What is the difference between a therapist, a psychologist, and a psychiatrist?
A therapist is the general term for someone who provides psychotherapy. A therapist can mean a psychologist (PsyD or PhD), marriage & family therapist (MFT or LMFT), social worker (LCSW), counselor, or psychiatrist (MD).
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can prescribe medication. A psychologist has a doctorate degree, either a PhD or PsyD. PhD programs include more clinical research while PsyD programs include more hours in clinical practice. Other types of therapists including MFTs and LCSWs complete a master’s degree.
We recommend evaluating therapists by Kip's guidelines, not by their degree. One thing you should look for is training in evidence-based methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy.