The difference between a Psychologist and a Therapist in London 2021


There is a need to address mental health in London. Similarly, the need for a therapist in London is also increasing. If you are thinking why is this so? Then here are some facts that will make you ponder on it. In any given year, an estimated 1 in 4 individuals will experience a diagnosable mental health condition. A third of these will experience two or more conditions at once.

Moreover, mental ill-health is the single largest source of disease burden. It is more devastating than cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the costs extend well beyond health and social care. The wider impacts of mental ill-health affect almost every aspect of a person’s life, from their education and employment to their physical health and the quality of their relationships. Across the population, the net effects of these wider impacts substantially affect London’s economy, infrastructure, and population. Because of this, mental health is not simply an issue for health and social care. It is an issue for everyone making it necessary for everyone to have easy access to a psychotherapist in London.

London also has the UK’s highest proportion of the population with high levels of anxiety. Nearly half of Londoners are anxious, and almost a third report low levels of happiness. Life satisfaction and feelings of worth are lower than the national average. If we can begin to address these very basic and too often ignored problems in the city, we can begin to unburden ourselves of both the moral and economic costs of mental ill-health.

So, if you want to relieve yourself from the mental ill-health burden then your first priority would be to gain some insights into mental health service providers. This blog will provide you some assistance in this matter and focus on two types of service providers; First Psychologist in London and the second is a Therapist or a Psychotherapist in London.

First, you need to know who they are…


Who are Psychologists?

A psychologist studies mental processes and human behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and the environment. Psychologists in London are uniquely trained to use psychological tests to help with assessment and diagnosis. They apply their knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behavior and also overcome or manage their problems through a variety of treatments. Psychologists, including psychologists in London, focus on

  • Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobias, etc.;
  • Neurological, genetic, psychological, and social determinants of behavior;
  • Psychological determinants of health and psychological factors that contribute to health and disease management; 
  • Role of psychological factors in preventing disease and maintaining physical health;
  • Rehabilitation and adjustment to disability and chronic illness;
  • Brain injury, degenerative brain diseases;
  • Perception and management of pain;
  • Relationship between psychological factors and physical conditions and illness (e.g. Diabetes, heart disease, stroke);
  • Management of psychological aspects of terminal illnesses and end-of-life care;
  • Cognitive functions (e.g., learning, memory, problem-solving, intellectual ability);
  • Developmental and behavioral abilities and problems across the lifespan;
  • Criminal behavior, crime prevention, and services for victims and perpetrators of criminal activity;
  • Addictions, substance use and abuse (e.g. smoking, alcohol, prescription, and recreational drugs);
  • Stress, anger and other aspects of lifestyle management;
  • Court consultations on the role of psychological factors in legal matters (e.g., accidents and injury, parental capacity, competence to manage one’s personal affairs);
  • Psychology in the workplace (e.g. Motivation, leadership, productivity, marketing, healthy workplaces, ergonomics);
  • Marital and family relationships and problems;
  • Social and cultural behaviors and attitudes
  • Relationship between the individual and the many groups of which he or she is part (e.g. Work, family, society); and
  • Psychological factors related to performance at/in work, school, recreation, and sport

Can a Psychologist write prescriptions?

Most psychologists in London do not prescribe medicines to their patients. Their main focus is on behavioral change through personalized treatment plans. And you need to go to a psychiatrist for medication. But now due to advanced post qualification in pharmacology and specialized training and experience, psychologists are permitted to prescribe certain medicines used in the treatment of mental disorders.

The psychologists prescribing rights are beneficial for us. Do you know why? Because now needed patients would be able to get medicines in a state faster. And also patients do not have to visit multiple providers – for example, a psychologist for a therapy session but a physician or psychiatrist for medication. Ideally, it is believed that psychologists would be available in areas where there simply are not enough psychiatrists to meet the local need.

Is a Psychologist a doctor?

Now psychologists can prescribe medicines so, some of you might have got confused that are these psychologists lie in a category of doctors? For your information, a psychologist doesn’t attend medical school and thus, they are not medical doctors.  

Technically, anyone who possesses a doctoral-level degree is referred to as a doctor, like psychologists who will generally have either a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). So, in that sense, they are indeed doctors—not medical doctors, ones attending medical school. They complete a degree accredited by the BPS (British Psychological Society), and three years of postgraduate study leading to a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, in order to become a Clinical Psychologist. They are specially trained to provide a range of assessments and evidence-based psychological therapies.

Psychologists in London also receive training in a number of psychological therapies, including behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, systemic, and psychodynamic therapies. Their first priority is to treat patients through these therapy sessions. Although they deal with our minds, thoughts, and disorders associated with mental health they are not medical doctors. That’s why we call them health care providers.

Are Psychologists in London good?

Absolutely yes, it is good to visit a psychologist in London or any other area you live in. A psychologist can help you in a variety of ways to keep your mental health good. A psychologist can serve as a helpful tool for you in your proverbial health kit. They can help you to get the most out of life and keep you free from symptoms of depression and other mental health problems.

The first step is finding a local psychologist in London and beginning a relationship that’s open, communicative, and prosperous. After that, it’s all about working together to maximize your mental health and help you live a better life.

It’s important for you to know that help is available for every problem that life throws your way like;

  • A psychologist can help you find appropriate ways to cope with the deathof someone close to you.
  • A psychologist can help you manage stress and anxiety by finding the source or cause of your problems, as well as appropriate ways to overcome them.
  • Psychologists can help you find the source of depression — often the first step to feeling better, along with helping with negative thought processes.
  • An experienced psychologist can help you begin to overcome your fears so that you can live without polyphobia (fear of many things) or phobophobia (fear of fear).
  • Working with a psychologist, either individually or in a group setting, can help iron out wrinkles that can form in even the strongest relationships.
  • Psychologists help you tackle the problems immediately facing your health, such as addictions, eating disorders, stress management, and sleeping problems
  • The psychologist can help you prepare for big events so you can perform at your best, whether it’s the Olympics or a job interview
  • A psychologist can help you improve your mental clarity by acting as an unbiased set of ears

How do I know I need a Therapist?

When your mental health or emotional concern affects daily life and function, then it’s a sign for you to know that you may need therapy. Therapists in London can help you learn about what you’re feeling, why you might be feeling it, and how to cope.

To make it further easier for you to understand, here are some signs. Whenever you or people around you face these signs then it’s time for you to know that you need to visit a therapist in London.

  • You are having difficulty regulating your emotions
  • You are not performing as effectively at work or school
  • You are experiencing changes or disruptions in sleep or appetite
  • You are struggling to build and maintain relationships.
  • You have experienced trauma
  • You no longer enjoy activities you typically did
  • You are grieving
  • Your physical health has taken a hit
  • You want to improve yourself but don't know where to start
  • You are using substances or sex to cope
  • The issue causes embarrassment or makes you want to avoid others
  • The issue has caused your quality of life to decrease

Can you go to a Therapist just to talk?

It is totally fine to visit a therapist. A therapist can be beneficial for anyone who is experiencing stress, intense emotions, or life transitions and wants to improve their life. If you are living in London and are concerned about consultation, a psychotherapist in London is not just for those who are struggling with mental illness. They provide you a safe, non-judgmental place to vent about your experiences, explore your options and develop the skills to handle various life challenges.

Life is full of many challenges. From time to time, it is okay to make an appointment to see a therapist, not because you’re having a major crisis but just because you need someone to talk to. Going to a therapist is often stigmatized, and you may fear the reactions of your family and friends. You may feel that going to a therapist would make you appear to be weak or unable to cope with the ups and downs of life. But therapist gives you an opportunity to open up to someone in a safe and confidential environment even though you are not mentally ill.

Therapists can help you uncover your dreams and goals, so you can work toward achieving your full potential. It’s something that’s worth giving a try, even when all you really need is someone to talk to.

So what is the difference between a Psychologist and a Therapist?

Most of us do not know that there is a difference between a psychologist and a therapist. So if you are planning a visit to any one of these then firstly you need to clear your concepts so that you can get greater benefit from your visit to a psychologist or a therapist.

Here are some differences for you…

psychologist may help with mental health concerns in the following ways:

  • Psychologists help people learn to understand and handle different life problems and mental health issues
  • Possibly diagnose a mental health condition based on observations and surveys
  • Research your condition and provide treatment recommendations
  • Psychologists help patients to handle stressful events, beat addictions, or manage illnesses
  • Provide therapies that may help your condition
  • Help you to work through emotions and sensations so that you can better understand them and make constructive decisions from them
  • Work with a psychiatrist to get prescription treatments (if needed)
  • Practising psychologists must earn an undergraduate major, a masters, and a doctorate in psychology

Therapists or psychotherapists in London have Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers who provide mental health services. They require master’s degrees and approval from their licensing boards to practice in the mental health field. There are many different types of therapy such as play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, animal-assisted therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and many others.

  1. Therapists cannot recommend or order medications, but they can refer you for evaluation for medication or other treatments
  2. Therapists or Psychotherapists in London rather than researching or diagnosing any particular mental health condition, focus on:
  3.  Gaining a big picture of your life and mental health concerns
    • Helping you to discuss your feelings and address them in a constructive way
    • Guiding you through healthy decision-making processes
    • Using talk therapy techniques to offer support
    • The therapist will set goals with you and work to help you achieve them
    • Therapy can be short or long term depending on the problem and its severity
    • Therapy can be done in an individual, family, couple, or group setting 

Tips to help you find a Psychotherapist in London:

Research shows that the quality of the relationship you have with your psychotherapist is the highest predictor of good outcomes. With this in mind, when you are trying to find a psychotherapist in London, we suggest you consider the following questions:

  • Do you feel that your psychotherapist fully understands what you are concerned about?
  • Do they provide you with information that helps you make better sense of what is going around you that’s wrong?
  • Do you feel they are offering you ideas and strategies that not only help you to understand the situation but also help you to actively change your situation?
  • Are you feeling relieved and having some sense of progress? Even with the most difficult problems, initially, it can be hard for you to understand and work through them but despite this, you should still feel a sense that things are becoming clearer and there is potential that this therapist can help you move forward.
  • If you feel relief but as time passes you find that you are not really moving forward, we always recommend you tell that situation to your therapist. A good therapist will often pick this up and be able to help you get things moving. If despite telling the therapist you feel things are still not moving forward, it may be better to seek a different therapist.
  • You should feel safe to talk about absolutely anything with your therapist. If you don’t feel this way, you should change therapists. You are not going to get the best results if you don’t feel you can be open and honest with your psychotherapist.
Good luck with the counselling
Written by, Michael Lindqvist 
Consulting doctor and article writer.
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