There are lots of terms used to describe the health professionals who help people with their emotional, psychological or mental health concerns. Job titles such as counsellor, psychotherapist, psychological therapist, psychoanalyst, psychologist, psychiatrist and many more are all used. The unfortunate fact is that in the UK anyone can call themselves any kind of therapist or ‘ologist’ they like. The exception is the psychiatrists because only they have legally protected titles. With all these names flying about it is not surprising that people often wonder who all these professionals are. What the differences are between them? Who are the genuine article and who are the phonies?
So, how can you tell all these ‘ologists’ apart? Do their professional titles matter? The reality is that all these different titles probably owe more to how any particular therapist was originally trained than they do to actually observable differences in professional practice. After all, research shows us that most experienced therapists are not particularly are overly concerned about professional titles nor do they limit themselves to any given therapeutic approach when responding to their clients’ needs. Therefore, the real answer to the ‘what’s in a name’ puzzle is simple – in practical terms there are no significant differences. [Read more…]