therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist

The day has come and you have decided to seek out a therapist. One question you may be facing is, “Which therapist is right for me?” With terms like therapist, counselor, psychologist, and psychiatrist, it’s easy to see where the decision may not be so easy. Today, we will list and define different types of people who can help you through therapy.


The term therapy is a broad term. It describes professionals with any level of training in psychotherapy. Because the term “therapist” does not require any kind of licensure or board certification, any individual can identify as a therapist.


A counselor is an individual who has obtained an advanced degree in psychology. Many counselors provide supportive therapy but do not diagnose psychiatric disorders.


A psychiatrist has achieved a medical degree, so they can prescribe medications for psychiatric diagnoses. Psychiatrists are not typically seen for psychological evaluations or ongoing therapy secondary to their specialty. A client would generally see a psychiatrist for management of their psychiatric medications.


A psychologist has a doctoral degree in psychology such as a PhD or PsyD. Psychologists specialize in psychological testing, assessments, and diagnosing patients. These are the key factors that separate a psychologist from a psychiatrist.  Some psychologists  also specialize in research. Because they do not have a medical degree, they can’t prescribe or manage medications for their clients.

Who Do You Need?

Still have questions about which type of therapist is the best option for you? Contact Garrett Counseling at (256) 239-5662 or fill out the online form here to schedule an appointment and get your questions answered. Our professional staff is happy to further assist you in helping to determine the best fit for your needs.  We have three locations to serve you better in Jacksonville, Huntsville, and Albertville / Boaz, and also offer teletherapy and in-person visits. Call Garrett Counseling today!