Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Psychiatrist?


Making the decision to seek help and start therapy is momentous, but if you have never been to counselling before, you may feel at a loss to know how to go about choosing who to see. Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Psychiatrist… What is the difference?

The Robert Street Clinic has a wide range of mental health professionals with specific areas of expertise, all under the same roof. So whichever type of support you need, we are in the best position to help you and recommend the most appropriate solution for your needs.


What’s the difference between a psychotherapist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist and a counsellor?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have completed their general medical training and specialised in psychiatry.  In New Zealand, psychiatrists are generally seen for ongoing medical management of medications, such as anti-depressants, mood stabilisers, sleeping tablets and other medical treatments.  They are able to prescribe medications not available to your general practitioner and can advise your GP about other treatment options.  While some psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy, they are, however, more likely to refer you to a counsellor, a psychotherapist or a psychologist.

Click here to see more about the psychiatrists at the Robert Street Clinic or call us on 09 973 5950 to make an appointment.

Psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors all practice talking therapy and the main difference between them is generally in the qualifications and training background but whichever professional is best suited to your needs, the Robert Street Clinic pride itself on having experienced clinicians who can make a genuine difference in your life.

In New Zealand, psychologists are trained in more short-term symptom-focussed treatments for acute mental health problems, while psychotherapists tend to deal with longer term therapy for deep-rooted issues such as childhood trauma or relationship problems.

Counsellors, on the other hand, specialise in helping to deal with specific issues in specific areas like couples counselling, addictions counselling or vocational counselling.

Psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors will also usually tend to favour certain therapy frameworks which are particularly effective at treating certain disorders, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for example. During your first session, they will explain to you how they work, which will help you to make sure that you are comfortable with their approach and whether they are the right person for you.

Quality Counselling Services in East Auckland at the Robert Street Clinic

Our skilled psychotherapists and psychologists are able to assist with most problems and are trained to manage both short-term and longer-term therapies. The Robert Street Clinic also has a range of specialties such as marriage counselling, eating disorders, family therapy, DBT and addictions.

Whether you are looking for individual therapy or relationship counselling in Auckland City, we are likely to have an experienced professional who can help.  If you’re not sure who you should see please contact us or call us on 09 973 5950 and we can discuss who would best suit your needs.