I’m sure you’re wondering what the difference is between a Psychologist and a Counsellor. We’re here to hopefully help you understand the difference and help you decide which practitioner is the best option for you. Let’s start by outlining the training and qualifications are for each.
What is a counsellor?
Simply put, a counsellor is someone who can provide assistance and guidance to anyone struggling with a personal concern. Whether that be in regards to work, family, stress, depression, parenting, addiction, trauma, and anything else that might be impacting on someone’s life and well being.
What training does a counsellor have?
It is important to know what qualifications your counsellor has as there is no law in Australia that requires a Counsellor to have qualifications or experience. We encourage you to ask any prospective counsellors what qualifications they have, and if they are registered with any bodies that provide national standards for counsellors.
For trained counsellors, there are a few different qualifications that they could have, such as a Diploma of Counselling, a Bachelor or a Master of Counselling or Social Work. These could take 1 year of full-time study all the way up to 6 years of full-time study for those who complete a master’s degree.
Each of the above stated degrees also have several placement hours that are required before obtaining the formal qualification. For example, a Bachelor of Social Work requires 350 hours of practical placement to be completed before the individual can obtain their degree.
What is a psychologist?
Similarly to a counsellor, a Psychologist is someone who can provide assistance and guidance to anyone who is struggling with a personal concern. Additionally, a Psychologist can also administer Psychological tests and assessments, such as cognitive functioning tests, emotional or neurological tests, IQ Tests, etc.
What training does a Psychologist have?
A psychologist is legally required to have at least 4 years of full-time tertiary study, by completing a 3-year full-time bachelor’s in psychology or an equivalent degree, and then completing a 1-year full-time honours degree in psychology. During the completion of these 4 years, 150 hours of placement must be completed.
After the honour’s degree has been completed, the individual must complete either a 2-year full-time Master’s in Psychology or undertake 2 years of supervised experience with a registered psychologist. After this, they can then chose to undertake further studies by completing a Ph.D but it is not a requirement.
What are the differences between a psychologist and a counsellor?
Before I can advise you of the differences, it is important to determine what level of qualifications that the counsellor has obtained that you are comparing to the psychologist.
For the sake of the comparison, let’s say that the counsellor in question has obtained a Bachelor of Counselling. In this instance, the main difference between the two practitioners is that the Psychologist can administer psychological tests and assessments.
Both the psychologist and the counsellor can provide a range of Psychotherapies, the most common being Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy (DBT).
What qualifications do our counsellors have?
You can find the qualifications and training for each of our counsellors listed on their information page, located under the ‘About Us’ header, or alternatively, click here.
Should I see a counsellor or a psychologist?
That decision is ultimately up to you to make but we recommend you do your research into the practitioners in your area and find out what qualifications and experience they have. If you choose to see a counsellor, it’s best to ensure they have formal training in the field, and they have experience in the area of your concerns. You can also discuss your options with your GP as well.
If you would like to know more, or have questions, please contact our friendly reception team who would be happy to assist you. You can contact us by filling out a contact form here, calling us on 0478 437 776, or emailing us at email@example.com