A Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:
- Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts (contrast with psychiatrists, who typically provide medical interventions and drug therapies, as opposed to analysis and counseling).
- Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college or university;
- Academic professionals who apply psychological research, theories and techniques to "real-world" problems, questions and issues in business, industry, or government.
There are many different types of psychologists, as is reflected by the 56 different divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA). Psychologists are generally described as being either "applied" or "research-oriented". The common terms used to describe this central division in psychology are "scientists" or "scholars" (those who conduct research) and "practitioners" or "professionals" (those who apply psychological knowledge). The training models endorsed by the APA require that applied psychologists be trained as both researchers and practitioners, and that they possess advanced degrees.
Most typically, people encounter psychologists and think of the discipline as involving the work of clinical psychologists or counseling psychologists. While counseling and psychotherapy are common activities for psychologists, these applied fields are just one branch in the larger domain of psychology. Research and teaching comprise a major role among psychologists.