What are the differences and the similarities between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?

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Psychiatrists are authorised to give medicine and do therapy while psychologists are only therapists.


Their similarities:
Psychiatrists and psychologists are different types of doctors trained to help you deal with mental health and psychological issues. Both are there to talk you through problems and aim to provide you with the means to manage the issues in your everyday life.

Their differences:
Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MDs) who graduate from medical school and have a year of medical internship, allowing them to prescribe medication.

Psychologists have a doctoral degree in an area of psychology. They’re not medical doctors. A psychologist can have a Ph.D. in philosophy or a PsyD in clinical or counseling psychology. Typically, they do 1-2 years of internship. Unlike psychiatrists, psychologists are also trained in giving psychological tests (like IQ tests or personality tests).

Both psychiatrists and psychologists are trained to practice psychotherapy (talking with their patients about their problems).

But, psychologists look closely at your behavior. “If you’re depressed and can’t get out of bed, there’s a behavioral activation,” says C. Vaile Wright, Ph.D. of the American Psychological Association. Psychologists will track sleep patterns, eating patterns, and the negative thoughts that might be causing or contributing to the problem.

“Psychiatrists have a stronger sense of biology and neurochemistry,” says Ranna Parekh, MD, of the American Psychiatric Association. “Theirs is going to be a diagnosis of exclusion. We’re going to make sure they don’t instead have some vitamin deficiency or a thyroid problem.” Once they’ve made a mental health diagnosis, psychiatrists often prescribe you medicine.

Excerpt from: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/psychologist-or-psychiatrist-which-for-you

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