Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist vs. Counselor – What’s the Difference?


In the state of Illinois, there are several different types of behavioral health professionals. How do you know which one is right for you?

Let’s take a look at each profession and what it means for you:


When you hear psychiatrist, think specialized medical professional (M.D.), like Neurologist or Cardiologist. This is a medical doctor who completes a residency in psychiatry. These professionals typically use medication as a primary means of addressing behavioral health issues. Some psychiatrists will also employ psychotherapy or other approaches to treating mental disorders. However, due to the current climate of health care, most psychiatrists typically utilize medication management as a primary method of treatment.


Psychologist is someone who studies and treats mental disorders. There are many different types of psychologists, in fact 56 different divisions according to the American Psychological Association. The most common are counseling psychologist and clinical psychologists. These professionals are often employed at hospitals, schools, and behavioral health clinics. A substantial amount of the psychologist’s training is on research and studying mental illness. Psychologists cannot prescribe medication in Illinois.


A (licensed) counselor is someone that has focused their education and training, on providing quality psychotherapy or talk therapy to individuals of all types. The academic, clinical hours and supervision requirements ensure the counselor is proficient with psychotherapy. In Counseling, you will find a cooperative agreement between client and counselor. You will identify your goals and possible solutions, while attempting to alleviate emotional turmoil, improve self esteem or coping skills, or gain a better understanding of the factors in your life.

If you believe that you are need of any of these professionals or just have questions, please call Prairie Wellness Counseling Center at 630-715-5740 or email us:

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3 thoughts on “Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist vs. Counselor – What’s the Difference?

  1. Pingback: All psychiatrists are not created equal | A Broken Mind, A Beautiful Brain

  2. Pingback: Psyho Babble Of Psycholgists | Kindle's Blog

  3. Pingback: Psychiatrist is In | Friend to Yourself

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