Psychologists and psychiatrists are both highly trained professionals who specialize in understanding the brain, emotions, feelings, and thoughts of their patients. Because of this, some people use the two terms interchangeably — however, there are a few important differences between these professions:
Psychiatrists are medical doctors
Their post-graduate academic careers begin with medical school, followed by a medical residency and then further specialization in mental illness. Because of this training, psychiatrists have an especially in-depth understanding of the physical causes behind mental and emotional issues, and they are allowed to give prescriptions for mental health medications.
Because of these factors, psychiatrists tend to work with patients who have complex and/or serious mental health issues. Severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are a few of the most common conditions typically treated by psychiatrists.
Psychologists and counselors
On the other hand, take a different academic route to their profession. Psychologists or counselors typically acquire Masters and/or Doctorates in psychology.
Psychologists most commonly use talk therapy to help their patients to better understand themselves, learn how to live better lives, and heal from their emotional and behavioral distress. In some cases, a psychologist may diagnose their patients with specific mental health conditions.
Many people who receive treatment from a psychiatrist also seek out a relationship with a psychologist, who might focus more on the emotional side of the equation, while the psychiatrist treats underlying physical causes. In fact, most psychiatrists actively recommend this type of setup.
If you are looking for psychological support and/or psychiatric treatment, we would love to work with you to help you live your best life.
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