There is a multitude of professional qualities within a mental health therapist. A mental health therapist is a specialist in managing mental and cognitive abilities and skills, including for those who are struggling with a mental illness or any emotional challenges that impact day-to-day life.
There is a lot to unpack when it comes to how a therapist works through someone’s strengths and weaknesses. Many people interchangeably consider therapists and counsellors as the same thing. However, there is a difference between the two to be aware of.
Here, we break down exactly what a mental health therapist does and call out the subtle differences between a therapist and a counsellor.
What Does A Mental Health Therapist Do?
A mental health therapist offers a wide range of services, with the prime focus being on one’s mental health. Therapists typically work in-person or online, intending to talk about one’s cognitive and emotional issues through talking therapy. This means working through one’s issues to identify the underlying patterns of behaviour. A therapist may also be called a psychiatrist or a psychologist, with a therapist being an umbrella between the two. Therapists sometimes perform psychology to support human behaviour research.
A range of services a therapist offers to include:
- Listening to one’s problems intently
- Analysing what is troubling them through communication
- Being a source of emotional comfort for clients
- Supporting with diagnosing mental health issues
- Helping patients understand their thinking patterns
- Teaching clients about building and nurturing relationships
- Offering non-directive advice
- Nurturing them through grief and trauma
What Does A Counsellor Do?
A counsellor also focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of a person, although their focus is on the present moment and uncovering the psychological and emotional difficulties. The end objective of a counsellor is to work through these difficulties and uncover those troubles to lead to better wellbeing. These difficulties are likely to cause feelings of anxiety, stress and depression.
Here is a range of services that a counsellor provides:
- Supporting family, marital and relationships issues
- Struggling with chronically low self-esteem
- Experiencing behavioural and mood swings
- Dealing with substance use and addiction
Are Both A Mental Health Therapist And Psychologist The Same?
Naturally, many people think that a therapist and a counsellor are the same, especially because there are terms that link the two so closely.
A psychologist works with their clients in a research setting, whereas a therapist refers to general talking treatment with their clients. Whilst the work isn’t necessarily different for both, psychologists use research to support it.
There is no evidence to suggest that a therapist and psychologist provide greater care than one another. But if you’re seeking answers to your suffering, a psychologist can perform examinations to address certain issues.
What Qualifications Does A Mental Health Therapist Have?
Most mental health therapists are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree and a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology. Followed by formal education, therapists should have experience in supervised clinical environments and obtain a licence to become professional therapists.
Besides this, a therapist is expected to have certain qualities for effective communication, such as communication skills, compassion, interpersonal skills, observational skills and listening skills, to name a few.
What Qualifications Does A Counsellor Have?
For counsellors to treat patients within a clinical setting, a master’s or doctoral degree is required in counselling. In most instances, a counsellor will also need a license to practice delivering counselling services. Counsellors can also obtain additional qualifications for certain counselling subjects, such as marriage or addiction counselling.
Some aspects that would be covered in a degree for counsellors to learn are:
- Mental health
- Home and work environments
- Coping with disability
- Decision-making support
- Life adjustments
If you’re seeking to learn more about a mental health therapist and a counsellor, or if you’re seeking further support on whether a mental health therapist or a counsellor is right for you, then consults us at Lotus Medical Centre today so we can get the help you need.