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

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who can prescribe medication.

A psychologist is not a medical doctor, therefore cannot prescribe medication. A psychologist can make a diagnosis for a client, for example, depression, ADHD, personality disorders, etc.

The line between a counsellor and a psychotherapist is not so clearly defined. While both professionals aim to improve a client’s mental health, a counsellor focuses on problem-solving in the present while a psychotherapist helps a client to gain insight and discover parts of self that are unknown to the client. This requires a client to revisit his past.


What is the frequency of therapy?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to session frequency. I would recommend weekly therapy for the first 10 sessions, reviewing the progress and readjusting the frequency according to one’s needs.

Do you prescribe medication?

No, I do not prescribe medication.


Do you make a diagnosis?

No, I do not make any diagnosis. I can refer you to a clinical psychologist for diagnosis if my preliminary assessment warrants such a need.


What is the most effective mode of therapy?

While different modes suit different individuals, I would suggest starting with online therapy for the ease of kickstarting the process. When it comes to change, we often experience inertia and internal resistance. Therefore, online sessions can help to remove entry barriers such as physical location, budget, and time constraints. Once a therapeutic alliance is established between the client and the therapist, in-person sessions might help enhance the effectiveness of therapy.