Which is which…..
There is often confusion between what services are provided by a psychologist versus a psychiatrist. So which one do you lay on a couch and talk about your mother? Well, I guess you could choose.
The role of a psychologist is to provide talk therapy. They will have completed at least a master’s degree and completed hundreds of hours of training and supervision before they become licensed by the state. A psychologist helps a client by using a variety of techniques based on the best available research that best suit the client’s needs and characteristics. Practicing psychologists also are trained to administer and interpret test in order to best diagnose a client. These test can measure a variety of things ranging from cognitive function to personality traits.
A psychiatrist is officially a medical doctor. They use a variety of modalities to help their patients. Psychiatrists are able to provide talk therapy as well as administer a variety of tests in order to come to the proper diagnosis. One of the main differences is a psychiatrist’s ability to prescribe medication. This is the ability to prescribe is usually the focus of their practice.
It is best recommended to have a blend of the two services. A client is best served by receiving their medication from a psychiatrist or a general practitioner and receive talk therapy from a psychologist or counselor. This gives a balance of treatment for a client.
Psychiatrists are trained in the medical, psychological, and social components of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders and utilize a broad range of treatment modalities, including diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, psychotherapy, and helping patients and their families cope with stress and crises.