Psychologist, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst – what’s the difference, and who should you choose?

Psychologist or psychotherapist who to chooseIn the life of every person, situations may arise associated with fears, various types of addictions, depression and other emotional experiences. Sometimes we ourselves cope with our problems, and sometimes a person realizes that he cannot do without the help of a specialist.

Here the question arises, which specialist should be contacted, who will be able to solve your problem?

There are a lot of specialists in the field of psychology, and they have different specializations. Let’s try to understand this issue and you will be able to accurately determine the choice of the specialist you need specifically.

Not everyone understands the difference between a psychologist, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst and psychiatrist. Therefore, to begin with, we will give a definition of their specialization.


The psychology of an individual is dealt with by a psychologist, and from a scientific point of view. He has a degree in psychology, he knows how to evaluate various mental manifestations and, accordingly, knows how to correct them.

They turn to him if they need psychological help, advice or support with existing situational problems.


This is a certified specialist who has completed additional education (qualification).

What does he do?

Diagnoses and treats.

Psychologist or psychotherapist

He interacts with the patient, and can also have a psychological effect on his patient. In some cases, it is necessary to prescribe medications.


This is a top-level specialist.

Having received the cherished “crusts”, he undergoes a so-called personal analysis from his more experienced colleague, then receives patients under the supervision of his patron. And only after some time he can take patients on his own.

A psychoanalyst is visited when problems develop into mental disorders.

Conclusion: In the case when your life has become inferior, weighed down by depression, a visit to a psychotherapist or psychoanalyst is recommended.

Client-centered psychotherapy

Did you know that the second most popular in the world (after the psychotherapist), at the moment, is considered Client-centered therapy, which was founded by the American psychotherapist Carl Rogers in the early 20th century.

His theory sparked a revolution in psychotherapy. According to her, not a specialist, but the client himself is the same psychotherapist for himself. A person who needs help with the help of his hidden resources is able to get out of a difficult life situation on his own.

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist

Then what is a psychotherapist for? He only has to guide the patient, to reveal his potential. The psychotherapist creates a positive atmosphere, and agrees with him in everything, accepts his words and actions unconditionally.

The very procedure of treatment involves a dialogue between two absolutely equal personalities. The patient talks about what worries him, he answers his own questions, he himself tries to find ways and means of getting out of his state. The doctor supports him in everything, empathizes.

The patient gradually, feeling support, begins to open up, his self-esteem rises, he begins to think rationally and, ultimately, finds a way to become himself as a full-fledged person.

In my opinion, this is a very humane method.

Existential psychotherapy

This type of psychotherapy also originated in the early 20th century. The first attempt to apply this method was carried out by a Swiss psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger, and in the 60s existential therapy was already widespread throughout the Western world.

Today the brightest representative is the American specialist Irwin Yalom. This method is based on the concept of existence – that is, the authenticity of life here and now.

Existential psychotherapy

A psychotherapist working in this direction helps the client find himself in this world, figure out what the patient wants, help him open up, and also teach the patient to enjoy the simplest little things. You wake up, the sun is outside the window – isn’t this a reason to enjoy life?

The course of work consists in the fact that the specialist very carefully, without judgment, examines his problems with the patient, pushing him to realize the reasons. This is a mutual dialogue, mutual revelations between the doctor and the patient.

There are no special indications for contacting such a specialist. But, if you feel that emotional experiences are tormenting you more and more, phobias are becoming more acute, you can safely turn to just such a specialist.

In addition, if you cannot find the meaning of your stay in this world and it depresses you, then go to the reception.

Gestalt approach in psychotherapy

We all want something and strive for something. Figuratively speaking, satisfying our urgent needs, we kind of close gestalts.

When we desire something, but we fail to fulfill this need, then we begin to get nervous, an internal tension arises, these are “unfinished gestalts”.

Each need goes through several stages of development:

  1. Its necessity is being formed and realized.
  2. The body begins to contact the outside world in order to find what is needed. The need is satisfied.
  3. Analysis and understanding of the experience that we have received.

Gestalt approach in psychotherapy

But if the need has not found its satisfaction, the problem grows and can lead to unpredictable results. For example, let’s talk about jealousy in a married couple. The wife is constantly jealous of her chosen one, arranging noisy quarrels, accusing him of being constantly delayed at work. In other words, she projects her suspicions onto her husband, while the wife’s need for love and tenderness is not satisfied.

And here the help of a gestalt therapist is invaluable. He helps the patient to understand the need, while suggesting suitable methods. Instead of eternal accusations, you can find other words that will not lead to a scandal, for example, “Dear, I am very worried that you are coming home so late. I really miss”.

Everything seems to be simple. But, unfortunately, not all people can do the right thing in a conflict situation.

The Gestalt therapist assists in finding ways to get out of the “mode of isolation and autonomy”, using contact with the environment, with people, and not “lock” the development of the need from within.

Body-oriented psychotherapy

There are many people who do not want to see a psychologist or psychotherapist. And above all, they do not want (or are afraid, embarrassed) to communicate, talk about themselves and their problems. Body therapy is ideal for these patients.

Body-oriented psychotherapy

The founder of this type of psychotherapy was a student of Freud, a psychoanalyst who created a new school, Wilhelm Reich. He associated mental trauma with muscle tension. According to his theory, this tension hides certain negative emotions.

Reich found a way to relax certain muscle groups, as if releasing emotions, and the patient got rid of mental disorders.

So we met with the main specialists in the field of psychology and psychiatry. You can make your choice more deliberately, based on your preferences and, of course, the evidence.

Anyway, when going to any of the above specialists, you should be aware that they will help you get rid of psychological problems and make your life fulfilling and happy.

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