How do Clinical Psychologists Differ From Counselors?
Doctoral-level psychologists receive a very general kind of training in the science of psychology and a wide array of ways that psychological understanding can be usefully applied to human problems. They learn about ways that human beings grow and change, and they have very flexible skills for facilitating useful change in many different kinds of situations. The training of counselors does not take as long and is more narrowly focused. They are trained in more specific areas in which they are expected to offer expert advice and guidance. Some counselors are experts in educational questions, some in matters of vocation, some in dealing with alcohol abuse, some in marital problems, etc. For persons with highly specific questions or concerns, a counselor may be an ideal aide. Educational materials, coursework, or even popular books may also offer useful advice and information. For more general problems in living, in which a person’s style of thinking and feeling seems to be causing repetitive trouble, and what we might consider "deeper" problems, the more highly trained skills of a doctoral-level psychologist may be more appropriate.