What is a Psychologist? Psychologists study how we think, feel, and behave from a scientiﬁc viewpoint and apply this knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behaviour.
What do Psychologists do? Psychologists engage in research, practice, and teaching across a wide range of topics having to do with how people think, feel and behave. Their work can involve individuals, groups, families, and as well as larger organizations in government and industry.
What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist? A Psychologist holds a Master’s and/or doctoral degree in psychology that involves from 6 to 10 years of university study of how people think, feel, and behave. Psychologists who hold doctoral degrees, can use the title “Dr”. Psychologists who practice (and hence those who are licensed) typically will have completed their graduate university training in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, or educational/school psychology.
A practicing psychologist is trained to assess and diagnose problems in thinking, feeling, and behaviour as well as to help people overcome or manage these problems. A psychologist is uniquely trained to use psychological tests to help with assessment and diagnosis. Psychologists help people to overcome or manage their problems using a variety of treatments or psychotherapies. In Ontario, a Psychologist can complete psychological testing and diagnose mental health disorders.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who go on to specialize in mental health and mental disorders. Psychiatrists often use medication to help their clients manage their mental disorders and there are some disorders for which medications are very necessary. Some psychiatrists also do psychotherapy much as psychologists do. In Ontario, Psychiatrists can diagnose and prescribe medication.
For more information on the study and practice of psychiatry, please visit the website of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
(from the Canadian Psychological Association)