psychologist and psychiatrist

Seriously, people, I had no idea what the difference is between a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

A bit like I was never interested in how oil drilling works.

I now did some reading and now seem to get it.

Both psychiatrists and psychologists understand how the brain works, our emotions, feelings and thoughts. Both can treat mental illness with psychological treatments (talking therapies).

However, psychiatrists attend medical school and become medical doctors before doing specialist training in mental health. Because they are doctors, psychiatrists understand the links between mental and physical problems. They can also prescribe medications.

Psychologists have university training and supervised experience.

They may also hold a Masters or Doctorate level qualification in psychology. If they have a Doctorate (PhD) a psychologist can call themselves ‘Dr’, but they are not medical doctors.  

Clinical psychologists have special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

It is generally said if you ever tried to kill your self you will need to see a psychiatrist. In short. If you know you want or need medication, you should go to a psychiatrist.

If you are interested in psychotherapy, a psychologist may be preferable. Psychotherapy requires motivation to change and a willingness to work hard on one’s problems.

I am in the latter category.

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