Clinical Psychology vs. Counseling Psychology

The difference between clinical psychology and counseling psychology is that clinical psychology is focused on severe mental illness whereas counseling psychology focuses on the person having  less severe mental illness.

People do not understand the difference between clinical psychology and counseling psychology because they don’t know what is clinical psychology and counseling psychology. Clinical psychology and counseling psychology both are different fields and have different branches. Clinical psychology deals with the patient having severe mental illness whereas counseling psychology deals with a patient that needs proper counseling.

Clinical psychology deals with psychotherapy whereas counseling psychology deals with counseling. Everyone should know the difference between clinical and counseling psychology because it tells you about mental health disturbances.

A clinical psychologist is people who have a degree in clinical psychology whereas counseling psychologist is people who have a degree of counseling psychology. Clinical psychology deals with a patient with a severe mental illness, a patient with some serious mental illness are called psychosis. On the other hand, counseling psychologist deals with people who need advice and counseling in life. If you are the person who is depressed and you believe that something is happening wrong with you, you need to visit clinical psychologist on the other hand if you don’t know what you are doing in life and need proper counseling, you must visit counseling psychologist.

The history of both fields is different as they were made to deal with various problems.  Human behaviors are studied in clinical psychology whereas cognitive behavior is studied under counseling psychology. We need to understand the difference between the working of a clinical psychologist and counseling psychologist. The clinical psychologist should be in hospitals and clinics whereas counseling psychologist should be in universities and offices.  The work orientation of both clinical psychologist and counseling psychologist are different.

There should be noticeable differences between the research works of a clinical psychologist and counseling psychologist. Clinical psychologist focus on the research of psychopathological conditions whereas counseling psychologist focuses on the analysis of cross-cultural psychology. Psychology is a career, and many people love to enter this career, but you need to understand that there are branches in psychology. You need to make a choice on which department of psychology you want your degree. All universities offer psychology as a significant degree. As career people do not understand the difference between clinical psychology and counseling psychology. Clinical psychologists and counseling psychologists have different degrees.

Comparison Chart

Basis Clinical Psychology Counseling Psychology
Meaning Clinical psychology is focused on severe mental illness Counseling psychology concentrates on the person having a less severe mental illness. 
Psychologist A person who studies clinical psychology is called a clinical psychologist. A person who studies psychology is called a counseling psychologist.
Employment In hospitals and clinics. In universities and offices.
Research Clinical psychologist focus on the analysis of psychopathological conditions. Counseling psychologist focuses on the research of cross-cultural psychology.

 What is Clinical Psychology?

There are many branches of psychology, and one of the most important branches of psychology in clinical psychology, clinical psychology focuses on the study of severe mental illness. Abnormal behavior is one of the primary focus of clinical psychology. Clinical psychology is one of the most exciting and challenging career options.  A person who has a degree in clinical psychology is known as a clinical psychologist, and he or she also works as a psychotherapist. A clinical psychologist is also allowed to give electric shocks on extreme conditions. Following are some perspectives of clinical psychology:

  • Psychodynamic perspective: Clinician psychologist who uses psychoanalytic treatment may utilize systems, for example, free relationship to research a customer’s primary, oblivious inspirations.
  • Cognitive conduct perspective: Clinical therapists using this point of view will focus on the patient’s emotions, practices, and contemplations associate. Subjective social treatment (CBT) regularly centers on changing considerations and methods that add to the mental pain.
  • Humanistic perspective: This perspective focus on patient’s self-actualization.

After WWII, the particular clinical psychologist was trained for army soldiers, after war thy need special mental care and treatment. Post-traumatic stress disorder is prevalent in soldiers, and clinical psychologist treats the patient having post-traumatic stress. Following are some serious mental problems that clinical psychologist deals with:

  • Alcohol/Substance Abuse
  • Alcohol/Substance Dependence
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Major Depressive Episode
  • Hypomanic Episode
  • Manic Episode
  • Mixed Specifier (Formerly Mixed Episode)
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Opioid Use Disorder Symptoms
  • Panic Disorder
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizophrenia Education Guide
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, see Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern)
  • Social Anxiety Phobia
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Depersonalization Disorder
  • Dissociative Amnesia
  • Dissociative Fugue
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (NOS)
  • Feeding & Eating Disorders
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Pica
  • Sexual & Paraphilic Disorders
  • Dyspareunia
  • Erectile Disorder (ED)
  • Exhibitionistic Disorder
  • Female & Male Orgasmic Disorders
  • Female Sexual Arousal Disorder
  • Fetishistic Disorder
  • Frotteuristic Disorder
  • Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
  • Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD; not a recognized diagnostic category at this time)
  • Premature (Early) Ejaculation
  • Sex Addiction (not an identified diagnostic type at this time)
  • Sexual Masochism and Sadism
  • Transvestic Disorder
  • Vaginismus

What is Counselling Psychology?

Branch of psychology that focuses on the person having a less severe mental illness is known as counseling psychology. Clinical and counseling psychology are entirely different things. Counseling psychology works on the emotional issues a person faces. Students usually meet a lot of stress and tension of competition they face in today’s world. They need proper counseling and advice; a counseling psychologist works for them. The counseling psychologist works in universities because a large number of university students are under depression and they need their career guidance.

Explanatory Video


In this article we saw the clear difference between clinical psychologies and counseling psychology, people are not aware of the mental illness, and this is the worst part of any society. We all should believe that having the psychological disorder is a common thing. Many of us are facing mental problems, and we do not talk about them because we feel that people will not treat us well. We should not care about people all we need to worry about is we.