What’s the difference between a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist?
A clinical psychologist completes a university degree in psychological theory before completing both a research degree (a Masters or PhD) in psychology as well as a three year post graduate diploma in Clinical Psychology. This latter qualification involves learning theory as well as supervised practice. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who, following medical training, has specialised in psychiatry and has extensive training in this regard. Psychiatrists (and medical doctors) can prescribe medication.
What’s the difference between a clinical psychologist and a counsellor?
It gets confusing because counsellors can have such a variety of different training backgrounds and there are very skilled and experienced counsellors. In general terms, in New Zealand, clinical psychology training programmes are restricted entry and consist of postgraduate study. Clinical psychologists have specialist knowledge in the application of psychological theory to understanding difficulties, assessment and formulation. By law, the title is restricted and certain activities (e.g., testing, test interpretation and diagnosis) are restricted to clinical psychologists.
It is important that you choose a health professional who you feel comfortable working with and who you think can help you. I welcome any enquiries about whether you and I can work together.
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I am based at 30 Moray Place, Dunedin New Zealand.