Psychiatrist Vs Psychologist: What's The Difference?


A Boca Raton psychiatrist provides different mental health services than a psychologist.

There are many different options for individuals seeking the services of a mental health professional. People feeling depressed, anxious, or simply not themselves may call upon the services of a relationship or school counselor, a social worker, a nurse, or the family doctor before deciding that they need psychiatric or psychological counseling. While the words sound quite similar – and the patient base is nearly the same – these two professions are distinct and it's important to know their roles and functions before beginning treatment.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental illnesses and disorders. Like any medical doctor, a psychiatrist must complete four years of medical school followed by a year-long internship; The psychiatrist must then complete at least three years of psychiatric residency training. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication and will often monitor the person's mental health status in relation to other diseases.

A psychologist may have a doctor degree in psychology, but is not a medical doctor. A psychologist must earn a master's or PhD in psychology, studying the way the brain and the mind work. Psychologists may choose different fields of work, such as research or even professional fields like business, but clinical psychologists are the psychologists who see patients. A clinical psychologist is licensed to perform psychotherapy and counseling, but can not prescribe medication for psychological illnesses.

The doctor at her clinic provides psychotherapy in a comforting, welcoming atmosphere – and with a very careful eye on medications and how they affect her patients. Having quality mental health care depends heavily on the therapist and the kind of treatment, and understanding your needs can help ease the recovery process.


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