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What is the Difference Between a Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Counsellor and Psychiatrist?

Both psychologists and clinical psychologists have at least four years of university training in psychology. Clinical psychologists have at least six years of university training and have completed a Masters or Doctorate in clinical psychology which entails practical training and supervision in psychological therapy. Psychologists have at least four years of university training and have not completed a Masters or Doctorate in clinical psychology, many psychologists do however have different types of post graduate degrees.

The title psychotherapist or counsellor can be used without having specific university training. Some professional psychologists and psychiatrists do use the title of “counsellor” or “psychotherapist”. The qualifications and background of counsellors and psychotherapists is varied. You may not be eligible to receive any medicare rebates if the individual is not a qualified clinical psychologist, psychologist or psychiatrist.

Psychiatrists are trained in medicine and then proceed to study mental illness as an area of specialisation. They are able to prescribe medications and their services are usually partially covered by medicare.

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