Clinical Psychologist vs. Therapist
Therapist is a general “umbrella” term, therapist might be someone with a master’s degree like marriage and family therapist, a social worker, or a life coach without any degree.
Psychologist has an advanced doctoral degree, usually spends 2 years on Masters level degree, an additional 3-5 years on acquiring their doctoral degree that requires dissertation and multiple years of supervised, specialized clinical training. In California, psychologist needs to acquire about 1.5 years of postdoctoral, postgraduate experience to become licensed.
Clinical psychologist is trained to diagnose and treat clinical disorders, conduct psychological testing, and perform evaluations.
In California, psychologists are licensed by the California Board of Psychology.
When choosing a mental health professional to work with, determine the issues you want to address and look for a specialist who has expertise and clinical experience working within that specific area.