The Difference between a Child Psychologist and a Child Therapist
Child Psychologist

The Difference between a Child Psychologist and a Child Therapist

Are you looking for a mental health expert for your child? Are you trying to determine what the difference is between a child psychologist and a child therapist? Oftentimes, these two terms are considered to be synonymous with each other. And while they both aim for similar outcomes — to help improve a child’s mental health and quality of life — there are differences between the two that would be beneficial for you to know. Having an understanding of these key differences will assist you with making the right choice to meet the needs of your child.

Psychologist vs Therapist: What’s the Difference?

Psychologists are people who are trained in — and practice — at least one type of therapy for managing mental health disorders. When it comes to mental health, the title psychologist is frequently used interchangeably with psychotherapists. A child psychologist is educated, and consequently, qualified to run assessments that analyze neurodevelopmental ailments such as asperger syndrome, ADHD, cerebral palsy, etc. 

A psychologist would be advantageous to your child if: 

  • You believe your child has an ailment or condition that would compromise their ability to learn (dyslexia, ADHD, autism, etc)
  • Your little one needs assistance to handle behavioural and emotional issues
  • You want a more thorough examination of your child
  • You want more data on your child’s condition so that you can help their school better accommodate them 

The word therapist is more of an overarching term used to refer to all professions in the space of psychotherapy (specialist, youth worker, etc). However, unlike their psychologist counterparts, they don’t offer a diagnosis for your child’s condition. Instead, they offer treatment in the form of rehabilitation to those suffering from mental and behavioural problems. 

A therapist would be advantageous to your child if: 

  • They require a sounding board to talk to about their feelings and emotions
  • They’re grappling with depression, rage, anxiety, and other forms of emotional upheaval 
  • You want a professional to meet with them frequently 

The Similarities: Child Psychologist vs Child Therapist

Psychologists are trained to examine human behaviour — a social scientist that assesses our mental procedures — they work in a multitude of settings such as research facilities, clinics, and some even have their own practice helping individuals on a one-on-one basis. There’s a degree for psychology at every level; bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, etc. 

A child psychologist will:

  • Possess an advanced degree
  • Run tests
  • Diagnose illnesses and disorders
  • Decide plans of treatment predicated on diagnosis
  • At times work with other mental health professionals
  • Assist kids with good decision making
  • Offer and provide assistance to both children as well as their parents

A child therapist is typically used in a more broad-ranging sense. Usually, it is a general, all-embracing term for an expert who is educated, trained, and oftentimes accredited to supply several types of treatments to those who are in need of rehabilitation. The main objective of a child therapist is to help your child gain clarity on their emotions and solve their issues by making better choices. They do this by offering support and structure in a safe environment. 

A child therapist will:

  • Possess an advanced degree
  • Aid kids with making better choices
  • Offer direction and counsel to children and their families