Psychiatrists have a degree in medicine like a medical doctor, as well as specialised training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, emotional disorders and behavioural problems. Psychiatrists do not typically provide in depth psychotherapy and may more often choose to prescribe medication to treat conditions.
Clinical Psychologists have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and graduate training in Clinical Psychology. They specialise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness, emotional disorders and behavioural issues. Clinical Psychologists help people understand the nature of their difficulties, develop insight and skills to minimise and manage such difficulties, and coordinate with other health service providers, including physicians.
Counsellors have a range of backgrounds, like a master’s or doctoral level degree from a counselling programme. Some refer to themselves as a ‘therapist’ or ‘counsellor’, but may or may not have training in the assessment or treatment of mental health issues. A counsellor’s basic role is to provide vocational guidance and advice. A counsellor’s focus is typically on the normal client population - people without serious or persistent mental illnesses - although there is no set rule and the lines can be blurred.