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A Therapist, Psychotherapist & Counselor Mean Different Things

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Although we may use the term counselor to cover a wide variety of professionals, all people providing counseling services don’t have the same training. In fact, if you search “psychotherapist near me” and “therapist near me” and “counselor near me” you may get some of the same results. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice that there are differences. In fact, some of the counselors may be people who help with your finances or someone offering career guidance. These terms aren’t always interchangeable. Here’s what you should know about each term.


This is a blanket term. A search for a “therapist near me” may provide you with countless options including just about anyone who provides therapy. This includes various specialties like a clinical psychologist, a clinical trauma professional, individual counselor, as well as someone who only provides individual or marriage counseling.


When you search “psychotherapist near me” you may get fewer results. Most psychotherapists are more highly trained than a counselor. They often have a specialty that they focus on like trauma, addiction, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or marriage and family. A psychotherapist may have a special designation or license that required additional years of schooling.


Many people in different walks of life can be counselors. Some are trained in overall therapy practices. Others are not. For example, a school counselor has training with children and teens and may offer life guidance, but rarely is equipped to help someone overcome a trauma or learn to cope with their anxiety. On the other hand, a grief counselor may be the ideal person for you to seek out if you are dealing with a loss.

Ana Pais – I am Your Local Psychotherapist

As a psychotherapist, this also, by default, also makes me a therapist and a counselor. I specialize in treating first responders, military members, those in the legal profession and their families as a Clinical Trauma Professional. If you’re looking for a board certified, caring and compassionate psychotherapist either in an office setting or via teletherapy, call my office at (908) 292-8017 to schedule your appointment. I look forward to meeting you.

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