Psychiatrists and psychologists are two different types of doctors who usually practice in the same field. They are both medical professionals with advanced training in medical sciences like biology, chemistry, and physiology. However, they specialize in different areas of medicine. For example, psychiatrists focus on treating mental illness while psychologists specialize in therapy and counseling.
Difference between Psychologists & Psychiatrists
Who is a psychologist?
Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior, which encompasses how people think, feel and act. Psychology is a relatively young field of study, but it was founded in the late 1800s by Swiss physician Sigmund Freud.
Psychologists are generally concerned with events' effects on people's lives. They investigate how people respond to events in their environment and how they develop over time. For example, they might study how children's behavior changes during puberty or adults' reactions to trauma can cause long-term problems for survivors.
Psychologists also focus on the causes of behavior—why people do what they do. This helps them understand why some people are more likely than others to develop certain disorders or behaviors (such as depression).
Who is a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the field of mental health. They are trained to diagnose and treat mental disorders, including depression and anxiety. In addition, they may prescribe medication or talk you through behavior change strategies that can help with symptoms of your illness.
They may diagnose you with a mental disorder or prescribe medication for one. If they prescribe medication, it will be specific to your diagnosis and strength of symptoms. Therefore, you should follow their instructions closely as you take the drug. Call your doctor immediately if you miss a dose or take more than the prescribed amount. The side effects of these medications can include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, confusion, loss of appetite, and weight gain.
Ask your psychiatrist if you have questions about managing your treatment plan!
Psychologist & Psychiatrist: Treatment Difference
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illness. They typically treat patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Psychiatrists prescribe medications to manage symptoms of depression or anxiety but might also offer counseling sessions to help you cope with your diagnosis.
Psychologists are also trained medical doctors who specialize in helping people manage stress, interpersonal relationships, career difficulties, and other factors that affect overall well-being. In addition, psychologists often work with clients using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing patterns of thought that have led to problematic behaviors to improve the quality of life for themselves or others.
Psychologist & Psychiatrist: Educational Difference
Psychologists typically have a master's degree in psychology but may also have graduate degrees such as an MBA or Ph.D. While most psychologists work in private practice settings, some work for universities or hospitals as research assistants or faculty members.
One must complete medical school (four years) to become a psychiatrist. After graduating from medical school with a doctorate in psychiatry, one must then complete four years of residency training (which includes an internship year) before being able to practice full-time. During the residency period, one will learn how to perform diagnostic tests and create treatment plans based on those test results; moreover, they will learn about pharmacology and other areas related to psychiatry, such as neuropsychiatry or behavioral medicine (if applicable).