the difference between the two.


A Psychologist is an individual who:

  • Provides guidance and support
  • Has an advanced degree in the field of psychology 
  • Diagnoses problems or disorders in clients/patients
  • Helps clients/patients clarify feelings and make decisions
  • May do therapy or research
  • Is often found working in tandem with a psychiatrist
  • Determines appropriate treatments based on clinical observations or diagnoses


A Therapist is an individual who:

  • Provides guidance and support
  • Generally has several degrees in a number of disciplines including a master’s degree, MD, PhD. Or can have certifications in the fields of family counselling, clinical psychology, substance abuse, and social work.
  • Helps clients/patients clarify feelings and make decisions
  • Can include social workers, life coaches, marriage counsellors and psychologists


To sum it up, a psychologist is an individual who diagnosis a problem or a mental disorder and determines what’s the best for the client/patient’s care. They often work with medical doctors who prescribe the necessary prescription as and when needed. 

A therapist, on the other hand, is used for professionals who are not only trained but also licenced to provide several treatments and rehabilitation for individuals. 

When selecting a psychiatrist or a therapist, their licencing, education, and most importantly their professional credentials must be taken into consideration.

Finding a therapist that’s right for you can sometimes be overwhelming. Which is why BetterHelp should be your go-to solution.

Author: Sam Prinkles

Shristi is the Chief Content Officer at Raletta. She enjoys writing about food, fitness, finance and everything in between.