Just to clarify...
  • psychiatrist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illness. This is the person you would go to to get your prescription medication. 
  • psychologist has a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D.) in psychology. In the sense that most people think of psychologists, this is the person you would talk to in therapy; however, he or she does not prescribe mediation (except in a select few states). Psychologists hold a wide variety of other jobs though, including research positions, teaching positions, and working in hospital settings.
  • licensed mental health counselor has a master’s degree (M.A., M.S.) in psychology, counseling, or a related field. Many of these individuals provide counseling and psychotherapy. However, holding a master’s degree in psychology does not make one a psychologist. 
  • clinical social worker has at least a master’s degree (M.S.W.) in social work. They also can provide therapy, but also work in case management, advocacy, and hospital discharge planning. 
  • Further, there is a difference between counseling, which is typically provided by someone with a degree in counseling or social work, and psychotherapy, which is typically provided by someone with a degree in psychology, although the terms are commonly used interchangeably. 

“I’m a therapist and have been counseling people for about 15 years.”
“There seems to be a lot of people who are getting counseling these days. How does that feel as a therapist?”
“Most people just go about their lives without really thinking on their own about who they are during their life. They don’t know how great their existence is and just continue on living. I don’t just give my patients advice about what to do, but rather through our conversations, I help them figure out who they are. Why are we unhappy? It’s because we are afraid. We are afraid of the future, afraid of life, afraid of getting sick, we have so many fears like this. If we can’t deviate from these fears, we can’t be happy. However, honestly, these fears are all in our head. The only thing that exists are the people who feel these fears.”

“전 심리상담사이고 15년째 심리상담을 하고 있어요.”
“요즘 심리상담을 받고 싶어하는 사람이 많을 것 같은데, 심리상담사로서 어떻게 느끼시나요?”
“대부분의 사람들이 그냥 살아가요. 스스로 누군지 생각하며 살아가는 사람은 별로 없잖아요. 내가 얼마나 대단한 존재인지 모르고 살아가요. 전 상담자에게 뭘 주고자 하는 게 아니고 대화를 통해서 본인이 어떤 존잰지를 알게끔 해요. 왜 우리가 불행할까요? 두려움 때문이거든요. 미래에 대한 두려움, 삶에 대한 두려움, 질병에 대한 두려움, 이런 두려움들이 있는데, 두려움에서 벗어나지 못하면 행복할 수 없어요. 근데 사실은 그 두려움이란 게 실체가 없는 존재거든요. 두려움을 느끼는 본인만 존재할 뿐이죠.”