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Psychologist ↓

A Psychologist is an individual who has completed a doctoral level degree (about 5 years of graduate school resulting in the Ph.D, or Psy.D. degrees) in the science of Psychology - the study of how individuals behave, think, feel, know, etc. Psychology is a very diverse discipline; some psychologists are scientist-researchers, some are therapists, some become administrators, etc. Those that specialize in therapy are called Clinical Psychologists. As far as professional training goes, Psychologists are the most extensively trained therapists out there, and are also responsible for much of the innovation and research that is done to produce new forms of therapy. The term Psychologist is legally protected by state law - only persons who are licensed as psychologists can call themselves psychologists.

Psy.D. ↓

Psy.D. stands for "Doctor of Psychology". This is a doctoral level degree generally requiring extended graduate level university training (3-4 years after completing regular college BA/BS programs). Some Clinical Psychologists have this degree. Programs granting Psy.D. degrees are generally more Clinically focused (and less research focused) and have as their aim to produce clinicians and not academicians. The Psy.D. degree often does not require an "original research dissertation" as a precondition of graduation (but sometimes it does). Also - Psy.D. degrees are often granted from free standing schools of professional psychology (not university affiliated).