What is the difference between psychologist, psychological associate, psychotherapist etc? Who should I see? Often people when they call, want to know why does a psychologist cost more than a counsellor. it comes down to their training - years of training!
Training for mental health services varies between different groups and it is good to do your research to help choose who is right for you. Psychologists have a doctoral level degree. This means they have had to go to school for an Honours Bachelor degree and a Masters degree and had intensive supervised training and additional clinical training. A psychological associate has a Honours Bachelor degree and a Masters degree. Only the psychologist is called Doctor. Both practitioners must be registered with the College of Psychologists in Ontario. They are trained in psychological assessments to be used for diagnosis and can treat mental health problems.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with a specialization in in psychiatry. They are registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ontario.
Social Workers have an undergrad degree in Social Work and may also have a Masters degree in Social Work. They are registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Other people who call themselves counsellors, therapists, CBT specialists, psychotherapist are not regulated and do not report to any professional College. This means that they are an unregulated group. Please look at the training and experience that they may have. Don’t be fooled by weekend workshops and fancy letters after a name that only imply additional training.
People often show up at our office after seeing someone that is less trained. They may have seen them because it is less expensive. Mental health is worth the investment and poor treatment can do more damage, than no treatment.