Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who may at times prescribe medication.

Psychiatrists can also further their training in psychoanalysis or psychotherapy. There are different theories and orientations such as "Freudian," "Jungian," "Adlerian," etc.

Psychiatrists can also specialize in community, infant, child, adolescent, geriatric, industrial or forensic psychiatry.


A psychologist is a professional trained in the science of psychology. Psychology is the study of the mind, thought and behaviour. The two doctoral degrees in psychology are the Ph.D. and the Psy.D. Some therapists have a Master's Degree in Psychology.

Psychologists usually choose a specialty such as: clinical, developmental, cognitive, counselling, industrial, social or forensic.

Psychologists may specialize in individual, group, marriage or family therapy. Clinical psychology is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

The services of psychologists are often covered in part or in full by many extended health care plans, and auto insurance benefits.


Psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers can further their training and become psychoanalysts. Psychoanalysts apply the understanding of unconscious patterns in life.

A basic requirement for psychoanalytic training is that the psychoanalyst undergo personal analysis.

Some of the technical tools used in psychoanalysis are dream interpretation, free association and the examination of unconscious material and defense mechanisms.

Psychoanalysts come from different schools of thought such as: Freudian, Jungian, Adlerian, etc.


Counselling is a type of psychotherapy that is supportive or re-educative and is applied to behavioural and psychological problems. The counsellor facilitates learning in the individual and draws them to a fuller understanding of themselves.

Counsellors may be trained in individual, marriage, family, or bereavement counselling. Realistic solutions are sought for presenting difficulties.


Psychotherapy is a treatment provided through communication for mental illness, maladaptive behaviours, and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy removes, modifies or retards existing symptoms and promotes personal growth and development. Psychotherapy is an umbrella term that sometime includes counselling, psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy, behavioural therapy, supportive therapy, re-educative therapy, and reconstructive therapy. Psychotherapy can also be classified in terms of theory such as Freudian, Jungian, cognitive, existential, Gestalt, transactional, etc.

A psychotherapist can be trained in individual, marriage or family therapy.

Social work

Social workers can work for community health agencies, social services or in private practice. Social workers examine how human needs can be met within society as it exists.

Social workers draw from both the social and behavioural sciences. Social workers can work in fields such as medical, family and psychiatric.

The Social Work profession promotes problem solving and change. Treatment includes counselling, clinical social work, group work, social pedagogical work, and family therapy.