Psychiatrist vs Psychologist

Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist

There is overlap of training and skills of psychiatrists and psychologists. There are also areas of exclusive training and skills of each of these mental health practitioners.

Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist – How They Are Similar

Both psychologists and psychiatrists study normal psychological behavior and psychiatric conditions to provide diagnosis and treatment to patients. Psychological treatment of psychiatric conditions are provided in individual, couples, family, and group settings. The different schools of approach to treatment include Freudian, Jungian, eclectic, and CBT.

Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist – How They Are Different

Psychiatrists go to medical school for four years after college to earn a degree as a physician (M.D. or D. O.). Then they go on for four years as a resident trainee in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are trained to do medication prescribing based on a medical examination.

Psychologists go to a psychology training program for three years after college to earn a Ph.D. in psychology. They do not have the eight years of medical training and supervised practicing of prescribing medication and managing hospital care. Psychologists are trained to do diagnoses of patients by interviewing them and doing psychological testing. Their extensive selection of different psychological tests can more precisely define the psychiatric conditions and personality makeup of patients to guide both the psychologists in their psychological treatment, and the psychiatrists in their psychological and/or medication treatment. Psychologists are trained extensively in using psychological, non-medication, talk therapy treatments.

Hence, if you want to talk with a therapist you could see either a psychiatrist or psychologist. However, many psychiatrists do not do the one hour therapy sessions. Instead, they specialize in medication management in shorter sessions. If however you need medication or an evaluation to see if medication will help, you would call a psychiatrist. If you need formal psychological testing, you would want to see a psychologist.

Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist – ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment

A psychologist is commonly needed if a college student needs a battery of psychological tests to verify they have ADHD to obtain accommodations for more time to complete exams. EEG biofeedback treatment for ADHD is an effective treatment for a group of patients with ADHD. Usually a psychologist provides this treatment with the assistance of a computer. Because it usually costs about $7500 and is not covered by insurance, only a few patients obtain this treatment.

If a person with ADHD wants medication, they see a psychiatrist who can prescribe the medication.

If you have any questions about seeing a psychiatrist versus a psychologist, please contact me today, I'll be happy to help you.