• Home Confused about your Mental Health Professionals? Here’s a Guide.

Confused about your Mental Health Professionals? Here’s a Guide.

“You can’t change your situation, the only thing you can change is how you choose to deal with it.”

There are times when we are facing problems- stress at workplace, stress because of issues with a partner, stress because we are unwell, or sometimes just without a reason. We all have issues at some point in our lives. Some we are able to deal with, others just overwhelm us and even make us ill. These are the times when we feel the need for some external support- a partner, a friend or maybe parents or siblings. What if they are not able to bring us out of the rut? What if the problems continue? Whose help should we seek? Should we see a Psychiatrist, a Clinical Psychologist or maybe a Counsellor? What’s the difference? What kind of support would they provide?

These are some of the questions people have before visiting a mental health professional. There is a huge difference between these three kinds of mental health professionals. Let us understand the key differences.


  • A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MBBS + MD (Psychiatry)/DNB (Psychiatry))
  • They assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems.
  • Their education and clinical training equip them to understand the complex relationship between emotional and other medical illnesses and the relationships with genetics and family history, to evaluate medical and psychological data, to make a diagnosis, and to work with patients to develop treatment plans.
  • After completing thorough evaluations, psychiatrists can prescribe medications to help treat mental disorders. Psychiatric medications can help correct imbalances in brain chemistry that are thought to be involved in some mental disorders. Patients on long-term medication treatment will need to meet with their psychiatrist periodically to monitor the effectiveness of the medication and any potential side effects.


  • A Clinical Psychologist is a mental health professional with advanced degrees in Clinical Psychology (MA+ MPhil (Clinical Psychology)/ PhD)
  • They address behavioural and mental health issues faced by individuals across the lifespan including intellectual, emotional, psychological, social and behavioural maladjustment, minor adjustment issues as well as severe psychopathology.
  • They provide and recommend a range of treatments, including Psychological therapy (psychotherapy or talking therapy), Psychological testing to gain a better understanding of how you are functioning, Practical advice about eating, sleeping, exercise, and other ways to manage side effects of mental health problems, Information about your condition, which can help you to understand your symptoms and treatments.


  • A Counselling Psychologist is a mental health professional with advanced degrees in Psychology (MA /MPhil/ PhD).
  • They address problems from developmental (lifespan), environmental and cultural perspectives. They include, but are not limited to career/ work adjustment concerns, retirement transitions, marital difficulties, skill deficits, stress management, coping with negative life events and personal development.
  • Professional counsellors help clients identify goals and potential solutions to problems which cause emotional turmoil; seek to improve communication and coping skills; strengthen self-esteem; and promote behaviour change and optimal mental health.
  • The procedures used are individual, family and group counselling, crisis intervention, programs/workshops that educate and inform the public about mental health, consulting with organizations, etc.

Seek the right professional help https://www.samvednacare.com/ and live a stress-free life.

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