Most of us do not know the actual difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. The first idea that comes to our mind when we hear such words would be a person who keeps listening to people’s problems. Actually, this is true to a particular extent because both psychologist as well as a psychiatrist can treat certain problems like depression and schizophrenia. But when it comes to the treatment methods that are used by these professionals, they vary a bit. So, understanding the difference between these two branches would be helpful.
Psychologist VS psychiatrist: Educational aspect
When it comes to psychiatry, it is a branch of medicine which deals with certain mental illnesses. So, this branch is concerned with diagnosis as well as the treatment for various issues which are related to mental health of a person. Some of the examples of such illnesses are bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
When it comes to psychology, it is more about studying the behavior patterns of human beings. The basis for this kind of a study would be the emotions that human beings undergo, the feelings, the personality traits, mental characteristics, the interactions of human beings and a lot more. There is one more name to psychology. It is science that deals with the mind. So, most of the psychologists deal with people who have certain issues like a anxiety, depression, stress and other anger issues.
Another difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is, of course, the educational background. A person who wants to become a psychiatrist should be a medicine graduate. After that, the person must also specialize in mental health by attending a four-year residency. Apart from that, further education in a specialized area is also required. (For example, family-therapy, child-psychiatry etc).
When it comes to the psychologists, they are not medicine graduates. In order to get a doctorate degree, undergoing doctoral training would be important for a psychologist. It might take nearly 7 years to finish that. In some places, even undergoing internship for one year is mandatory.
Psychologist VS psychiatrist: Who can prescribe medicines?
There is one more difference between both of these professionals. A psychiatrist can prescribe medicine but a psychologist is not supposed to prescribe any kind of medication because he or she is not a qualified doctor. If a psychologist has to prescribe any kind of medication to the patient, he or she must refer the name of another psychiatrist to do the same. In fact, to put it in a nutshell, a psychologist is a person who does most of the therapy through talking to the patient and listening to the patient’s problems.
Now you must have understood the main differences between these two professionals who deal with almost the same kind of problems. It is very important to understand these differences because gaining clarity about whom to approach when suffering from a mental problem would be easier. If you know whom to approach, you can combat with the problem easily. If you just need counseling, you can always go to a psychologist but if you need some kind of medication to put an end to the problem, then it’s good to approach a psychiatrist.