What Are The Differences Between A Psychologist and A Psychiatrist?

If you have heard of the words psychologist and psychiatrist, you probably didn’t think much about them. After all, they are just different words to describe the same thing, right? Actually, no. Don’t worry, a lot of people confuse these two words for one another.

While psychologists and psychiatrists work in the mental health industry, they do not provide the same exact type of service. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these roles so different from one another.

What Are The Differences Between A Psychologist And A Psychiatrist?

What Is A Psychologist?

More than likely, this is a role within the mental health industry that you are most familiar with. They are also sometimes called a therapist, counselor, or psychotherapist, depending on the individual’s preference.

Psychologists will normally have their doctorate or advanced degree in psychology. Psychologists are trained to understand the human mind and how it operates. After they have completed their schooling, a person with a degree in psychology will typically choose between either the research field or becoming a therapist.

They are in a unique position to be able to help someone with many different mental health concerns. Such as anxiety or depression.

What Is A Psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are also trained to understand the human mind. However, how a psychiatrist uses this information is going to be a little different than a psychologist.

A psychiatrist is someone who can also prescribe medications. Therefore, they are considered a medical doctor. Their schooling will include medical school where they studied a variety of disciplines, including pharmacology and pathology. After completing their medical school program, they also move on to a residency program at a hospital or clinic where they will get real-world experience.

How Do You Know Who To See?

If you are experiencing mental health concerns, you might now be wondering who you should see or where to begin.

One of the first beginning steps that many people take is to talk to their primary health physician. After going over the presenting symptoms, they can give you a recommendation of seeing a psychiatrist or counselor first. In some cases, such as if they suspect ADHD or bipolar disorder, they may suggest a psychiatrist first.

There is no right or wrong way to go about this. Some people will even choose to go to a psychologist first and then they get a referral to a psychiatrist from their therapist.

In either case, if it is discovered that you aren’t seeing the right type of person in the mental health industry, they can always refer you to a more appropriate role for what you need.

Is One Better Than The Other?

Absolutely not! They are both trained and certified for their lines of work. Look at it this way. If you are hiring someone to build your house, you will look within the construction industry. However, each type of construction worker plays a different role. Some are knowledgable with installing roofs, while others understand how to build a strong foundation for the house to sit on.

They are both vital roles in the construction industry, they just serve a different purposes. It’s the same exact situation as a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

In the mental health field, the most important thing to remember is that everyone deserves to feel supported and guided through this challenging life. If you are looking for a therapist who can help you work through the issues you are facing, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can help you take the steps so you can begin feeling better and more grounded.

February 4, 2023