The terms psychologist and therapist are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different fields of practice and study. A therapist is a person who practices a particular type of therapy and thus can include a psychologist who is a clinical practitioner. Especially in places like US states and Canadian provinces, most people who provide therapy are practicing psychologists. Though a psychologist is a much broader term than simply someone who offers therapy.

A psychologist studies mental states, cognitive and emotional traits, perception, social issues, and much more. If the psychologist in question practices therapy, then technically this individual is a psychotherapist, though may still be referred to colloquially as simply as “psychologist.”

Here are a few of the many different types of therapy that one can find a psychologist practicing in the area.


Typical Types of Therapy Offered by Psychotherapists

Addiction Therapy

One of the most common types of therapy available, especially in the modern age, addiction therapy covers a wide range of addictive behaviours and how they impact people’s lives. These addictions can include drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, gambling, and much more. As the professional world has realized in the past few decades, all sorts of things can cause addiction, as “addiction,” at its basest levels, is just a set of human behaviours and thus therapy can help.

Behavioural Therapy

Speaking of behaviour, this is another area where psychologists can offer therapy. Behavioural therapy helps people with things like anger management, social anxiety, and much more. This sort of therapy may cross over and coincide with other sorts of therapy, like the addiction therapy discussed above. Though, by and large, it seeks to touch on mental disorders that are affecting people negatively, such as PTSD, OCD, GAD, etc.

Children’s Therapy

Many children display a wide range of mental and behavioural disorders while still really young. This sort of therapy helps children under the age of 17 who are having trouble with their emotions, social settings, discipline, etc. These practitioners deal specifically with children and have studied a range of issues affecting children. They are particularly useful for children who are going through developmental changes.

Clinical Therapy

A clinical therapist covers a broader range of topics and doesn’t have anyone specialty field per se. This sort of therapy could help someone suffering from behavioural problems, mental health issues, addiction, and more. The idea behind clinical therapy is to use counselling and other effective therapeutic practices to help individuals address deep-seated issues in their mental states.

Positive young female therapist gestures as she talks with a female client. The therapist smiles warmly as she talks with the young woman.

Cognitive Therapy (CBT)

Think of cognitive therapy as a deeper, more intensive sort of therapy. You can have regular cognitive therapy, which focuses on a variety of thoughts and seeks to help patients develop new patterns and new ways of thinking; or there is the more intensive cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) that is a highly specialized field seeking to provide aid for serious mental health issues like bipolar disorder, anxiety issues, and serious depression. This sort of therapy aims to help people provide structure in their lives, to set meaningful goals and to achieve them. It’s a way therapists help people get their lives in order to get past their mental issues.

Marriage/Divorce Therapy

While these are two different types of therapy per practice, they can exist in the same category per explanation. Of course, when married couples go to seek marriage therapy, they’re typically dealing with a trained psychologist who takes on the task of acting as an impartial observer and arbiter whose aim is to help with the marriage. For the divorce end of the spectrum, a lot of people end up falling into a depressive state after a relationship fails, and speaking with a therapist in this regard can help people to pick up the pieces and to begin living a normal life again.

Eating Disorder Therapy

This is actually one of the most popular types of therapy out there, and it covers an incredibly wide range. Eating disorder therapy not only touches on things like anorexia and bulimia, which seeks to help people develop better relationships with their bodies and with their eating habits, but it also touches on body dysmorphia. The more science starts to learn about eating disorders, the more it’s found out that most people who struggle with eating disorders start off by struggling with their body image. They feel they’re not meeting societal expectations for a certain type of body, or they simply feel uncomfortable in their bodies, so they end up walking a dangerous road with their diets. Therapy aims to help people by educating them and going through mental counselling.

Trauma Therapy

Perhaps the broadest category on this list, simply due to the infinite amount of ways trauma can be caused, trauma therapy is certainly a very popular type of therapy people seek. There is no possible way to list all the different ways by which trauma can be caused. From sexual molestation and getting bullied to accident victims and people who’ve lost loved ones, there is simply so much that counts as trauma that this sort of therapy is broken down into myriad subcategories, like grief counselling, sexual therapy, etc. It is a very broad category that seeks to address the mental states of trauma victims so that they can function normally in society without falling into depression and shutting down.

There are a lot more types of therapy that could be placed on the list here. The types listed above are just the most popular general categories that a practicing psychologist deals with. The thing on which to focus here is the fact that you can seek help. No matter what your issue, no matter what you’ve been through, and no matter how you may feel about it, there is qualified help out there offered by a professional therapist. You’re not alone. Many people need help. It might be painful or even embarrassing to admit and get started, but do not allow your mental health to suffer. If you need a therapist, you can find one who can help you.