Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist vs. Psychotherapist

Written by Paula Fernandez
Last updated on: Dec 19, 2023

You know you or a loved one needs the help of a mental health professional. But who do you turn to? The exact type of professional you see will depend on your needs.

In Canada, the three main types of mental health professionals are psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists.

Registered Social Worker Paula Fernández breaks it down like this:

“You have your Psychiatrist, who is focusing primarily on diagnosing and treating through medication.

You have your psychologist, who will diagnose. Then you have your Psychotherapist, who works with just treating an individual whether they have a diagnosis or not.”

In addition, Registered Nurses and general practitioners can provide mental health care and referrals to specialists. And your family doctor can diagnose mental illness and prescribe medication.

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About the Author

Paula Fernandez

Paula Fernandez is a dedicated Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist, overseeing her independent practice, Lost and Found Therapy in Toronto Ontario.