Psychiatry or Psychology: What Are the Differences?

Pychiatrist or Psychologist?

In the work field psychiatrists and psychologists work in tandem quite often to benefit their client’s health, so their career defined lines are blurred. Even so, many notable differences between the two exist, treatment nature being the most obvious amongst the professions.

Discover differences between the two professions.

Differences in Treatment

Amongst psychiatrists a main course of treatment is prescription medication management. This is due to the fact that psychiatrists are medically trained doctors, and can prescribe medications.

The focus with psychologists is on psychotherapy where treatment centers around the patient’s mental and emotional state offering behavioral intervention. Essential in assessing the mental state of any patient psychological testing is an exclusive psychologist pursuit allowing them to determine effective treatment for their clients.

Differences in Education

Psychiatry and psychology also differ greatly as far as education is concerned. General medicine education is a part of a psychiatrist’s training at medical school. They practice four years of training in a psychiatry residency after earning an MD. Their experience Typically, their experience has to do with working in a hospital psychiatric unit where they attend to a wide array of patients, of all ages with everything from behavior disorders to severe mental illness cases.

Psychologists achieve a PhD or PsyD doctoral degree in a matter of four to six years. The psychologist’s academic progression involves studies in the history of psychological problems, development of personality, and psychological research science. Their graduate school allows for them preparation for a career in psychology through educating others studying psychology through diagnosing emotional and mental disorders in various situations.

Completion of a one to two year internship after graduate school is a requirement of psychology students. Psychology internships give graduates insight into:

  • behavioral therapy
  • analytical testing
  • methods of treatment
  • psychological theory
  • problem-solving techniques

In most areas, to be licensed after an internship, graduates additionally need practical work experience under the supervision of an authorized mental health professional for one or two years.

Differences in Practice

An individual might get a referral from their primary physician, to see a psychologist in order to address behavioral patterns. Then that psychologist might refer to a psychiatrist for prescribing and monitor medication. The psychiatrist and psychologist work simultaneously in treatment of their patient’s condition from both a clinical and a behavioral vantage point.

The fields of psychiatry and psychology are both necessary for developing and researching treatment for improving emotional and mental health. All differences aside, psychiatrists and psychologists have a common goal: helping people achieve better health.

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