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Counsellor? Psychologist? Psychotherapist? Psychiatrist? Social Worker? What is the difference?

What a great question! We have all been in a position to ask ourselves about this... what are the differences between these titles?

If you are looking for the answer to that question, this post is right for you, so keep reading! At the Collective, we hope that knowing more about this will help you decide which provider you might need or want to work with and help you know what to look for along your therapeutic journey.

We have outlined the different kinds of providers that exist, their education level and more. Ultimately, it will be your choice to decide, and if ever you need any help, email us or give us a call and we can help you get started with the right person.


Psychiatrists in Ontario are medical doctors that hold an MD or a DO. They likely did their residency in psychiatry throughout medical school. They can diagnose, provide assessments and prescribe medication to you. They typically do not offer therapy but then can, and most often work in hospitals.

Look for: MD or DO as part of their credentials.



Social Workers:



With all of this information you should know more about the kind of practitioners out there, their degrees and what licensing body they have to be registered with. There are some things we might have missed, but we hope that this post will be a helpful guide. Still, no matter the degree, education or license, you can't know just by that if they are a "good" therapist or if they will be the right for you. As a consumer, be sure to check and ask questions about their credentials and training to make sure they are offering services ethically and within their scope.

At the collective, we highly recommend interviewing several therapists before making a final decision. See our blog post called "Questions to ask during an initial consultation" to help you in the process.

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