Psychologists Vs. Psychiatrists

What is The Difference Between Psychologists and Psychiatrists

Many people get confused when talking about psychiatrists versus psychologists. There is a huge difference between the two even know both of them are mental health care professionals. Some people would prefer to see a psychiatrist to psychologist just because of the added education and abilities that a psychiatrist have. Psychiatrists are medical physicians that are allowed to prescribe medication. Psychologists merely have their PhD in psychology and are not allowed to prescribe medication. To understand the differences in this field of psychiatry a quick comparison of the two is necessary.

To become a psychiatrist, you must have extensive education. Psychiatrists are physicians which means they have completed undergraduate school which is 4 to 5 years of education followed by an additional four years of medical school followed by another four years of medical residency training. Once they have completed their residency they will be fully licensed physicians that are not only able to help those with mental disorders but also able to give full examinations and medication.

Only a small percentage of psychiatrists also offer psychotherapy. The majority of the time psychiatrists will only meet with their patients for about 5 to 15 minutes. After which they prescribe, monitor, or modify a prescription regiment. Their main interest is in curing mental disorders that are result of physical problems. The preferred method to cure their patients includes medication and more invasive medical therapies.

A psychiatrist is qualified to administer somatic therapies. As a person with medical training they can prescribe psychotropic medication and electroconvulsive therapy if they so choose. Some also choose different types of nonmedical therapies to help cure their patients.

Psychologists on the other hand only have to obtain their PhD or PsyD with clinical training. This means they have to complete their undergraduate degree, which is 4 to 5 years of education followed by approximately 4 to 7 years of graduate education. This graduate education will include residency training with fellow psychologists.

Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists have their primary training in psychotherapy, psychological research, personality assessment, and behavioral science. They are interested in finding healthy alternatives to living life and ways of thinking. They are interested in helping their clients implement positive habits to improve their relationships. Psychologists meet with her clients for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. During this time, they learn more about the client as well as help educate them and provide emotional support. Psychologists can also conduct psychological testing and assessment. In most states psychologists cannot prescribed medication, however, in Louisiana and New Mexico certified psychologists can prescribe mental health medications.

Clinical psychologists work to help their patients cure warm manage psychological disorders. They provide behavioral intervention and psychological intervention for those with such disorders. Some of the disorders that psychologists help manage include depression, addictions, ADHD, anxiety, family stress, family counseling, and posttraumatic stress disorders. They listen to their clients during sessions and offer advice and instructions on how to change their lives. For person who suffers from an anxiety disorder they may also help them navigate through a cognitive behavior therapy treatment plan. They can also help counsel families going through a divorce.

There are major differences in the way that psychiatrists and psychologists view their patients. While both are working to help their patients live lives that are more normal a psychiatrist will on average spend less time talking and getting to know their patient and their patients specific problem than a psychologist will. Depending on a mental disorder a psychiatrist may be more helpful than I psychologists as they can offer different types of therapy and medication that a psychologist simply cannot offer.