When seeking support for mental health and well-being, it’s important to understand the distinctions between different professionals who can provide guidance and therapy. At Ekko Wellness in Dartmouth, NS, we pride ourselves on offering quality counselling services. In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between psychologists and counsellors, shedding light on the roles they play and the unique contributions they make to the field of mental health.

Psychologist vs. Counsellor: What’s the Difference?

Education and Training

Psychologists typically hold doctoral degrees (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology. Their extensive academic training involves years of university study, including clinical practice and research experience. They undergo supervised internships and are licensed to diagnose mental health disorders, conduct psychological tests, and provide therapy.

Counsellors hold master’s degrees in counselling or a related field. They receive specialized training in various therapeutic approaches and techniques. While their training does not usually include diagnostic capabilities, counsellors excel in providing talk therapy, supportive techniques, and skill-building strategies to help clients navigate their concerns and enhance their well-being.

Scope of Practice

Psychologists are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat a wide range of mental health conditions. They often work with individuals who have complex psychological issues, such as severe mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental illnesses. Psychologists may employ a variety of therapeutic modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, and psychoanalysis.

Counsellors primarily focus on providing therapeutic support, guidance, and counselling services. They often work with individuals experiencing common mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, relationship problems, grief, low self-esteem, and everyday life stressors. Counsellors excel in helping clients gain insight into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, utilizing active listening, empathy, and collaboration to foster positive change and personal growth.

Setting and Approach

Psychologists can be found in a variety of settings, including private practice, mental health clinics, hospitals, research institutions, academia, and alongside medical doctors in some cases. They may work with individuals, couples, families, or groups, tailoring their treatment plans to the specific needs of each client. Psychologists often employ evidence-based practices, conduct psychological assessments, and collaborate with other medical professionals to provide comprehensive care.

Counsellors are commonly found in similar settings, such as private practices, community clinics, schools, and organizations. They primarily focus on providing counselling and support to individuals or groups, offering guidance and helping clients navigate emotional issues, relationship challenges, and other mental health concerns. Counsellors excel in creating a safe and non-judgmental space where individuals can explore their concerns, develop coping strategies, and work towards their personal goals.

About Ekko Wellness in Dartmouth, NS

Do you want to improve your well-being and mental health with counselling? Ekko Wellness in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia is a dedicated counselling and music therapy clinic committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all individuals.

  • Inclusivity: As an LGBTQ+ owned studio, Ekko Wellness is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all individuals. We strive to ensure inclusivity throughout all aspects of our business, fostering an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable seeking support and guidance.
  • Professionalism: At Ekko Wellness, we uphold high professional standards in our counselling services. Our therapists are actively registered under their respective colleges and engage in routine professional development. This commitment to continuous learning ensures that our staff provides you with professional and quality service, staying up-to-date with the latest research and therapeutic approaches.
  • Confidentiality and Privacy: Your privacy and confidentiality are important to us. We take comprehensive measures to safeguard your personal information and ensure that whatever you discuss during your assessment or treatment remains confidential. Information shared during sessions will not be released to anyone without your implied or express consent.

Meet Laura Dougall, Our Counsellor at Ekko Wellness

At Ekko Wellness, we have a dedicated counsellor, Laura Dougall. Laura brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her practice, offering a compassionate and client-centered approach to therapy.

Laura is trained in multiple science-based counselling theories and techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), cognitive processing therapy, family therapy, individual assessments, addiction issues, and group therapy. Her diverse skill set allows her to tailor her approach to meet the specific needs of each individual she works with.

Additionally, Laura’s background in playing and coaching soccer at an elite level brings a unique understanding of the internal pressures that individuals can often experience. This experience enables her to provide specialized support to athletes and individuals facing similar challenges.

Prior to joining Ekko Wellness, Laura worked as a counsellor in West Virginia, supporting individuals dealing with a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, identity confusion, grief and loss, low self-esteem, substance abuse, and other life stressors. She takes a client-centered approach, meaning that she values your unique experiences and perspectives, and works collaboratively with you to create personalized treatment plans that support your goals in therapy.

Outside of her counselling sessions, Laura is dedicated to continuing her education and enriching her skills. She stays informed about the latest research and therapeutic approaches to ensure that she provides the best possible care to her clients. Laura strives to create a safe and judgment-free environment at Ekko Wellness, where individuals seeking counselling services can feel supported and empowered.


At Ekko Wellness, we understand the importance of providing effective and personalized counselling services. While our team consists of skilled counsellors rather than psychologists, we are committed to delivering high-quality care and creating a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals. Whether you’re seeking support for anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or any other mental health concern, our counsellor Laura Dougall is here to provide the guidance and support you need on your journey towards well-being.

Remember, seeking therapy is a brave and proactive step towards improving your mental health. We encourage you to reach out to Ekko Wellness and discover the benefits of working with a counsellor.