Prabhmeet Kaur

What are the differences between a clinical psychologist and a counseling psychologist? Which is better and has a good scope in it?

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by Prabhmeet Kaur
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RE: What are the differences between a clinical psychologist and a counseling psychologist? Which is better and has a good scope in it?

Meghna Mukherjee
Meghna Mukherjee
Verified Career Expert
Counselor at Adaptive Minds
  • Mumbai

The name itself suggests you the difference between the two fields.

Clinical Psychologists are well trained counselors mainly dealing with psychotic and neurotic disorders. They are also capable of handling less severe mental health issues like depression, work related issues, anxiety, relationship issues, relationship issues, etc. But majorly a Clinical Psychologists is associated with hospital set ups, working mainly with a psychiatrists. You would be well versed with psychometric assessments like personality testing, IQ, Other tests. and their scoring and interpretations too.
You could also work in a school, as a School counselor dealing with children related issues. You could also begin on your own.

As a Counseling psychologists, your main forte is the testing, mainly IQ test, personality tests, career counseling, guidance and career counseling. Mainly you would be dealing with daily issues related to depression, relationship issues, behavioral issues etc. You could work in schools or any other organizations like NGO or counseling institutes. At the same time due to your tests forte you could work in hospitals, but may not be into therapy or counseling for psychotic and neurotic disorders.

Both the specializations are closely related. I cannot say which one is better than the other. But definitely, apart from your degree, you would need other certificates like
  • NLP
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Guidance and counseling
  • EMDR
  • Remedial therapy
  • Advancetherapyprogram

Once you are well established in your field, you could then explore Training and Development".

Wish you all the very best..........

RE: What are the differences between a clinical psychologist and a counseling psychologist? Which is better and has a good scope in it?

Aparna M Venkatesan
Aparna M Venkatesan
Verified Career Expert
PhD Management And Organizational Psychologist
  • Hosur

Clinical psychologists are licensed and approved, authentic practitioners where as counselling psychologists are usually not licensed prcatitioners. The second difference between the two is, clinical psychology could be only studied by those who have studied biology and chemistry until 12th standard and have then studied pure psychology that is a BA/ BSc Psychology at under graduate college level. Where as counselling psychology could be studied by any student from any subject background and there is no conditions that you should have compulsorily studied biology and chemistry at school level. The third main difference between the two is, clinical psychologists only work in a clinical setting like hospitals and private clinics where they need to perform basic medical examinations. Where as the counselling psychology graduates need not know anything medically or need not work at a hospital setting.


Clinical psychology ranges into many branches. It is mainly for those who is mentally ill or disturbed and such patients are known as mentall ill health patients. Say for an example, if a person is met with a road accident and has severely developed brain and memory issues. The clinical psychologists conducts test on these patients under hospital settings to monitor what is the reason behind the person losing out on his memory. To find what is wrong in his brain, which part of the brain, what nerves in the brain are causing the issue, is the job of a clinical psychologist. After finding the problematic area, the clinical psychologist train the patients in medical settings to help him bring back into his old memories. All these are practiced only by a licensed and certified clinical psychologist. After a certain level say when the patient starts showing improvement, these patients are refered to counselling psychologists by the clinical psychologists.

So when the patient gets back his old memories he cannot right away lead his life easily. As he lost his memory and got back, he might have a slow transition in coping up with life. Say for an example, he will find it difficult to face people after he regained his memories. So the job of a counselling psycologist is to make his life easy for him. Now they will counsel this patient to overcome his stress level and get along well with his social life. Such counselling psychologists are known as relationship counsellors.

Apart from relationship counselling there are many other counselling,
career counselling - these counsellors advice on the best subject and best career choice for you, they also advice on changing careers or changing subjects during school and college.
Education counselling - these counsellors help students with learning difficulties at schools.
Family and relationship counselling - they counsel on people having problems with their family or within relationships and ways to handle them
Adult counselling - they counsel on adolescence behavior
Rehabilitation counselling - they counsel on people with mental ailments or people who are trying to overcome some addiction like smoking or alcohol.
Child counselling - they counsel on children who are arrogant behavior and they will tell parents some ways to tackle such children and get them right. Hope this helps.

RE: What are the differences between a clinical psychologist and a counseling psychologist? Which is better and has a good scope in it?

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