What is the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists? And who should I consult?

When someone goes through some mental health issues, they consult a mental health professional to help them deal with their issues. Today, we will look at two types of mental health professionals. One of them is a psychologist, and the other is a psychiatrist. Now that we know the two types of professionals one could consult, let us now look at what is the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists. We will also take a look at who should one consult based on their situation.

The difference between psychologists and psychiatrists

There are a few key similarities between a psychologist and a psychiatrist. For example, both of them help with treating a wide array of mental health issues. Most of the time, a psychologist and psychiatrist will work in tangent to help a patient get the best treatment plan.

Let’s look at a few differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

  • A psychologist can perform counseling services for a patient. However, a psychologist cannot generally write prescriptions for their patients. A psychiatrist can write prescriptions for their patients.
  • A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has an M.D or a D.O in treating mental illnesses. A psychologist, however, has a doctoral degree like Ph.D. or PsyD in psychology.
  • If you are working with a psychiatrist, your treatment might be geared toward medicinal or surgical intervention. But, with a psychologist, treatment plans might include counseling, psychotherapy, and psychological testing.

Who should I consult?

Based on your situation, you could either consult a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

Psychologist- A psychologist helps in assessing your mental health. They also help you provide counseling and aid through times of emotional distress. You might need to consult a psychologist if you are going through a period of turmoil in your life. You could be confused about your emotions when going through life-altering changes. Or you might just be going through a period of feeling sad all the time. A psychologist can help guide you through all these problems. They usually work in conjunction with psychiatrists and doctors to provide you with the best treatment plans.

Psychiatrist- A psychiatrist is a licensed doctor. Therefore, a psychiatrist can take a more heavy-handed approach to treat a mental health issue. A psychiatrist usually won’t treat emotional or mental issues that can be treated through psychological intervention. A psychiatrist usually helps a patient with debilitating mental health issues. They help diagnose and treat a variety of mental health disorders like ADD, ADHD, clinical depression, and anxiety disorders (to name a few.). A psychiatrist will usually prescribe medications along with psychological counseling for a patient’s treatment plan.

Final Thoughts

Maybe you are looking for a mental health professional to help you get started on your healing journey. Or maybe you are curious about the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists. Whatever the case may be, the most important step in your mental health journey is the first step. We recommend you check out Healthy Minds. We are doing private practice in irving, tx area, dedicated to getting you professional mental health assessment and care. Contact us today to help you get started on your mental health journey.

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